Umbeler in Action: Shawnasee Retzloff

Name, Title and Team:

Shawnasee Retzloff, Partnership Development Director

How did you hear about Umbel and why did you decide to apply?

My former colleague’s best friend had been with Umbel for a few months and spoke highly of the team here. She had mentioned an open opportunity on the newly forming Market Development Team, which fit perfectly into my skill set. I was intrigued; not only about a startup environment, but the product, mission, and team. I took my chances, and two years later, still standing!

Fun fact: My first day starting at Umbel, was day after my favorite team (and best team on the planet), the San Antonio Spurs, won their fifth championship. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to celebrate like I wanted with many glasses of champagne. Who wants to be hungover on their first day on the job? Not this girl! But I did arrive with very puffy eyes from all the happy tears. #GSG

Can you describe your typical day?

I’m on a smaller team that has afforded me the opportunity to do more cross-functionally with others in our company. And let me tell you, we work with some mighty intelligent folks, y’all. 

What countries have you traveled to so far? And where do you want to go next?

Unfortunately, growing up my family didn’t do much traveling. As fast as I could change that, I did! Traveling is a huge passion of mine, and one I want to continue to foster. My first major taste of that was when I studied abroad in Norway. I’ve been fortunate to experience Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Holland, Italy, Germany, France, Mexico, Brazil, and Thailand. 

There are so many places I want to go, it’s hard to nail down. Iceland, Australia, Argentina, Croatia, Portugal, Scotland, Japan…ok, everywhere…that’s my answer.

What’s your go-to motivation songs – when you’re feeling sluggish and need a pick me up?

I promise I have very good taste in music. Living in Austin, it’s almost a requirement. However, when I’m feeling sluggish and need a little pep in my step, I gravitate towards really terrible (and awesome) classics like the Kings of Yacht Rock, Hall and Oates’ Rich Girl, or Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up, maybe some Paula Abdul – Straight Up. But, when I’m in desperate need of some hardcore motivation, nobody gets me to slay harder than the one and only Queen Beyonce Knowles Carter.

For the record, I’m listening to The Zombies – Time of the Season, as I type. Does that redeem me a bit?

What would your advice be to someone just starting out in your field?

In my short working career, I’ve been very fortunate to be surrounded by some amazing, hard-working people and female role models that have charged a tremendous path. I’ve tried my best to observe and soak up the good and bad within my work environment to come up with a few professional standards to abide by.

Taking the time for a few self-assessments to get to know yourself a little bit better is key. I love Meyers-Briggs and StrengthsFinder. I’ve also come to realize that leading with authenticity and just being your true self can move mountains. Have fun, be curious, network, and never underestimate the power of a GIF!

What’s your favorite place in Austin?

There are so many awesome things about Austin, I really don’t know where to begin. From the Greenbelt, to South Congress, to the Mohawk, it’s an ever-changing landscape of “cool” that I feel I never quite catch up on. Plus, it’s hard to nail just one!

Since it’s summertime, and hot as hell in Texas, I’ll focus on my go-to watering hole “Secret Beach.” It’s a great spot to take the dogs, put your feet in the sand (yes, sand!), and have a nice dip in the Colorado River. Not a bad way to combat the sweltering August sun!

How do you use data in your job? What about in your life?

Data is ever-present in every aspect of our lives now and it would be nearly impossible to live without it! From a work perspective, using platforms like Salesforce to help track quantitative and qualitative insights is a must in my day-to-day.

Using data in my personal life is actually where things get a little more fun. For example, I rely heavily on sites like Kayak when booking travel to determine the best time to buy a flight and my Spotify suggestions for new bands to check out. As a soon-to-be new mama, I’ve recently discovered using census data to determine the most common names by year. With a name like Shawnasee, we have to be very careful not to choose something too common.

Describe your co-workers in three words.

Amazing Karaoke Singers.

The best part about working at Umbel?

Umbel has been a great place to soak up everyone’s collective intelligence, while still having fun in the process. And believe me, do we have some fun! For that reason, I’d say the people. Spending 8 hours a day with folks you don’t like, would be terrible, don’t you think?

First thing you do when you get to the office?

If it’s Friday, always breakfast tacos #1. Otherwise, I like to ease into my mornings with a round of hellos, coffee, and some email checking.