Teradata views their employees as their “greatest strength.” And Elisha Foust, PhD, the new global director of Cloud Business Operations, is certainly one of those assets.
At Teradata, Foust is helping to shape the company’s vision for Cloud business and providing both operationality and automation to their cloud-buying journey. To do so, she relies on her ability to stay positive at work and Teradata’s team of passionate people. “Everyone I work with is smart and innovative,” says Foust. “I love that people are happy to take the time to think through problems or issues together.”
Foust shared more details with Fairygodboss on why she loves working at Teradata and how she got to where she is today.
How long have you been in your current role, and what were you doing previously?
I’ve just started my current role! I’ve been with Teradata for over eight years and have worked in Customer Services and Sales Operations. I’m excited about joining the Cloud team!
What’s the first thing you do at work every day?
The first thing I do is review my calendar for the day and week and update my to-do list. This helps me set my priorities for the day and ensure that my focus is where it needs to be. Next up is a cup of coffee and some networking. Keeping in touch with my colleagues is a priority for me.
What’s the most unique or interesting aspect of Teradata?
The people! Everyone I work with is smart and innovative. I love that people are happy to take the time to think through problems or issues together. We help one another think through ways around barriers and support one another through challenges and successes.
What’s your favorite perk about working at Teradata?
My time is my own to manage. This has been a real blessing during the pandemic because it means that I can build time in for walks and workouts.
What’s something you think most people don’t know about Teradata that you think they should?
I think a lot of people haven’t heard of Teradata or understand that we have 40 years of experience building a world-class enterprise data warehouse. We’ve now taken our years of experience to the cloud.
What’s something you’re especially good at at work?
Staying positive. I see challenges as opportunities to create solutions. I very rarely feel negative about my work.
What about outside of work?
I volunteer for women’s and LGBTQI+ organizations! I like to bring people who share similar values and passions together. I love getting time to spend with my friends.
What’s the one career move you’ve made that you’re most proud of?
My most recent is that I’m really excited to be part of the Teradata Cloud team. Cloud is the future of data and analytics, and I’m thrilled to be helping to shape the company vision and bring operationality and automation to our cloud-buying journey.
What do you love most about your job?
Everyone knows that I’m passionate about DEI and work hard to ensure that we have an inclusive environment where everyone can be themselves. Because of this, I get to talk to a lot of different people from around the world about DEI initiatives.
What are you currently reading/watching/listening to?
Along with the rest of the UK, I’m watching Line of Duty! My current favorite podcast is “You’re Wrong About”, and I’m reading Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth.
What’s your #1 piece of advice for women who are looking for jobs right now?
Make yourself visible! Find ways to speak publicly about topics you’re passionate about, raise your hand and offer to lead the next team or customer presentation. Visibility enables others to get to know you and builds your brand and reputation. When people can see you, they’re more likely to offer you opportunities and new roles.
Who is/was the most influential person in your life?
My wife. She’s taught me so much about how to show up at work, how to lead meetings and be a great supporter of my colleagues. She’s incredibly steady, where I’m a little more like Tigger in Winnie the Pooh — always excited about the next thing!
What’s the most memorable piece of career advice you’ve received?
Last summer, I hired a fantastic career coach with whom I’ve loved working. In our first few meetings, we discussed some of the mental blocks that were holding me back. One day, she said, “See all of those things you’re worried about? Stop worrying about them. They’re no longer your problem.” In a nutshell, she taught me that I make a choice about which problems and burdens to carry around, and I can actively choose to let them go. It worked.
What was the best quality of the best boss you’ve ever had?
When I started working for the director of Revenue Operations in EMEA, he asked me early on, “What’s the next step for you in your career?” He then spent two years helping me develop, suggesting opportunities and roles for me and being a great sounding board. An active supporter is the best type of boss.
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