Transcript from REVstars interview with Danielle Stefanello
Speaker: Danielle Stefanello, Sr. Manager, Sales Enablement at AlphaSense
Interviewer: Aly Merritt, Head of Community at SalesLoft
[Intro, musical overlay]
Danielle Stefanello: I am Danielle Stefanello. I am now at AlphaSense and I am covering sales enablement as the senior manager there.
Aly Merritt: Awesome, and you just moved over from WeWork, correct?
Danielle Stefanello: I did, yes. I just moved over from about two and a half-plus years at WeWork and started at AlphaSense.
Aly Merritt: Fun! Tell me a bit more about what brought that change on.
Danielle Stefanello: Of course. So for me it’s really, really important that I always am continuing to grow and challenge myself, and so when I think about the things that I want to accomplish in the next 10-plus years, it’s really about working for someone that can develop me. I fell just in love with the leadership team at AlphaSense and really feel like I can grow and be challenged there.
Aly Merritt: Awesome. We do love Alea [at AlphaSense]!
Danielle Stefanello: Yeah, she’s amazing.
Aly Merritt: She’s one of our favorites. You’re in very good hands. WeWork I’m sure is sad to lose you, but you’re headed to the right place.
Danielle Stefanello: Yeah, for sure. It’s definitely bittersweet and I had amazing, amazing opportunities at WeWork, but one door sort of closed and this other one opened.
Aly Merritt: So right place, right time, right?
Danielle Stefanello: Yep.
Aly Merritt: What do you put your heart and soul into?
Danielle Stefanello: Oh, my heart and soul. So I definitely put my heart and soul into helping people come to their own conclusions. I think that something that’s really rewarding for me is seeing the light bulb go off and sort of turning the lights on for people. So I definitely come to work and kind of navigate through my life, friends and family, helping people come to their own conclusions and achieve those moments for themselves.
Aly Merritt: Is there a moment that comes to mind when you’re thinking about having done that for somebody?
Danielle Stefanello: Oh yeah. I guess personal life, even my husband, he’s now just an avid traveler and is addicted to traveling and it sort of happened through the exploration of food. He was the kind of person that only ate turkey sandwiches growing up and so exposing him to Spanish food was sort of our first cuisine that turned the light bulbs on for him and now he can’t stop. So it’s amazing.
Aly Merritt: It’s a little Anthony Bourdain.
Danielle Stefanello: Yes. One hundred percent.
Aly Merritt: You told us that if you could have 15 minutes of fame for anything, that yours would be for rescuing puppies?
Danielle Stefanello: Yes.
Aly Merritt: Tell me more.
Danielle Stefanello: Well, I have a dog myself and I’m obsessed with animals and I actually-
Aly Merritt: Wait, wait. What kind of dog?
Danielle Stefanello: Oh, I have a mini poodle who is amazing. Her name is Macy and she’s seven. She’s incredible. But I think one thing that I would love to be famous for rescuing puppies is helping getting them off the street, specifically New York, San Francisco. You see a lot of dogs on the street and it just is something I definitely want to help stop.
Aly Merritt: Okay, I myself am somebody who suffers from a case of OCD. I know that this is something that you brought up. So if you’re comfortable talking about it, I’d like to kind of touch on that because for a long time the concept of things like OCD has been, mental health in general has had sort of a stigma around it. And I think in the last say 10 years that’s really started to shift. People are starting to really address it and it’s no longer something you have to hide, which is interesting because a lot of famous people, like Winston Churchill, had OCD and it’s one of those areas that have really created a lot of people in the entrepreneur and tech space, especially that there’s been benefits to having that. How has OCD impacted your career?
Danielle Stefanello: So I appreciate you honing in on that. I think for me, I have OCD thoughts, so a lot of it is getting stuck. And I think this is normal for everyone, it just happens to be an extreme case. So if I would go to work and have a day and maybe I said something and that I didn’t think was the best thing to say, I would continuously think about it when I got home and keep bringing it up over and over and over again. I couldn’t let it go. It started to impact me in every sort of aspect of my career. I would second guess myself. I would try and go back. If I left a meeting I would constantly ask my manager or my people around me, “Did you think that was okay?”
Danielle Stefanello: At first it was sort of a normal reaction and then it kind of took over. So going to therapy and getting help and sort of addressing that, that’s something that impacts me and I need to find tools and ways to get over that. Sometimes the things that you say, they’re just passing, in passing. People don’t really focus on them so that’s been something that’s been helpful for me, but also difficult at the same time.
Aly Merritt: Has there been times though that it’s been something you found beneficial in your career or personal life?
Danielle Stefanello: Yeah. I think I’m really focused, and sometimes too much, but I definitely notice details or notice … I’m very intuitive. I notice things that are going on that’s definitely helped me.
Aly Merritt: Yeah. Pros and cons to everything.
Danielle Stefanello: Of course.
Aly Merritt: So you’re getting to build a whole new team now.
Danielle Stefanello: Yeah.
Aly Merritt: What do you hope that that looks like in the next couple of years?
Danielle Stefanello: So I think I definitely want to continue to make mistakes and take risks and fail. I think anyone that’s in sort of the startup hyper-growth stage of like SalesLoft and other companies, it’s really important that you do continue to test and innovate.
Aly Merritt: Test and innovate, absolutely.
Danielle Stefanello: Yeah. I definitely, I want to be a little bit selfish and like I said, making this move to learn and grow professionally myself, I want to get tons of feedback. I want to look and be like, I can’t believe that was me then. And this is me now. I want to build a team that is just rooted in honest and transparent feedback.
Aly Merritt: I’m going to ask one more question. Tell me something you’re really proud of.
Danielle Stefanello: Something I’m really proud of. I think I’m really proud of myself for always standing up for myself and specifically the company I was at before WeWork, I was definitely put in a situation where I think my self esteem was really lowered and I was told that there were things about myself that I couldn’t control that were affecting me getting my next role. Instead of just kind of sitting around and taking that, I made the active choice to then not run from that, but take the time to think about what kind of culture and company I wanted to be a part of. So joining WeWork was something I was really proud that I decided to do.
Aly Merritt: I know that the culture of WeWork was something that was very important to you when you made that move.
Danielle Stefanello: Yeah, for sure.
Aly Merritt: So thank you so much for coming out today, we really appreciate it. This was super fun.
Danielle Stefanello: You’re welcome.