Work Title: Global Managing Director, Head of Technology Industry Practice Group
Company: Thomson Reuters
City, State, Country: New York, NY, USA
Twitter handle: @AlexZPaladino
How did you get started in Sales or Marketing?
My first job out of college was in a Marketing role where I had to develop a contributions strategy to identify and procure pricing sources with primary dealers for Mortgages, Corporates and High Yield bond service offerings. In this role, I developed external relationships with executives at primary dealers on Wall Street and found that I enjoyed this industry engagement. I then moved into Customer Service and was paired to work with a team of two successful sales reps who showed me the ropes and encouraged me to pursue a career in sales. When one of them left the firm, I took on her role.
Do you use Salesforce in your day to day?
Thomson Reuters utilizes Salesforce across our organization. My team uses it to ensure all relevant sales and other people affiliated with an account are connected on customer relationship engagement and for pipeline management. It’s an essential tool for our business.
What is your biggest accomplishment in your career to date?
Two years ago, I took on a leadership role in our Corporate Strategy Office as part of a Thomson Reuters CEO-sponsored-and-funded growth initiative for the creation and launch of Industry Practice Groups in Technology, Automotive, Financial and Energy verticals. This included strategy development, the global launch and operationalization of new market verticals, the strategic insight into technology firms and other corporations to expand and grow our business, and cross-sell initiatives to pave the way for the launch of our firm’s new Corporate segment.
What would most people reading this today be surprised to learn about you? They might be surprised to learn that I’m an advocate and fund-raiser for cancer research and awareness.
When hiring, what skills or attributes do you value most? I look for people who are team players – who will contribute to the team’s success and not just be focused on individual contributions. People who can connect well internally and externally as our customers and partners exist both within and outside our company are critical in the make-up of a successful team. If someone cannot connect in an interview discussion, that is a red flag. I also look for people who show leadership beyond the role they are in and have a customer-first attitude. If they’ve worked in any customer service type of role, even in their early years in retail, hospitality, etc., and have been successful, that is a positive sign they know how to be responsive to customer needs.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
While growing up as one of four girls, my mom, who was a very strong Irish woman, always said “can’t means won’t” meaning that if you believe you cannot do something, then you will not have the confidence to try to accomplish it and you certainly will not see it through. This has stuck with me and always inspired me to take a glass-half-full, positive attitude and pursue my goals with confidence.
What do you do to empower other women?
I am particularly passionate about advancing women’s leadership, and there are many ways I’m involved in this area. I sit on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Women’s Bond Club (WBC), an organization that is focused on advancing women across the financial services industry with financial institutions, corporations and advisory firms, serving as Vice President (and Co-President elect) and Co-Chair of the Community Outreach Committee, which engages and supports young women in NYC that are interested in business careers as well as with non-profits supporting women in the NYC community. I also serve as a mentor to one of our WBC scholarship winners. Within Thomson Reuters, I sit on the Senior Advisory Council of Women@TR, the business resource group at Thomson Reuters, and I am a frequent external speaker on this topic, having recently spoken at Cornell University.
What advice do you have to find an ally?
Connect with people and pay it forward to help others, even when you do not know whether there is anything they can do for you in return. You will have an impact on someone else’s life and make more connections and allies along the way.
Having started in sales early in my career, I have been negotiating for many years. A few things to always keep in mind in any negotiation (professional or personal) – do your homework before entering a negotiation. Know what you want, what your “must haves” or “non-negotiables” are, and what your “negotiables” are – meaning the things you would trade or give up. It is critical to also understand what the other side wants and any insight on what their “negotiables” and “non-negotiables” are. Even when you are not in a formal negotiation process, you should keep in mind that many business decisions are negotiations.
The biggest risks I have taken in my career – to take on roles focused on new company initiatives and more start-up focused areas – have been rewarding. You must be future focused and not be dissuaded by folks telling you there is potential for failure and that you should just take the safe path. Success and failure are both part of a great learning experience.
On Leadership & Motherhood
Being a leader and a mother, these two things go hand in hand for me. I have a daughter in college and a son in high school who have both known from a young age that my family and my career are very important to me and they are very proud of the work I do as well as my efforts in the industry and community to advance female leadership in business. It is important to show your children and your colleagues at work that you are a strong leader and role model for others and that you can balance personal and work life just like our husbands and partners are doing. Being happy and fulfilled in my work, home and community makes me a better leader. I want my daughter and my son to both see female leadership as the norm, not the exception.
Women you look up to:
- Madeleine Albright
- Michelle Obama
- Oprah Winfrey
What is your favorite music to trailblaze to? This may surprise some people but I am a big fan of Hip-hop and Rap
Coffee or Tea? Coffee – I am not an early morning person by nature so must have that caffeine boost in the morning!
Life Mantra? Get out and see the world, there are so many amazing places and cultures to experience. I love this quote by Mark Twain: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Back to Africa. Recently traveled to Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar with my family. It was amazing to see the wildlife and a part of the world that is in such a different stage of development and the opportunity that exists there.
What is your most treasured possession? I would change this to “What do I treasure most?” What I treasure most is my family and spending time with them. With busy careers and lives with travel and school, I treasure the many trips my husband and I take with our children to new countries, cities or beaches to spend quality time together.