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Confluent Champion Jennifer: Maximizing Customer Value Across Industries

Written By
Jennifer Clayton, Director of Customer Success Engineering

What’s the best part about interacting with customers? For Jennifer, director of customer success engineering, it’s being able to witness how customers across industries are addressing vastly different needs, successfully, with Confluent.

Almost two years in, she works closely with her team to ensure meaningful value for customers.

Let’s learn more about Jennifer, how she thrives on solving complex people, process, and technology challenges—and how Confluent provides the support and motivation she needs to excel at her role.

How have you grown or changed since joining Confluent?

I’ve been in the technology industry for almost three decades and have seen it all.  Companies, trends, and products are fleeting in nature. You can put your heart and soul into delivering something to the market that is critical one minute and being deprecated in favor of something better the next. You have to both adapt and learn quickly and can’t get too attached to anything! The world is constantly changing and we have to keep up.

Confluent has recentered me on the excitement and joy that comes with constant innovation and hard-working people who are all aligned to the same goals. This is a great company.  We are transparent in our communication, we work diligently to deliver what our customers want and internally we swarm across teams on opportunities and issues. The company is fast-paced and we are constantly learning and adapting. Being here has reminded me that technology is fun and challenging, and when you’re surrounded by fantastic people, anything is achievable!

What's unique about Confluent's company culture? What’s one question you would tell people to ask about the culture during their interview?

We have a set of core values at Confluent. There are three that blend together for me in a way that creates our unique culture. They are: One team, earn our customer’s love, and be smart, humble and empathetic. I’ve truly never worked at another organization where individuals put their egos to the side and come together to collaborate on the same goal or task. 

We do what’s right, not what’s easy. We honor the different perspectives that we each bring to a situation, and ultimately pull together in service of the customer. 

What motivates you to excel in your role and how does Confluent support your ambitions? 

The culture, people, and customers here are phenomenal. You can feel that you are part of something special. This motivates you every day to do your best. 

Confluent provides a holistic support system. It starts with the caliber of people that work here. When you need help, others step up. If you need training, Confluent offers it. There is an extensive enablement program that includes everything from leadership topics to cloud networking! We also have access to self-serve resources such LinkedIn training and TaskHuman coaching. Regardless of your engagement style, you can find the support you need to not only perform your job, but grow yourself professionally.

How does your company encourage diversity, equity, and inclusion?

Today, most employees take for granted what didn’t exist five years ago—employee resource groups (ERGs). Confluent has a multitude of mature ERGs and really thoughtful programming that is offered to its employees. 

We’ve also gone above and beyond in areas. For example, we’ve invested in a culture and talent development department and a DEI team in our HR division. As hiring managers we receive training on bias in the hiring process, so we can be aware of bias and work hard to eliminate it. 

We are also a remote-first company. This means we can hire the best talent regardless of location. As a data streaming company, we also have groups focused on the use of AI and specifically responsible AI initiatives.

What’s the best part about interacting with customers in your experience?

From a personal perspective, I love to learn. And for that reason, it’s fun to see the variety of use cases where Confluent products are used to solve business problems. In a single day you can interact with customers in wildly different industry verticals (for example, media, finance, retail, healthcare). They are all addressing vastly different needs, successfully, and with the same technology platform. That is fascinating to me.

From a professional perspective, most customers treat us like a partner instead of a vendor.  When you are working alongside the customer in a true partnership, both organizations learn and improve together. This makes the role in customer success extremely fulfilling.

  • Zion Samuel is a writer on the Brand Marketing team at Confluent. Prior to Confluent, Zion has spent several years writing for organizations in various technology and healthcare sectors.

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