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Confluent Champion Richard’s Journey: From a Degree in Psychology to a Career in Tech Sales

Written By
Richard Nwankwo, Global Cloud SDR Manager, Sales Development Management

It was a “series of fortunate events” that led Richard Nwankwo to Confluent, where he currently works as a Global Cloud SDR Manager.

Let’s learn more about Richard’s career trajectory—and hear how Confluent creates a culture of collaboration, learning, and engagement.

What made you interested in working at Confluent? Tell us about how you joined your team and the role you play today.

When I first interviewed with and joined Confluent, I saw it as an opportunity to help build something new. I came from a startup background where I was able to learn a lot and gain responsibility fast because we had to move fast. The Cloud SDR team was almost like a startup within a (late-stage) startup. It’s the best career decision I’ve made.

My career has been a series of very fortunate events. I got my bachelor's in Psychology but ended up in Software Engineering after teaching myself how to code. I learned a ton but I wanted to gain sales skills so I joined a sales bootcamp to learn more about tech sales. Confluent was a hiring partner at the bootcamp I attended and was building an experimental team that combines technical skills with traditional SDR skills and I was the second hire for that team.

I enjoyed the strategic aspect of building the team, threw my hat into managing the team, and the rest is history.

What’s the most interesting or enjoyable part of your job?

The Cloud SDR team here works with new users who have signed up for Confluent Cloud and helps them on their journey through the product. By being a human resource that can unblock them when they get stuck, we make it more likely that they find value in Confluent Cloud and want to partner with us long-term.

Confluent Cloud is packed with useful features for teams to maximize their streaming platform. However, not all users are aware of all the value that comes with Confluent Cloud. Right now my team is working on a project that will identify teams that are not already using key features and teach them about how that feature fits into their streaming architecture and how it will be beneficial to them. 

What does a typical day look like as a Confluent Global Cloud SDR Manager? And how would you describe Confluent’s company culture?

It’s a mix of reviewing operational metrics, coaching and working with the reps on my team, moving strategic projects along, and working with cross-functional partners. It’s very engaging work and you get to learn a lot.

Confluent’s company culture is collaborative. From when I first started until now, I’ve always worked with coworkers from various teams across the company. The #OneTeam mindset described in our company values is real, and it’s why I’m always excited for what we’ll accomplish next as a company.

What’s one thing you would want to see Confluent do differently?

Confluent hires smart, humble, empathetic people. If I had one wish, it would be for Confluent to find more ways to continue to invest in the career growth of employees across the company in a communal way. For example, I’ve greatly improved my speaking and listening skills through our Toastmasters club. I want more of that.

  • Mekhala Roy is a senior writer on the Brand Marketing team at Confluent. Prior to Confluent, Mekhala has worked in the cybersecurity industry—and also spent several years working as a tech journalist.

  • 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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