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Meet Wendell, Our November 2023 Confluent Champion

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Wendell Slater, Cloud Product Representative

If you ask Wendell Slater what got him to Confluent, he’ll tell you it all started with him listening to a podcast. Three years in, Wendell now works as a cloud product representative, helping ease customers’ Confluent Cloud adoption journey.

Let’s learn more about Wendell, the interesting projects his team is working on, and how Confluent’s development-focused culture keeps him motivated.

Tell us about your path to Confluent and what got you here?

My path to Confluent was an interesting one. I came across the ‘Streaming Audio’ podcast—that got me interested in Kafka, while also helping me understand the technology. 

Then I chatted with an AMER enterprise account executive—this really got me interested and excited about the idea of working at Confluent. After looking at a number of other tech companies, I decided that Confluent was the place for me.

At that point, I reached out to three sales team managers in the Inbound and Outbound teams via LinkedIn. I told them about my interest in Kafka and its applications and was offered an interview within a week. 

And here I am, almost three years later, working as a Cloud Product Representative today.

Tell us about your team and what role do you play? 

In my role, I work with Confluent Cloud users to expand usage and accelerate their path to becoming committed Confluent Cloud customers. I help provide users with information about navigating Confluent Cloud and any potential technical questions that come up during initial product usage.

Tell us about an interesting project that you are currently working on. 

Currently, our team is working on a cross-functional effort with the Sales, Marketing, and Product teams. We’re experimenting with how to drive additional impact on our product-led motion through timely, contextual contact and discussion with customers at specific milestones—what we call triggers.

The goal of this experiment is to increase our customers' comfort in the usage of Confluent Cloud from the very beginning, thus reducing the need for assistance.

What does a typical day look like as a Confluent Cloud Product Representative? How do you stay engaged with your team as a remote employee? 

My typical workday starts with planning out my day’s work, sending and replying to emails, and checking in on new cloud engagements. My goal is to talk to people, get interested leads in a meeting to discuss their Kafka needs, and offer an introductory demo for Confluent Cloud to help them feel more comfortable engaging with our product. 

Our team offers them a more technically explorative approach to earn their trust and their love immediately. Then we link the leads to their dedicated account teams to help support their Kafka growth and further company adoption. We work hand in hand with the SDRs, AE’s, and SEs in the Sales organization to operate as technical experts for early-stage prospects.

As a remote employee, I have the joy of scheduling focus sessions with meditative focus music, going out for a quick walk, and taking more creative approaches to help reset my focus. This is my first remote job, and I don’t plan on finding another role that doesn’t at least offer hybrid work.

How would you describe Confluent’s company culture? 

From my experience, the company culture has been both empathetic and focused on a growth mindset. 

I’m incredibly proud to lend my time as one of the VetNet leads for Confluent. This November 11th marks Veterans Day (US), Remembrance Day (UK, Australia, Canada, NZ, South Africa, and more commonwealth nations), and Armistice Day (France, Belgium, Serbia, various others).

I’m also incredibly grateful for the other thriving Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives at Confluent. We have eight sponsored employee resource groups (ERGs) that often co-mingle and share in community-building experiences. It has been such an amazing experience getting to share such a space with my colleagues across the company.

  • 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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