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A Path to Scality
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Tyna Callahan has led a storied professional life. “The start of my career was totally based on being in the right place at the right time,” she admits. Between her Literature Writing degree from UC San Diego and her current role as Director of Solutions Marketing at Scality, she has navigated a series of jobs—computer operator, tech writer, product manager, marketing consultant, and medical imaging archiving specialist. “I even did a consulting job at one point writing operations manuals for car washes, believe it or not,” she laughs. Ironically, despite her father’s experience with running data center companies, she didn’t picture herself in the IT field. “I remember sitting down with him and saying, ‘Dad, I know that’s the future and if only I were interested, I could have some good job security. But I just want to write.” She adds good-humoredly,
“In a nutshell, Dad’s job looked boring so I had no interest.”
Fast-forward and Tyna found herself pursuing a position as a tech writer in a software company. “I walked into that not being terribly technical, but my philosophy was, if I could understand it, I could explain it,” she says. “I think that’s a good philosophy to have both in marketing and in technical writing because you really have to cut through the technical jargon and make things understandable and consumable.”
A High Flyer
Today, Tyna’s high-flying performance is a testament to the key role played by her writing background, and perhaps more importantly, her remarkable adaptability and her dexterity in cultivating understanding. As a key member of Scality’s marketing team, “she’s really impressed people with her writing skills. Tailoring to the audience has been a very strong suit,” enthuses her manager. “And now, her writing skills are translating into writing press releases. So it’s fantastic in that it uses her strength in writing, but also shows that she’s willing to take on this other big job.”
Tyna’s recent and extraordinary achievement has been her central role in landing Scality on the Gartner Magic Quadrant. For a company of Scality’s size, her manager explains, obtaining the required fifteen customer references is extremely difficult. “That leg work of just getting those fifteen references is extremely critical, more than it even seems,” he emphasizes. “We needed references across the globe, for example, five in Japan, five in North America, five in Europe, and they all have to be willing to say good things.” Moreover, he adds, each customer has to be at a point where they’ve already purchased, tested, and used the product. “It’s super hard. You’re tempted to give up and just think, Well, this customer doesn’t work. All this has impressed upon me just how tenacious she is. And that tenaciousness has led her to a lot of success.” Tyna’s spirited determination didn’t end there. Soon after delivering those fifteen references, she obtained seven additional references for another analyst study done by IDC.
As for Tyna, she loves playing her part to drive the company toward its goals. “I really enjoy helping the sales team get that last-minute tool they need to close a deal. Because this is a company where you have to be really agile. We’re small, so we all need to pitch in and keep our eye on that goal of moving in the right strategic direction while also being responsive to the deal that’s on the table now.” She adds, “One of my favorite things about Scality is that every single person’s contribution matters.”
When Tyna isn’t hard at work, her adventurous spirit takes her hiking in the desert or exploring other countries with her husband. “Last year we saw Peru,” she reminisces. “The Amazon, Machu Picchu, the Nazca Lines…it was fascinating. We try to hit a ‘bucket list’ spot every year or two.” Future plans include a Grand Canyon rafting trip and celebrating her daughter’s graduation from a Doctor of Pharmacy program. “I always told my daughter she should study what she loves and figure out what to do with it later,” Tyna laughs. “Even though the path I followed didn’t make me an author, I have no regrets. It did take me to where I am now, and I think I’m better at what I do because of what I studied.” The winding road of her life has inspired Tyna to “be happy” in all that she does. “It’s not about laughter-inducing happiness, but a general happiness with where you are, what you’re doing and who you spend time with. I think it’s important not to put off happiness while enduring something you really don’t like, because you never know what life has in store.”