In our ongoing series, "What My Mentor Taught Me," we explore the transformative power of mentorship, this time with Egle Beliunaite, the Head of Product Design. Egle's unique journey, shaped by her Lithuanian roots, education in the UK, and a career path that led her to Berlin, Germany, reveals the profound impact of mentorship on her role and leadership style.
Egle's current position is a testament to her commitment to fostering an enriched environment for product design. Her daily tasks resonate with design operations, nurturing relationships, and cultivating collaborative teamwork. In this installment of "What My Mentor Taught Me," we unravel Egle's insights into her mentors' roles and their contributions to her development as a communicator and leader.
Tell us about the mentors you've had and how they've helped you improve as a communicator and leader.
The mentors who have made the most profound impact on my career were not from the product design realm. While this might appear unconventional, it had a significant effect on broadening my perspective on how product design is perceived by others over the past decade.
Being guided by colleaguees from various disciplines, rather than sticking solely to the product design circle, exposed me to a diverse range of responsibilities and tasks that a typical designer might never encounter.
This unconventional path has provided me with invaluable insights into how design can and should integrate into non-design aspects before crafting a solution. It's been a journey of significant learning, challenging traditional boundaries, and embracing the idea that design isn't confined to a silo but can permeate every facet of our work.
How has your mentor's supportive attitude helped you overcome work challenges?
Support at work can be refreshingly straightforward—communication and trust are the core elements. I've been fortunate to experience this simplicity throughout my career journey. In the early days, self-doubt often crept in, making every step feel uncertain. But what made a real difference was having a manager and mentor who not only listened but also encouraged me to speak my mind.
One of the most enlightening lessons from my mentor was the idea of taking the initiative—no need to wait for someone else to come to you; go ahead and seize the moment. Over the years, I've faced situations where I felt unsure or dissatisfied and waited for clarity. However, my mentor's support was different; they placed trust in my judgment and actions, regardless of the circumstances. Even in moments of failure, they let me learn from my own mistakes, always reassuring me of their ongoing support.
How did your mentor inspire you to go above and beyond?
Let me take you into the heart of what I call the "go-get-it" mindset. When I observed my mentor brainstorming innovative strategies to create new opportunities for their teams, I initially viewed it as just another PowerPoint presentation or an additional responsibility I had to shoulder. However, over time, it dawned on me that every instance where I was nudged out of my comfort zone was actually an opportunity to harness my strengths in diverse ways.
Reflecting on various moments of frustration in my career, I now see them in a new light. It's become evident that problem-solving is my true passion, regardless of whether it pertains to product design, working with product teams, fostering collaboration, or managing general operations. The ability to feel at ease while embracing new encounters, collaborating with fresh teams, crafting efficient processes, and unraveling complex challenges is an exhilarating journey I wouldn't trade for anything.
How much of your success would you attribute to the mentorship program you took part in?
My mentorship somewhat came naturally at a very defining moment in my career. Or maybe I should say it the other way around—my mentorship played a profoundly defining role in shaping the person I am today.
A big thank you to Egle for taking the time to discuss mentoring for women in tech. Their insights on collaboration, nurturing relationships, and communication have broadened our horizons. If you're eager to delve deeper into the experiences of our incredible team members, be sure to check out our careers blog for more enriching stories.