Nikki Amberstone shares her passion for workplace services and how diversity was a major factor in her becoming a Medallian
Maya Angelou once said, “Try to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.” And here at Medallia, Nikki Amberstone, Workplace Services Specialist, is that rainbow for all Medallians when there happens to be a cloud in their life. Not only does she bring joy, she also embodies the physical attributes of a rainbow: bright, colorful, and unique. From her passion for art, to the dedication and love for her work, to the leadership and impact she brings to the communities that make up her identity, Nikki Amberstone is someone you should know. Luckily for you, you can – well, via written word, of course.
At Medallia, we believe in “hiring the whole person.” We sat down with Nikki to learn what makes her, well… her. Here’s what she had to say.
What attracted you to Medallia in the first place?
I don’t come from a traditional past. I went to art school, but found myself in Apple retail quickly thereafter. Working with Medallia as technology for feedback was great and became something I carried with me as a tool for discussion in jobs that followed. I was already very familiar when I came into my interview, and I think that really helped me succeed.
Why did you want to work at Medallia?
Following retail and office operations for a co-sharing company, finding myself in another service position was very natural for me. What drew me to Medallia was knowing how well regarded it is in the industry, as well as by employees when I was researching on Glassdoor. Employee satisfaction and where it lands on queer diversity was important to me, so seeing that Medallia was regularly found to have a high Corporate Equality Index score by the Human Rights Campaign reeled me in.
For those who do not know, what is Workplace Services?
Workplace Services comprises all of the work done for a physical space. From building management to lunch and happy hours!
What do you like most about your job?
I love office move-ins and -outs. The physical demands of it are really fun for me, as well as the ability to work out issues and navigate them autonomously. It’s so similar to a puzzle game, and calls back to a lot of the work I did in the entertainment industry within live events. A lot of muscle and a lot of troubleshooting. And honestly, a lot of schmoozing with vendors, which I love. I could really kick it with facilities or tech staff all day.
Who are the people that have helped shape your career at Medallia?
The entire WPS team has really shaped my career. Kathryn Ashcraft’s, Senior Director Workplace Services, leadership is both empathetic and strong, and I really admire that. It’s something I try to keep in mind when pursuing my goals at work.
Any tips for someone considering a career in Workplace Services?
You don’t have to come from a big background to be here. I have an art degree. I worked in retail for 5 years, start-ups, even anime and comic conventions. You can have a unique background and still find yourself here in Workplace Services. My best friend worked at an animal shelter as her lead-in to WPS. It’s how you apply the skills you’ve learned throughout your career that matters. At the heart of it, I think an unconventional past adds a diversity of thought into this career.
Following that, something that helps me greatly is getting support from your team. I regularly sought out leadership support in every position I held to get me to the next step. It’s important to get the right people on your side to help elevate you. Good leadership will want to see their reports succeed.
That was fun, but let’s invite the readers into who Nikki is, you ready to dive deeper?
Let’s do it.
What’s something someone may not know about you?
I’m an oil painter who focuses on self portraits and florals, and have been painting for over 20 years. I was also a performer in my early 20s and late teens in NYC for geeky events, and I was recognized once in a Taco Bell. That’s my claim to fame. My grandfather and step-grandmother own a tarot school. Maybe a few fun facts!
Are you a part of any Medallia Employee Resources Groups? If yes, why did you choose to join, and how has your experience within the group impacted you as a Medallian?
Yes! Q-Field and Latinx@Medallia. I chose to join because of my personal connection to the communities as a queer Latina, as well as Black, at Medallia as an ally. I feel like I have a group of people who share my experience in some way that I can relate to, and that’s powerful to see underrepresented groups coming together in a professional and personal setting.
Recently we chatted about the change in name of Hispanx Voices to Lantinx. Can you further elaborate on why this was necessary?
We discussed as a collective about how “Hispanic” as a term didn’t represent us. It’s a U.S.-centric term that isn’t used in Latin America & the Caribbean, and excludes non-Spanish speaking countries such as Brazil or Guyana, among others. Even on our leadership team, we have folks from such countries. It didn’t feel right to use a word that wasn’t inclusive. It’s also not a term we use among ourselves.
Occasionally, in predominantly white spaces, I’ll codeswitch and use “Hispanic,” but it’s not how I refer to myself as a Latina, and it’s not how many other Latines identify either. Not to say that there aren’t folks who do, because of course there are! Many, in fact. However, as a group when polled, we didn’t find ourselves in that term.
Medallia is growing, and dedicated to “hiring the whole person.” Join the #MedalliaLife by heading to our careers page and applying today!