Sales Director Ken Rahn on Learning and...
What does the Medallia Sales team have in common with a Navy aircraft carrier’s nuclear power plant? Ken Rahn says there are more similarities than you might think. In this...
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Bobby Vicario has trouble sitting still—which comes in handy as a husband, father of two, working professional, and hip-hop practitioner. Below, he explains how Medallia embraces and helps him balance all the aspects of his busy life, and shares why he’s so excited about the future.
I help manage our collaboration tools, including Zoom, our video-conferencing platform. Day to day, that means getting people set up with new accounts and troubleshooting technical issues. Our team also designs and builds new AV systems in Medallia’s conference and training rooms. We have 165 Zoom rooms in our offices around the world, and my team’s job is to make them as user-friendly and self-sufficient as possible—and also to provide support whenever it’s needed. Often, we’re walking into a room where something’s broken, and people might be frustrated. My goal is to change that energy. Hopefully, I can fix the problem immediately, but even if I can’t, I still want people to know we’re here to support them and get them back up and running as quickly as possible.
I think it’s pretty amazing to be part of a program that’s responsible for how Medallians interact all over the world—with our customers and with each other. Not too long ago, this was the stuff of sci-fi movies. Now we’re doing it for real.
I’ve been fascinated with the audiovisual world since I was a kid. My older brother was a DJ, and I used to sneak into his room and mess with his equipment. I studied audio production in college and then started my career in AV at the San Francisco Marriott, which hosts hundreds of conferences every year. I got to work on a lot of big events, including the annual conferences for Salesforce and Oracle. Those weeks were nonstop, but I always looked forward to them. I have a lot of energy, so it was a good fit for my personality.
After Marriott, I worked with several companies and got more experience with live events and the corporate side of AV. When I interviewed at Medallia, I could tell immediately this was a place where I could thrive and be happy. The whole experience was awesome. Ham, our global head of AV, did a great job of giving me a snapshot of Medallia’s culture and explaining how the company values inclusion and being yourself. I was like, “Wow, these are humble, genuine people. I want to be part of that.”
I feel like a lot of companies talk about inclusivity, but Medallia actually does it in a way I haven’t experienced elsewhere. Events like Mx Medallia, our Pride Week pageant, are a good example of how the company reinforces the idea that you can bring your whole self to work. It’s so inspiring to me to see all this talent I had no idea existed—drag performers and dancers and singers—and know that Medallia welcomes it.
I’ve personally had multiple opportunities here to share my talents as a breakdancer, which is something I never imagined I’d get to do in a professional setting. I’ve taught two workshops for Medallians as part of our Global Week of Learning, and I’m now part of a campaign that showcases what some of our team members do outside work. It’s a huge honor. Medallia is also a big part of the reason I’m able to balance work with being a husband and father of two and still maintain a level of autonomy as a dancer. I’m out of the house by 4:30 a.m. so I can beat the traffic, get to the gym, and start my day at 7 a.m. I work until 3 or 3:30 p.m., and can still be home by 5 p.m. or go teach a private breakdance lesson. I’m always on the go and it’s a pretty crazy lifestyle, but it’s really my ideal schedule.
I started breakdancing when I was in middle school. My friends and I saw some older kids doing it at a dance, and we went home and tried to imitate them. That didn’t go so well at first, but we kept at it and eventually started to meet people who taught us about the culture and helped us get better. Eventually a crew from my neighborhood in San Francisco, the Renegade Rockers, invited me to join them. That gave me the opportunity to dance and compete all over California and even overseas.
From there, I took on a role as an instructor at a circus arts school called AcroSports and managed their program for teaching in underserved communities. That was an awesome experience because we were able to not only teach breakdancing and help instill confidence, but also share values like respect for others and for yourself. I credit a lot of my parenting style to teaching, and to breakdancing in general.
I think those values overlap with working at Medallia, as well—especially the idea of growth mindset and learning from your failures. In breakdancing, we teach “crash and create,” which means even if you make a mistake, you can turn it into an amazing move that you might otherwise never have come up with. In the same way, Medallia’s taught me to not be afraid to fail. We have support systems in place, so if I break something, the worst that can happen is that I’ll learn how to fix it.
We’re planning some office expansions, and I’m excited to be part of building out more spaces where Medallians can collaborate. The better and simpler our tools are, the more effective we can be in serving our customers. In terms of breakdancing, getting to the gym regularly as part of my morning commute has reignited the idea of eventually opening up a dance studio. So I’m kind of on cloud nine right now, both personally and in terms of professional development. I feel like I’m getting closer to where I want to be, and it’s amazing.
This story was created in conjunction with Job Portraits, a San Francisco-based creative agency that helps teams scale using culture-focused content.