Meet Sherby: Finding Success By Connecting People and Technology
July 19, 2022
Meet Christina Sherby (known to all as Sherby) – vegetarian, Georgia-native, and Senior Product Manager, Developer Experience & API Documentation at Galileo. Try saying that title five times fast. Don’t worry, readers, we will break down exactly what Sherby does at the company, plus how she’s been able to translate skills from an entirely different focus area to help her succeed in her product management role with Galileo.
We like to start with a fun question, first, Sherby because we know you are more than just a Senior Product Manager at Galileo. So what are three facts that others may not know about you?
I was born and raised in a small town in Georgia, but I never picked up a Southern accent.
As a kid, I was a super picky eater and hated vegetables, and now I’m a vegetarian with my own veggie garden.
I got really into fermentation one year and tried to make my own apple cider (it was terrible).
Fascinating. I see a whole spinoff article about the lack of accent and your experience with vegetarianism. But, alas, we’re here to talk about your journey to Galileo. What made you want to join the company, especially during the uncertainty of a global pandemic? Readers, Sherby started at the company in June 2021.
Sherby: I wanted to expand my skill set in a new role, and my now-manager at Galileo (Abhi Ranadive) was willing to take a chance on me. I had previously worked with him and our former CPO at Braintree, so the opportunity to learn and grow under their leadership couldn’t have come at a better time. In times of uncertainty in particular, I’ve found that one of the best things I can do is find the people who are laser-focused on doing great work and see how I can help.
In times of uncertainty in particular, I’ve found that one of the best things I can do is find the people who are laser-focused on doing great work and see how I can help.
I may or may not have stalked you on LinkedIn. I’m curious to know how you went from content strategy to product management? What skills were you able to translate really easily? What wasn’t so easy?
Sherby: My focus as a content strategist at Braintree/PayPal was developer documentation, and I worked with some exceptionally talented, driven, and patient teammates in my seven years there. Each one took the time to let me into their worlds a little bit, and with their help I got to develop my knowledge of engineering, UX design, user research, analytics, people management, and effective leadership in general. And, of course, I learned a ton about digital payments and fintech. When I was ready to make a change, I realized that even though my role had been pretty niche, I’d also built up just enough expertise in so many different areas that I could step into product management in the domain I already knew well. The part of my brain that loves being a generalist is thriving here in product management; the part of my brain that loves being a perfectionist is still struggling hardcore!
Your title sounds insanely technical. Is it? What does a typical day look like for you?
Sherby: Ha! Yes and no. The domain is highly technical, and some level of technical expertise is definitely necessary to be effective – but I think that’s the case for any role at Galileo or in fintech in general, and a lot of the hard skills can be learned on the job by anyone who’s curious and motivated. My role is more about understanding what people need to be successful, and working with my team to figure out how to make that happen. So, I spend a lot of time talking with people. On a typical day (inhales deeply), I’m joining my team’s standup to keep up with what everyone is working on, leading a working session for a cross-functional project with folks from other teams, getting or reviewing input from users and stakeholders on another project, discussing dependencies and catching up on project statuses with other PMs, evaluating or fleshing out a new idea for improving Galileo’s documentation or developer experience, having a one-on-one with one of my team members or my manager, and thinking about what needs to be on my team’s roadmap 4-6 months from now to align with the business’s goals and keep solving problems for the people who count on us.
My role is more about understanding what people need to be successful, and working with my team to figure out how to make that happen.
Okay, that may have been the longest sentence of all time. Sounds like there is never a dull moment in your world!
Sherby: You got that right.
So what excites you most about where Galileo is going?
Sherby: For me, even more exciting than where is how – and that’s down to the people here. How we work is so important to our sustainability as a business, and since I joined last year I’ve been beyond impressed at the devotion this team has to long-term success and prioritizing what matters most. It’s not easy, and there’s always room to do it better, but as long as we keep putting our values into practice every day, this is exactly where I want to be.
The individual featured is a Galileo employee. Their personal experiences, obviously, do not take into account your own specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. Results will vary.
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