Mentor Spotlight: Julie-Anne @ DoorDash

Mentor Spotlight

Meet Julie-Anne, a Mentor at The Commons and currently in Product Ops at DoorDash.

To summarize Julie-Anne's career path in one line: Biology Undergrad → Lost 20-something (proofreading, recruiting, and panicking about life) → BizOps @ Ritual (had hands in ALL the pots) → Market Management @ DoorDash (GM of the Québec market) → Product Ops @ DoorDash

Describe yourself with three emojis

🤓 I’m a big dork. Love SQL. Love getting to know the technical side of the products I’m launching. Love doing crossword puzzles. 

😒 My role often requires me to a skeptic. What’s going to break here? What are all the ways this plan could fail? Why is this team behind schedule? It’s not always a popular role, but it’s fun!

🙃 I like to bring a little bit of fun into the things I do. Goofy project names, fun meeting kick-offs, and silly emojis! Why make it boring when you could make it fun?

Current role & location?

📍Product Ops at DoorDash. Working in Toronto on a team that's distributed all across North America!

How has your thinking around your career path changed over time?

I used to be really concerned about picking the “right” path for me, and I’ve come to learn that there’s no way to predict what I’ll want or enjoy five years from now. My focus has shifted from trying to plan out my entire future, and towards just making choices that make me happy!

We love having you as a mentor! What are some of your favourite things about being part of The Commons?

  1. It makes my life so much easier when I’m recruiting for a new role – I’ve got direct access to a 🔥 network of talent
  2. As someone approaching the cusp of shifting from a senior-IC role to a people-management role, The Commons is a stellar opportunity for me to work on my management and mentorship skills

Has there been anything unexpected that you've got out of mentoring with The Commons? 

Career advice for myself! I’ve met so many other talented mentors who’ve been instrumental in helping me navigate my own career decisions.

What's your favourite way to keep involved with the community?

The #random channel on Slack! Interesting reading, fellow word-puzzle-nerds, and fun emojis galore!

Tell us more about your role at DoorDash! What do you do there?

I work on fulfillment product operations, for the New Verticals team at DoorDash. What a dasher has to do for a restaurant order (show up, pick up a bag, deliver it) is substantially less complex than fulfilling an order at a retail merchant (navigating aisles, finding the correct item, weighing it if necessary, substituting it if it’s unavailable, paying at the register). My team works on all the product features that make that more complex fulfillment experience both fast and easy. My specific function is to help prioritize new features, serve as a technical partner on design, own the go-to-market, and set up required reporting and ops processes to maintain it. Ultimately, we’re working towards making the ‘Dasher-Shop-And-Deliver’ fulfilment model reliable, accurate, and efficient.

What's a favourite project that you've worked on?

  • Project Objective: Fulfilment Data Enrichment
  • Project Overview: Our fulfilment model requires a lot of data – most of which is merchant provided – and not every merchant can provide that data with a high degree of coverage and accuracy, so the scope of our features was being severely limited. Our objective here was to prove out an ops mechanism for generating missing data ourselves.
  • Your Role: This project is my baby! I first put together a case for why a test was valuable, ran that test, reported on it, and am now working on operationalizing and scaling the approach.
  • What made it so rewarding? Proving this out lets us scale one of our most important features to a much broader merchant base, beyond large, sophisticated enterprise brands!

We know that you love DoorDash - why should someone consider working there?

DoorDash is a big company with small pods that feel like startups within the larger organization. I actually started on a totally different team, and after I fulfilled my original mandate, I applied for another role internally, and have now started growing in a totally new direction. I get the fun of working in startup, with the larger infrastructure that lets me move around as I please! What makes it even better: the people are high calibre and wonderful across the entire org.

What advice would you have given yourself at the start of your job search?

Stop thinking about what you should do and think about what you want to do. By making a list of my most recent roles and writing down what I liked and didn’t like about each, I realized that I’m much happier in ops roles than strategy ones.

What's an unpopular opinion that you hold about careers, tech or the job search?

Do not fake it ‘til you make it. If you say you have SQL skills that you don’t, that will become very quickly apparent to your team, and tech companies will absolutely pull the trigger on letting someone go during the probationary period if necessary.

And now, a few fun tidbits about you!

Tell us some of your favourites:

🎙 Podcast: The Sporkful

📰 Where you get your daily news: The Donut

📚 Book: 100 Years of Solitude

A handy shortcut: Start using Index-Match in google sheets instead of VLookup. I promise you, it’s worth it.

And a few fun things about you:

🧩 Obsessed with the NYT Crossword Puzzle

⛸ Used to be a competitive figure skater

🗺 Maintains a rigorously updated map of restaurants and bars in Toronto

Join our Strategy + Operations Sprint to get 1:1 access to mentors like Julie-Anne (you never know - maybe she'll even hire you onto her team)!

Interested in more?
Mentor Spotlight: Aritra Ghosh
Mentor Spotlight: Aritra Ghosh
Meet Aritra, Product Manager at Azure (Microsoft) and Product Mentor at The Commons!
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