Meet Korina Ortiz
As part of our Highlighting Leading Latinx Women in Sales series, we want to shine a spotlight on the professional challenges and career aspirations of the women that inspire us. In this article, Korina Ortiz, Director of Sales at Hubspot, talks about her experience, what inspired her professional career, what keeps her motivated and engaged at work, and advice for those looking to break into the world of Sales.
Q: Can you tell us about your professional background? What got you into Sales?
“Well, I was living in California and I wanted to go to PA school. So, I researched the best PA school and found that it was North Eastern, which was why I moved to Boston. To get into PA school, you need to meet a minimum of set hours so I used a recruiter to get a placement. From all the interviews that I closed, my recruiter said that she noticed that I’ve got qualities that could make me great at sales. Additionally, she was recruiting for a Biotech BDR role and believed that I’d be a great fit for it.
I was very apprehensive at first but I went through with the interviews and at the final round received my first offer. I remember being shocked at the offer since it was 10x more than what I would have made as a PA and decided to give it a go for a year. That was 16 years ago, I got hooked!”.
Q: What do you love most about Sales and what keeps you interested?
“A lot of things. I get to work with a lot of different types of customers, especially at Hubspot. You get to really learn about the business and, not to sound corny, it’s super motivating when you get to see them grow.
For example, I spent 5 years at Hubspot on the partner side and you watch a partner agency come in and they’re 1 of 2 people in the agency, then 5 years later they’re making 20x in revenue more than they ever imagined, they’ve grown to 30 people and they’re platinum partners now. These are the stories that inspire me and really it’s about being very customer-centric.
Also, learning new functional skills and sharpening my sales skills is always fun”.
Q: What professional achievements are you most proud of?
“I think I have a lot to be proud of. As a Latina who wasn’t born in the States ( my parents and I came from Mexico), my family and I had a tough beginning but I watched my parents work very hard and everything I’ve accomplished so far is something that I’m very proud of. Are there standout moments? Certainly. The HEART Award for example was particularly cool for me because being a part of the Latin American family (we call ourselves la Familia at Hubspot), I was really proud to have received the first-ever HEART award alongside the team. It was a testament to a lot of years of hard work, dedication, and love for what we do, as well as the mission of helping customers grow and helping LATAM grow.
When I first joined the LATAM team, the entire team (including sales reps) was made up of 12 – 15 people. Now the LATAM division has an office in Bogota with more than 300 people. Being a part of the building blocks and watching that grow I would say was a good achievement”.
Q: How did your immigrant background impact your opportunities in the US job market? From your personal experience, did you feel like there were more limitations or barriers put into place for those coming from non-traditional backgrounds?
“This is such an interesting question because I feel very privileged in the sense that even though I am an immigrant and when my parents came here they worked at a strawberry farm for the first few months and lived in a place with a couple of other families, I’ve always been very privileged because of the color of my skin. My parents and I also made sure that there was no accent from early on – I speak English perfectly.
In college, I read this book called Passing it talks about how you in a lot of ways can pass as one thing or another so, I think my background hasn’t limited me as much in that sense. I do feel as a woman, particularly a woman working in LATAM, is where I feel the limitations more. There are a lot of sexist remarks and I think I’ve felt it more selling to LATAM.
In my life, I’ve had a lot of champions and people that have taken me under so I can’t necessarily say that I’ve felt limited”.
Q: What piece of advice would you give someone looking to pursue a career in Sales?
“Do it – I think Sales is awesome and do not be afraid to put yourself out there. You can network, there are women like me who would love to help you so reach out and find yourself a mentor.
Also, make sure you’re at a company that sells something that is helping a customer. I think that part of Sales is finding something that you find is fun to sell. I’ve done security and biotech and I’ve loved everything that I’ve sold.
Those are the 3 main things: get out there, find a mentor and sell something that you can really get behind which solves something for the customer”.
You can follow Korina on LinkedIn to keep up with her inspiring career.