Women in Mobile: Career Lessons from Siberia Su @ Braavo Capital
This article is part of Liftoff’s Women in Mobile series in partnership with mBolden, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women get connected, stay inspired and become empowered through content and events.
Siberia Su currently holds a Marketing Director position at Braavo Capital, a NYC-based fintech company poised to disrupt the way mobile app developers get funded. As a former user acquisition lead, Siberia has managed million-dollar media budgets at mobile gaming companies like DraftKings and Jam City. But she also cut her teeth at a few startups, navigating their unique challenges and along the way shattering the glass ceiling with competence and passion. We chatted with Siberia about challenging the status quo at work and in life.
How did you decide to pursue a career in mobile?
Like many in our industry, I fell into mobile by accident. Around 2013, I was looking to transition from my first job at a startup. At the time, the mobile industry was going through exponential growth. With the help of LinkedIn and my USC alumni network, I found a job at Jam City, a mobile game publisher based in L.A. User acquisition seemed perfect for my data-driven media buying background, so I reached out and started my career in mobile.
What has been your most career-defining moment?
There’s no single moment that defined my career, but there were many memorable moments that I’m proud of. These were the moments when I was stretched far beyond my job title and took on challenging projects. For example, I worked with an engineering team on a DSP buildout and led a massive media buy with very limited resources.
What challenges have you faced in an industry traditionally dominated by men?
One of the biggest challenges I have faced as a woman in tech — not just mobile — is having to be more assertive. Although I believe that women have enough opportunities to succeed, we are also given fewer chances to fail. Because of bias and stereotypes, we have to be more prepared.
As a minority immigrant, I found that letting my work speak for itself is the most effective way to get recognized as a manager and leader. I ask for what I think I’m capable of and what I deserve — even if men think otherwise.
What do you see as some of the best and worst initiatives designed to promote women in tech?
I have never seen a bad initiative — there are not that many of them in general. MBolden does a great job at featuring women in the industry through panels and community events. I’ve been invited to a few of their events and found them to be among the best initiatives to promote women in tech.
Who is your biggest career inspiration in the industry?
Mobile is a high-growth industry, and we are fortunate to work with many smart and hard-working people. Adam Lovallo, the founder of Grow.co and Mobile Apps Unlocked (MAU), is among the people I find inspiring. From the very beginning, Adam prioritized content over profits, growing MAU into one of the most influential community conferences in mobile. Our industry will continue to thrive thanks to people like Adam — people who care about community and the quality of the conversation.
Is there one piece of advice you wish somebody gave you when you started your career?
I wish somebody had told me to value myself more. Due to my cultural background, I was always a doer. While I’m very proud of myself for being hands-on, there were moments in my career when I found myself overworked and underappreciated. The lesson I’ve learned is to have more frequent evaluations with my managers to figure out if we are on the same page in terms of input and results. I wish that earlier in my career, I had made sure that my expectations were met and my voice was heard.
Fun fact about you that few people know?
Driving across America by myself in 2015 was a life-changing experience for me. I drove 3,900 miles from L.A. to New York through 13 states and for 55 hours. A lot of people told me not to do it because I’m a woman. But I did it — and along the way I visited amazing places and took great photos. It was then when I realized that life has so much potential and anything is possible if you really believe in yourself.