Senior Manager, Data Management and Reporting
Sandra Shon is a senior manager for data management and reporting at T. Rowe Price. In this Q&A, learn more about her career path. She also discusses the importance of mentorship and shares advice for others hoping to advance at their jobs.
Sandra Shon moved to the U.S. “with nothing but two suitcases," and built herself a life and career, learned in a language she didn't grow up with and “never looked back."
After earning her master of arts degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Sandra worked in the publishing industry and then moved into higher education. It's been nearly four years since she joined T. Rowe Price in a role that connects business and project management. Since then, she has discovered a career that allows her to combine her creative side with her love for process management. We sat down to speak with her about her personal experience working at the firm.
How did you get into photography?
I love taking pictures. I always have. Unfortunately, I don't have many pictures from when I was younger. Now people have phone cameras, and it has made it a lot easier to capture aspects of your life. Photographs are a nice way to trigger your memory and remind you of specific moments in your life that might have otherwise faded. One day, I'd like to take a professional photography class to improve my skills.
How would you describe your current role in Global Product as a senior manager for data management and reporting?
While I was more in the backseat as a project manager, I took on a product owner role for a new tool we developed last year and really enjoyed being in the driver's seat. My current role is focused on enhancing our suite of tools for more efficient, automated, and streamlined business management reporting. I enjoy the balance of being able to work in a process-driven environment while also being able to come up with creative solutions.
You've progressed from a supporting role in Global Product to being a senior manager. Can you talk about how you've made that progression?
I've been lucky to have managers who supported me, presented me with opportunities, and let me discover my strengths and passions. But I've also been very proactive in looking for opportunities myself. You have to be your best advocate because no one is going to hand everything to you. I'm constantly trying to figure out what else I can do to improve and what other opportunities I can take advantage of.
You participated in the mentorship program through WAVE @ T. Rowe Price. What was that experience like?
It was one of the best things I've done at T. Rowe Price. It's a six-month program that helped me gain more insight into areas of the firm that I wasn't familiar with and helped me clearly envision what type of opportunities I would like to embrace next.
It also expanded my network. I probably met 20 to 30 new people in six months. It was a snowball effect—when you connect with someone, that person connects you with someone else. It was an excellent experience because I'm not an extrovert by nature. I am still in touch with my mentor.
How has T. Rowe Price's culture allowed you to shape your own path?
They've provided me with so many opportunities. I recently signed up for a new mentorship program at the firm as a mentor, not a mentee. I enrolled in a class earlier this year on how to improve my data visualization skills, after which I built and rolled out a new and automated metrics system for our business unit.
Right now, I'm enrolled in a nine-month leadership program called "Inspire." We are given a key leadership challenge, meet with an executive coach every few weeks, and take part in leadership training sessions. My leadership challenge is not within the scope of what I usually do—it's focused on a talent management initiative. I'm partnering with others in my business unit to develop training materials that will be available through our new learning platform. It's right up my alley because I enjoy acquiring new skills and learning new tools.
What skills have you relied on to succeed in your roles?
Overall, it's important to be adaptable, flexible, and willing to learn and try new things. My project and business management skills have helped me because they are more of a general skill set that is easily transferable across industries and roles. In my current role, I need good presentation, visualization, and technical skills. And it's crucial to be able to roll things up to a higher level for reporting purposes. So many people are focused on granular information. So I need to have the mindset of "How can I elevate this to a higher level and lose all the details but still make people understand my message?"
What keeps you excited about your job every day?
I work on a great team where everyone is pleasant and very collaborative, and I have had really nice managers. I just enjoy what I'm doing, and that's why I like what I do. You have a vision, figure out how to execute it, and then have a product. It might be a business report or a tool you develop, but you can see it. It's not just theoretical. You can see people using it, and I enjoy that practical aspect.
What advice would you give someone who wants to work at T. Rowe Price?
Act with integrity, be genuine, hold yourself accountable, and always give your best. If you do that, then you shouldn't have any regrets and should feel good about yourself—no matter what others might think.