Lead by Example

Celebrating mentorship through the experiences of Alteryx’s 2022 Women of the Channel winners.

People   |   Paula Hansen   |   May 16, 2022

Mentorship should stretch and challenge us in new ways, leading to both personal and professional growth. The relationship between mentor and mentee activates our unique strengths, opens us to new experiences and perspectives, and enables us to be our best, most authentic selves.
Often, I get asked what makes the most successful mentor-mentee relationships. First, is a clear-cut goal of the relationship. Is the mentee looking for guidance on their current role or skillset, preparing for their next role, or seeking situational advice? There is no one size fits all for mentorship but being clear on the goal(s) increases the chance for connection and success.


Second, it is just as important for mentees to find the right fit in a mentor as it is for mentors to find their voice in the relationship. It is all about chemistry. The best mentor relationships are based on trust, transparency, connection, and a commitment to unleashing mentee potential. This is why I am passionate about our SOAR program at Alteryx. It creates meaningful mentorship opportunities for women and underrepresented minorities in sales to learn, reflect, connect, and share their professional and leadership journeys. Mentors and mentees should also look outside the workplace for mentorship opportunities.


One of my most memorable opportunities as a mentor has been helping women navigate their return to the workforce post-COVID – a worthy cause that aligns with my values. Mentorship is one of the most valuable investments you will make in yourself and fuels your professional and personal growth. No one exemplifies this better than the FIVE leaders from our Partner and Alliances team who were recently named as CRN’s 2022 Women of the Channel! Below, they share how effective leadership and mentorship have contributed to their success and the ways they are paying it forward to the next generation.


Barb Huelskamp

Barb Huelskamp, SVP Global Partners & Alliances


What makes an impactful channel leader?

“Channel leaders straddle the line of being the best advocate they can be for their partner, as well as being a good steward to their organization. All of this must lead to driving great customer outcomes and growth for your organization as well as the partner. Centering the team on those priorities helps drive better decisions and builds trust. Being an impactful leader also includes effective coaching and leadership for your own channel team. Empower your team to lead, think bigger, and remember to bring some fun into the workday.”


What does mentorship mean to you? Have you had a mentor who has played a significant role in your career growth? How so?

“I had mentors early in my career and didn’t realize I had mentors. There are people that invested in my professional development and career advancement that gave their time and advice freely at a time when I didn’t know to ask for a mentor. I am passionate about paying it forward and mentoring others. I have been a part of mentor programs for over a decade and love sharing best practices, lessons learned, helping our next generation leaders emerge quicker.”


Anabel Soto

Anabel Soto, Senior Partner Marketing Manager


If you could give your younger self career advice, what would it be?

“To be your biggest advocate! I am lucky to have had great advocates throughout my career, however, I should have started advocating for myself earlier. It is important for anyone starting out to be proud of their accomplishments and to learn how to speak up.”


What is your proudest moment since joining Alteryx?

“Being named a 2022 CRN Women of the Channel alongside some amazing women at Alteryx is my proudest moment since joining Alteryx. I really appreciate the support from my team and the encouraging words throughout the organization.”


Debika Sharma, Head of Global Strategic Partnerships & Alliances – GSIs, Tech/ISVs, ERP


What advice would you give to women just entering the channel?

“First, acknowledge your partner is your customer which means it’s critical to take the time to understand what makes them tick. What is important to them today and where do they want to be in five years? Second, channel growth strategies are changing and with the rapid pace of change, what worked 10 years ago is likely not as relevant. To stay ahead of the curve, keep a pulse on analyst views, attend industry events and connect with your peers – collectively, these will keep you informed of best practices you can adapt to the needs of your organization.”


How do you find motivation when you really need it?

“My motivation comes mainly from two places. First, I get my energy from connecting with family and friends and creating memorable experiences. Second, continuous learning has always been a source of motivation. When unsure on how to move forward or stuck on a topic, I find the combination of reading, listening to podcasts, perhaps taking a MasterClass or equivalent course online, provides a set of fresh perspectives that allow me to pause, look at things differently and start anew.”



Jessica Skead, Channel Manager


What does mentorship mean to you? Have you had a mentor who has played a significant role in your career growth? How so?

“Mentorship for me is all about trust, openness, and willingness to learn – on both sides!”


What is your proudest moment since joining Alteryx?

“I’m most proud of feedback we’re getting from partners on the investment Alteryx is making in the Channel! I love being part of building this rocket ship #yearofthepartner!”


What advice would you give to women just entering the channel?

“Try to experience all sides of the coin. It’s so helpful to have shared experiences and gives you credibility. Build relationships that last. If you do not understand something, ask questions. Be hungry to learn, choose a diverse set of mentors. Be yourself!”



Sahar Ahmad, Partner Program Manager


What does mentorship mean to you? Have you had a mentor who has played a significant role in your career growth? How so?

“There are many ways to invest in people, but investing time is invaluable. I have had a few informal mentors throughout my career, but one mentor stands out more than the others. She helped me take a more human approach to my career growth and I will always attribute my new mentality to her.”


What is your proudest moment since joining Alteryx?

“My proudest moment since joining Alteryx was receiving the Q1 Partner Leadership Choice Award. Being recognized for the lift in launching the new partner program along with managing several other projects and workstreams on parallel timelines was very humbling and I’m very proud to be a part of the Partner Marketing team at Alteryx.”