Employee Spotlight – Ishara Naotunna

5 min read

Welcome to the newest episode of our employee spotlight blog, where we introduce a member of the Vetstoria family to you all. This month we interviewed Ishara Naotunna our Head of Product Marketing.

Q: Could you give us an introduction to yourself?

I’m Ishara and I call myself a fake extrovert. Talking is my thing and I can dance to any genre of music (yes even jazz or drum & bass).

I’m horrible at sports but proud to have tried out gymnastics, swimming, and basketball, and was just kept in the background because “that kid has a lot of energy”. My family is a close-knit one that encourages me to do everything I say I want to do. I started my career in tourism then moved to advertise where I learned so much. Radio was a long-time passion and I hosted a morning show for a while and even had a stint reading news on TV. I moved to tech in my mid-20s and discovered a passion for product marketing which I really enjoy and find myself sticking to it.

Q: How long have you worked with Vetstoria, and what is your role in the company?

Just about 6 months and I love every day of it. I’m the head of product marketing so my job is to ensure that vet practices out there know how Vetstoria makes their lives easy. The culture at Vetstoria is great and I get to work with very cool people.

Q: What is one thing you are proud of achieving at Vetstoria?

It’s too early in my journey here but in product marketing, you play a cross-functional role to see how you can help them achieve their goals, be it announcing features the product teams come up with (product launches), helping sales and customer success teams with the collateral they need, etc (sales enablement). I’d like to think I’ve been doing a decent job at this so far.

Q: What do you consider to be the best part of your daily role at Vetstoria?

Working on new ideas and really smart people. The culture at Vetstoria encourages everyone to drum up new ideas which I really like. The team is very customer-centric so there’s a lot of innovation I get to communicate to our customers on a regular basis. And I can ACTUALLY add dog pics to such content, like the Q3 product update we did.

Q: What does working within the veterinary industry mean to you?

I think we all want to do something that makes an impact or gives meaning. The vet industry experiences a lot of burnout and stress either due to the workload or because of the nature of the job. So to be able to work on a platform that helps make them save time and reduce their workload is quite fulfilling.

Q: What do you like to do when you aren’t working?

I love reading. My house is filled with non-fiction/popular science and contemporary fiction books and it’s where all my money goes. Growing up my parents always had ABBA, Dire Straits or Michael Jackson in the background so I have an eclectic taste ranging from indie, progressive rock, 70’s rock and roll to 80’s pop. Love travelling (pre-covid), playing with my 3 dogs, watching independent movies and quirky comedies and of course, documentaries about true crime/serial killers, because, balance.

Q: How have you been coping with the recent COVID situation, and do you have any words of advice for your fellow veterinary industry professionals who are struggling with it?

Netflix mostly (Schitt’s Creek, anyone??) and reading a lot. I also miss having plans to cancel. I launched a podcast on marketing and it’s a great outlet for me to learn so I’d definitely encourage spending time creating.

It’s tough not being able to see family all the time and being indoors and knowing things weren’t ok. I don’t have great advice but take one day at a time and know that we will get through this somehow.

Q: In your view, what’s the most important thing someone should master when working remotely?

I used to be able to work remotely even pre-covid so it wasn’t a huge adjustment but after, it did blur the lines of the workday and the time I had left for myself. It was easy for anyone to reach out to you because you “didn’t have anywhere to go”. So it’s important to shut down, recharge and focus on your priorities because that’s what helps you work even better. And find little slots in the day to reconnect with friends and family, get some exercise in because that helps in general.

Q: If you could take only one animal with you to a desert island, what would it be?

Definitely my dog(s); Snowy, Cookie and Nickey Minaaaaj (yeah, I know). Please tell them I mentioned all their names, or in case they read this – hi!!

Q: Words of advice for your fellow Vetstorians?

I don’t have anything other than “just keep swimming”. But I do want to thank everyone for being so supportive and encouraging. I’ve met some of the most helpful people here.

Q: What future developments are you excited about at Vetstoria?

Our product team is working on some cool features and integrations that we can’t wait to announce. We recently made more enhancements around customizing appointment types and appointment screening which our users seem to love.
Plus there are some fun projects we’d like to launch next year for now I’m going to keep them under wraps.