Welcome to the “Day in the Life” blog series. Here we will feature interviews with Swimlaners to learn more about their experience. This series will give you a preview of Swimlane, our culture, and the people who keep us going.
Hi, I’m Katie Bykowski. I’m honored to help kick off Swimlane’s “day in the life” blog series. A few fast facts about me are that I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with my husband, Ben. Shortly before joining Swimlane, I graduated from the University of St. Thomas with my MBA, where I focused on strategic growth and organizational development. Now that I’m not spending my evenings studying, life has gotten more fun. More on that later.
How long have you been with Swimlane?
I joined Swimlane in October 2021 as the Director of Product Marketing. Prior to Swimlane, I was a product marketer at Code42 and held various roles at a digital content marketing agency where I supported our technology clients including IBM and NetApp. My time spent at Code42 was a particularly memorable phase of my career because it was filled with building programs from the ground up, re-positioning the company, launching new innovative products, and ultimately creating a new market category around insider risk management. This experience has prepared me well for the trajectory that I see Swimlane on, and I’m excited to do it again.
What does your job entail?
My current role entails building the product marketing function at Swimlane and leading a team of talented individuals who manage content marketing and technical product marketing functions. As a product marketer, my day-to-day responsibilities are broad and range from product positioning and messaging, competitive intelligence, analyst relations, sales and partner enablement, and managing the launch of new products, capabilities, features, and partnerships. I love the variety and cross-functional nature of the product marketing discipline.
What do you enjoy most about working at Swimlane?
I have found Swimlane’s culture to be very daring, which I love. Swimlane is the sort of place where if you see an opportunity to grow or improve, you are empowered to go for it.
What excites you most about your work?
This culture of being bold, moving fast, and taking smart risks is a huge reason behind the current growth spurt that Swimlane is going through right now. For me, there is no better time to be at a company than when its innovating, maturing and staking a new claim in the market. That’s exactly what Swimlane is doing these days.
What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
I am an incredibly social person. My weekends are filled with time spent with family and friends. I’m happiest when I’m trying something, or going somewhere, for the first time. My husband and I love to try new restaurants, bike to breweries, travel, golf, ski, and spend time at our family cabins in Spearfish Canyon, SD, and northern Minnesota.
The past two years have put a damper on our international travel plans, but we were lucky enough to be able to honeymoon in Tokyo, Bali, and Singapore in February-March 2020, just before Covid-19 lockdowns started. A few other must-visit destinations for my fellow travelers out there include South Africa, Thailand, Italy, Prague, and Budapest.
What’s a fun fact about you many people may not know?
Speaking of traveling, a fun fact about me that many people would think is crazy, is that I went shark cage diving in South Africa. One of my best friends and I decided to road trip across South Africa, and one of our stops brought us to a place in Gansbaai called “shark alley”. We were both so seasick by the time the boat arrived at shark alley, that we were the first to volunteer to jump in the cage.
Your motto or personal mantra:
To succeed in life you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone, and a funny bone.
Three words that best describe you:
Only three words, that is tough! After crowdsourcing this answer with my family and friends, the three words they would use to describe me are resilient, tenacious, and loyal.
What Swimlane core value resonates with you the most?
I truly love all of Swimlane’s core values, but if I have to pick one I think that the value of honesty and integrity in ‘all the things’ must be #1. To me, doing it right is equally as important as getting it done. I think honesty and trust are underrated principles across the marketing discipline. With that, I’m committed to carrying out this value within Swimlane’s marketing and how we communicate with our customers and partners.
Life in the Swimlane
Swimlane is a rapidly growing, innovative startup in the Denver metro area with a passionate team focused on improving the lives of security practitioners through security automation and orchestration. We’re always looking for dedicated, ambitious problem solvers who thrive in a fast-paced work environment to join our team.