The “We Are DocuSign” blog series places the spotlight on employees from a variety of departments and provides a peek into what it’s like to work at DocuSign. This week, we sat down with Yanira W., Associate General Counsel, Legal to chat about her day-to-day work, what she admires about her colleagues and something none of her co-workers know about her.
Q: What do you do at DocuSign?
I’m the Associate General Counsel of corporate in Legal. I lead the corporate function which involves securities law, M&A (mergers and acquisitions), the board of directors, the equity plan, and other corporate matters.
Q: What is the best thing about working at DocuSign?
I really like the people. It sounds kind of trite, but DocuSign has been my favourite place to work in life so far. The people here are so approachable and down-to-earth. They’re also incredibly collaborative.
Q: How is the Legal team different than other teams at DocuSign? Is there anything special about your team’s dynamic?
For starters, we all work very well together. We each have our strengths. And our General Counsel is able to bring us together and make us bigger than the individual. In San Francisco, we all sit together. So, we’re constantly zipping to and from one another’s desks to collaborate, seek advice, and ask questions. For example, maybe someone knows an area a little better than me. There’s no problem with me going and asking, “Hey what do you think of this?” And I’ll get their honest feedback. This kind of dynamic is actually very unique in the legal world. Not everyone can just waltz over to a colleague’s desk and ask for advice.
Q: What is the best advice you can give to somebody starting a new job in your department at DocuSign?
Ask questions and form connections: There’s a really deep level of trust with all the people who work in the Legal department here at DocuSign. As a team, we know each other so well that sometimes we can even predict what another person is going to say or how they’ll respond to a given situation. So, I’d advise someone coming to our department to work on building equally strong relationships. Ultimately, business is about relationships.
Q: What traits do you most admire in your colleagues at DocuSign?
We’ve all gotten to be trusted advisors by our ability to cut through the details and get to the heart of problems in order to find a practical solution. My colleagues are really smart people who give good advice.
Q: What traits do you think your DocuSign colleagues most admire in you?
My frankness. I like to be honest with people because I want them to be honest with me.
Q: What is something most of your colleagues at DocuSign don’t know about you?
I’m a master gift wrapper. When I was a kid, I actually set up a stand to wrap gifts. You know like some kids set up a lemonade stand? I set up a gift-wrapping stand during the holidays. To my chagrin, I recently learned that my colleague Apple is even better at wrapping gifts than me!
Q: What is your favourite snack from the DocuSign kitchen?
Hands down, those little squares that have parmesan cheese on them. I think they’re called parmesan crisps. Those are fantastic.
Q: Where is your favourite place to work or have a meeting at DocuSign and why?
Definitely the Bay Bridge conference room in the SF office. I really love looking out and seeing the Bay Bridge and ships in the water. In fact, the view might be a little too nice as it kind of makes it difficult to work.
Q: What is the best project you ever worked on at DocuSign and why?
The acquisition of OpenTrust in France. So many people were involved: CorpDev, Finance, Legal, HR, Engineering, Security. It was especially memorable because I got to go to France twice for it — and that was absolutely amazing. When we were there negotiating the transaction, we had a working lunch and the head of OpenTrust ordered these box lunches that were unlike anything I’d ever had before. They were these beautiful, catered, bento boxes from the famous French store called Fauchon with dessert and a choice or red or white wine. It was so elegant and delicious. In fact, I was so impressed by the lunch I actually snapped a photo of the bento box for my colleagues back in the US. The OpenTrust team were quick to point out that they don’t have lunches like that every day!
Q: If you were not working at DocuSign and could do anything in the world, what would you be doing/do next?
I would be a food critic for the New York Times. I love spicy ethnic food and Indian food is probably my all-time favorite type of cuisine. I think it would be fun to review restaurants from different regions in India.
Q: What is the secret for you to happiness?
Relationships, friends, and family.