Otter Spotlight

Get to know Lucia Rieur

What's the 'story of you'?

While I’ve lived in Chicago for almost 10 years, I’m an East Coaster at heart. I grew up in very rural Connecticut before attending Vassar College in New York. I made my way out (mid)west post-grad where I had a slew of jobs before landing at Buildout. I slinged scoops of ice cream at Jeni’s, was a research assistant at a policy center, nannied some great kids, and worked at an improv theater. Prior to Buildout, the only tech-realm experience I had was helping my parents figure out their phones and computers.

Outside of Buildout, I love bopping around Chicago on my bike, checking out new restaurants, and performing with my improv team, Great Lakes Activity Center. When the cold rolls in, I’m at home with my dog and husband, listening to records and baking sweet treats.

After 5 years at Buildout, what keeps you here?

It really is cliche, but it is the people. Of course everyone wants to enjoy who they work with, but it goes beyond this. At Buildout, the people around you understand that you are a real person who has a life outside of work in the deepest sense. Whether that means celebrating exciting life milestones or giving space for the heavier times, Buildout recognizes that there is a world outside of our desks and grants flexibility so that we can make sure all of our needs, professional and personal, can be met.

How has your career grown since joining Buildout?

Buildout has really jumpstarted my entire career! As I mentioned earlier, prior to Buildout I had no previous tech experience and I was really, really green - I thought JSON was a cheeky name for something our co-founder Jason Tillery created. However I did have a lot of customer service experience and I was able to utilize those soft skills to contribute while I ramped up and was able to learn our product. Shortly after, I was lucky to be thrown into the deep end with a new product that was being developed and I think it allowed me to learn how Buildout operates on a grander scale and set me up to have the language necessary to progress past Tier 1 support. I continued to then volunteer for projects and I think it helped me become confident in my ability to work in this sector.  These moments then built on top of each other to set me up for success in taking on new opportunities such as learning about the people management side as Team Lead, which subsequently made me prepared to jump into my newest role as Senior Manager.

What has been the transition like going from individual contributor to manager?

The transition from individual contributor to manager has been a journey! I personally believe a manager should be able to step in and work alongside their direct reports when needed, so starting as an individual contributor and really learning Buildout allows me to be a team player when folks are out or we’re simply really slammed. However, a less natural part of the transition is learning how to delegate. When you are a senior level individual contributor, you become accustomed to taking on various extra assignments and get comfortable with thinking, “Oh I can just get that done for the team.” However, as a manager I’m still working on delegating tasks and projects. It comes from a place of wanting to help the team, but by delegating you are placing trust in your team and providing additional growth opportunities. The biggest shift though has absolutely been that my team is my top priority. Which is not to say that I didn’t prioritize the team as an individual contributor, but now making sure they have what they need supersedes whatever else I might be working on. Whether that’s hopping on huddles to talk through tricky issues or scheduling out shadow calls with our Customers, my main goal is for my team to feel like they have everything they need to be successful.

What makes someone successful on your team?

Curiosity and a willingness to try things out are critical! On our team, we lovingly refer to the phrase “Click around and find out” and provide everyone with a demo account so that they can have a safe environment to use the product and make mistakes. As much as we try to continue to bulk up resources, not every Customer issue will have a clear cut answer so being able to go in and get your hands dirty is a must.

How do you empower your team to be more creative?

Our team spends the bulk of our day working in the product itself which means we know a bunch of the maybe smaller but very helpful options that our Customers might not be aware of. I encourage the team to use this arsenal to share a variety of solutions with our Customers.

Lightning round

What's something unique about Buildout?

We embrace the weird! From the top down, people at Buildout are encouraged to be their weirdo selves - I want to hear about your niche interest!

What is your go-to TV show or movie?

Labyrinth or Great British Bake Off are both extreme comfort watches for me

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A lawyer or a Rockette

Where’s the coolest place you’ve traveled to?


What’s on your travel bucket list?

I’d love to visit Munich during Oktoberfest

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