Jennifer Ceran

VP Finance

Location: Los Altos, CA

"To all the women who want to achieve great things, I say, 'Face your ambitions, be creative and don’t give up.'"

In early 2003 a headhunter called to inquire if I would be interested in the VP Treasurer role at eBay. I knew it would be years before a similar role would be available at my current company and, of course, there were no guarantees. So I threw my name into the hat and after meeting the headhunter, was given the opportunity to interview.

The job specification seemed like a perfect match for my skill set and personality. I thought the interviews went really well and expected a call back. But after more than two weeks of silence, the feedback I received was that the company was passing on me because my work experience was not viewed as "broad enough."

Business colleagues subsequently called me to ask if I had heard about the eBay Treasurer role and encouraged me to apply. They had interviewed, also gotten rejected and told me I would be perfect. I did not know how to respond to them. I did not want them to know that I had already been rejected.

A few weeks later I was on an airplane to France. I kept thinking about the role. I surmised that the company could use some clarity around the ideal candidate. I felt inspired to write a treasury vision for them which incorporated a relatively detailed plan for execution.

After finishing, I sent it to the headhunter with a message that I hoped these recommendations would be helpful in eBay's hiring process. He passed it on to the hiring manager and a week later I received a call for another interview. The meeting went well and I received the job offer. My persistence had paid off.

But the story does not end here. I spent nearly 10 years at eBay, including seven years in Treasury and two years in Investor Relations. I asked for the IR role three times before finally getting to yes.

And there is one final chapter to this story. While I loved my job at eBay, I still wanted to make a bigger contribution. I was wondering if I would find what I was looking for by going to a smaller company. The last year I was at eBay, I implemented the Box cloud file sharing and collaboration tool. I thought about working at a company like Box that was trying to help workers be more productive.

Then fate happened. I was asked to spend an hour with the co-founder of Box to share my input on how to run an IR function. We immediately connected and I knew that Box was the next place I wanted to work.  Within a few months, I received and accepted an offer. To all the women who want to achieve great things, I say, “Face your ambitions, be creative and don’t give up."