How One Uber Employee Rocketed From Sales Coordinator to Global Manager
Even as a kid, Bromley Shiels could close a deal. Whether it was a raise in her allowance or an extra scoop of ice cream, “my parents claim I was a fierce negotiator at a young age,” she says.
Naturally, sales seemed like a logical career path. While Shiels started out in a sales coordinator job, her passion for negotiations took her from filing tear sheets and tracking down receipts to presenting pitches and working on proposals. She then became an account manager at a large global company, which laid the foundation of her consultative-style sales approach. But it was at a startup where she developed grit and learned to pave her own path. Today, she is a global strategic manager at Uber for Business, where she oversees relationships with international tech companies, tailoring solutions on how to use the platform. “Uber for Business promised the best of both of those worlds,” she says.
Here, Shiels talks about how she progressed her sales career, how great leadership can empower teams, and what energizes her about working at Uber (plus, what brought her back to the company after a year away).
What led to your first job at Uber, and how did you know the company would be a good fit?
Uber reached out to me about a sales role, and I was surprised because I didn’t realize that Uber had a sales team. They didn’t at the time, but they were looking to build out the business-to-business (B2B) arm within the newly created Uber for Business. It was immediately appealing to me because it was an opportunity to join a startup and build something from the ground up—while having the brand recognition and resources of a household name.
Each conversation I had during the interview process left me feeling energized and excited. I also really loved the idea of being a consumer of the product I was selling. Being able to bring the perspective of a business traveler and getting to provide ideas and feedback on the product further fueled my curiosity.
You briefly left the company in 2020 and returned about a year later. What is it about Uber that made you want to come back?
Unfinished business—and I mean that in a good way. I joined Uber in 2016, to work for a company that was truly changing the world. And when I think specifically about why I joined Uber for Business, it was for the opportunity to have a voice and make an impact while building something I could be proud of. The same reason was true when I returned in 2020. The incredible thing about Uber is that we are always evolving and changing, so the job never gets old because there is always something new to build, test, and iterate on. This is a testament to the incredibly smart and passionate people on the team who challenge me daily. I missed them.
What are you responsible for in your role as a global strategic manager?
My job is to quarterback the global relationships we have with some of the largest tech companies in the world. We empower these companies to more efficiently and reliably move and feed their most valuable assets: their people. Whether it’s their employees, guests, customers, or candidates, we’re bringing custom solutions to companies to help them leverage Uber across multiple aspects of their business. As the workplace evolves, it is my job to help companies adjust and thrive in a scalable way.
What is Uber for Business? Why does the work you’re doing in this part of the organization excite and inspire you?
Uber for Business is the same Uber you know and love but powered by a platform that allows companies to build and create custom programs based on their needs. We started with a single product: travel to help employees keep business rides separate from personal rides. Today, we have a suite of offerings that companies can leverage, from providing rides to candidates for on-site interviews and meals for virtual team events, to custom commute programs to drive people back into the office (pun intended). It’s exciting to see how far we’ve come, but what’s more exciting is that we’re still scratching the surface. The work we’re doing encourages us to be creative and think bigger.
You’ve been promoted several times throughout your time at Uber. What has helped you advance so quickly?
At Uber, the best ideas win. Regardless of your title or tenure, if you have a compelling idea, not only will Uber listen, but they will likely give you the autonomy to run with and own it. Then it’s all about what you do with that opportunity. This gives you the chance to develop different skills and collaborate across the organization. Building relationships with other teams and gaining a deeper understanding of their roles and how they define success has helped me grow within my own role and prepared me to take on more.
Why is Uber an exciting place to work, especially within sales?
Sales at Uber is exciting because even with more than 20,000 employees, you would join a relatively small group of people who are client facing. This makes you the face of Uber. You not only need to be an Uber for Business expert, but also an expert on all things Uber. This means you need to be dialed in on what’s happening around the world, the priorities and goals of the rest of the business, and where the largest areas of growth are.
This brings me to the other exciting part of working in sales at Uber for Business: Uber for Business is the fastest-growing part of Uber. In 2016, we were a fraction of one percent of the company’s overall revenue. Today, we are making valuable contributions to the overall success of the business with aggressive goals to be a multibillion-dollar business by 2024.
What advice do you have for people who are applying for a job at Uber?
Do your homework and come to us with a strong point of view for why you would be a good fit for the role. General answers around why you want to join Uber are great, but dig deeper: Why do you want to be part of Uber for Business?
When I’m making a career move, I write down the things that are most important to me like salary parameters, flexibility, career growth opportunities, and having a voice. Next I stack rank them from “non-negotiables” to “nice to haves” to “not that important.” Then it’s about making sure you’re asking questions during the interview process that give you clarity.
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received, and how has it helped you succeed?
Say yes to the extras, but learn when to say no. When I’ve been tapped to work on certain projects or step up for different opportunities, my first feeling was hesitancy: whether it was driven by a fear of failure, lack of bandwidth, or just not knowing where the heck to even begin. But over time, I’ve learned to push the cynical thoughts aside and jump in. It’s made me better each time. Having a leadership team that pushes me past my comfort zone but does so while instilling their trust in me empowers me to take ownership and reach new heights. Align yourself to great people who challenge you, support you, and advocate for you—and then try to be that person for someone else.