Bree Bunzel, product marketing lead for Dropbox APAC, shares how she embraces the beach life in Australia and what AAPI month means to her.
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the culture, traditions, and history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Our employee resource group Asians@ leads our month-long celebrations around the theme: “I AM _____.“ The core message is to showcase the vibrant diversity and unique experiences both within Asia and involving those at Dropbox who identify as AAPI. The aim is to counter the stereotypes of the model minority myth and simultaneously celebrate bold and multi-faceted AAPI individuals and the experiences that have shaped them. In celebration of AAPI month, we’ll be featuring Dropboxers and sharing their thoughts, experiences, and how they fill in the blank.
Q: What is your name, what office do you work out of, and how long have you been at Dropbox?
A: My name is Bree Bunzel. I’ve been at Dropbox for almost a year, and I work out of the beautiful Sydney office.
Q: What is your current role at Dropbox?
A: I’m the product marketing lead for Dropbox APAC, where I work to understand local customer and product needs and build locally relevant marketing campaigns and events that can be scaled globally. My job is to help build awareness around all the cool ways Dropbox can help people unleash their creative energy.
Q: Anything that you have done/accomplished at Dropbox that you’re proud of?
A: Six months ago, I had the opportunity to work on a cross-functional project to build our first-ever Dropbox Paper tutorial video. This was initially an APAC-based project, but soon took off globally, and it’s been so exciting to see the video being localized and translated to more than 20 different languages around the world. The coolest part about this project was getting to know so many new people at Dropbox and having an even greater appreciation for the village it takes to truly be a global company.
Q: Have you had transformational or inspirational moments at Dropbox?
A: This past month, I had the opportunity to speak on a panel with the co-founder of Slack, which was something that both terrified and excited me. I guess you could say I was the underdog for this panel, with the likes of co-founders and country heads there on-stage with me. What I was most inspired by was the leadership team here locally who not only pushed me to do this panel as a growth opportunity but believed in me to represent the team here in-region. The number of teammates who helped me prepare and cheered me on was absolutely incredible, and I left feeling even more grateful about the amazing people I get to work with every day. We are a culture of people that build each other up and support each other, and I truly feel the value of “We, not I” come to life every single day.
Q: What are your hobbies? Or what can we find you doing outside of work?
A: I enjoy long walks on the beach :), but seriously I am embracing the beach life here in Australia, going for morning walks and swims to catching the sunrises. You’ll find me reading at some of my favorite Australian brekkie (breakfast) cafes and exploring new places in Australia and the broader APAC region. I am passionate about cooking and writing, and I enjoy learning new things from people, whether it’s a new restaurant to try, a new book to read, a new speaker to see, or a new place to visit.
Q: Why did you decide to join Dropbox?
A: I joined Dropbox for the people. Every person I talked to throughout the interview process blew me away, and it felt like home from the moment I set foot in the office. From the friendly faces greeting me to the laughter I heard roaring in the office, I knew that this place would be an environment and culture where I could be my best self.
Before Dropbox, I was a small business segment lead for Intuit QuickBooks Australia, and, before that, I was a brand marketing manager for Intuit back in the Bay Area. It’s nice to have had the experience of working in both Silicon Valley as well as a global office, and the empathy I’ve developed from being on both sides of the world has been instrumental in helping me work across various teams, time zones, and cultures.
Q: What surprised you most about Dropbox when you joined?
A: Everyone works extremely hard but also knows how to have a lot of fun! I distinctly remember preparing for my first day in the office. I got a message from the team the night before telling me to pack my swimsuit, of all things! I soon found out we had a team bonding activity that day, and I ended up going surfing on my first day of work!
Q: What does creative energy mean to you?
A: Creative energy is the spark that gets me passionate about new ideas and projects. I get so entranced and focused that I lose all sense of time when I’m in flow with the work I’m doing, both personally and professionally. Creative energy is that mix of fear and excitement when taking on something new, and it’s the fuel that drives cool ideas and innovation forward. Creativity is the one unique human trait that will withstand all futuristic advancements in AI, ML, and robots, and I’m excited to work for a tech company that’s really leaning into human connection and collaboration above all else.
Q: How do you unleash your creative energy in your day?
A: I’m always looking to learn something new and self-improve every day. There’s a Japanese philosophy called Kaizen, which is the art of aiming for small changes and actions you can start today, continuously improving by getting 1% better every day. I love this philosophy because it makes big goals seem achievable, and these new skills, tools, books, and perspectives I am learning are adding a diverse element of creative energy to the impact I am having to my customers, my team, and myself.
Q: What does AAPI month mean to you?
A: I am proud to be half Korean, a quarter German, and a quarter Irish. This multi-racial background has shaped me in so many ways, and I feel lucky to have had so much diversity in my upbringing from both sides of my family. AAPI month is an opportunity to share my culture with my friends and teammates, and give them a greater understanding and appreciation of my heritage. In the Sydney office, we are working to have a Korean lunch day this month, inclusive of bulgogi, kimchi, K-Pop music, and my favorite Korean snacks!
Q: Are there any present-day inspirational Asian or Pacific Islanders in your life?
A: My mom is such an inspiration to me. She is a rockstar graphic designer, and while my siblings and I were young, she prioritized raising us full-time. As we grew up and went off to college, she wanted to get back into the workforce, but as she started to re-enter, she realized all the skills she once had were no longer relevant after 20 years away from the field. I watched my mom work tirelessly for more than a year to re-skill herself on the new design tools and build up her portfolio, and all her hard work has paid off. My mom is now leading design for an innovative tech company, and she has inspired all of us that any job at any age is possible. She also makes the best Korean food; there’s truly nothing better than your mother’s home cooking.
Q: This year, Asians@ chose the theme “I am ______”. What word or phrase do you fill in the blank with?
Q: Can you tell us about your background (upbringing, ethnicity, etc.)?
A: I grew up mixed race, with a Korean mother and German-Irish-American father. They met on an airplane, but that’s a story for another time :).There were various cultural traditions and meals shared, though I would also say my upbringing was very Americanized. I had a pretty diverse school in the Bay Area, but when I went to college in Wisconsin, I felt like a minority. I spent my early 20s doing some serious Seoul-searching (see what I did there? ;)) to figure out who I was. But I grew a lot from the experience, and it made me stronger. This past year, I took a beginner course on the Korean language, and joining the Asians@ group at Dropbox has brought me even closer to my roots.
Check back soon to meet more Dropboxers. In the meantime visit us at dropbox.com/jobs. Dropbox is growing, grow with us!