Program Manager Dottie Guy, on her year of impact at Dropbox, and what it means to be a veteran

Dottie Guy, Photo by Helena Price Hambrecht

To commemorate Veterans Day on November 11th in the US, Dropbox has internally dubbed November as Veterans Appreciation Month. Hosted by our employee resource group, Vets@, this year’s theme is “Our Service Continues,” highlighting the unique skills veterans have brought to the world after their military service ends. Though their service will always be with them, we want to recognize the rich dimensions of their lives outside of the military. Join us in celebrating Veteran’s Appreciation Month by getting to know some of our Vets@Dropbox.

Q: What is your name, what office do you work out of, and how long have you been at Dropbox?

A: My name is Dottie L. Guy. I work in San Francisco, and I’ve been at Dropbox since December 2016.

Q: What is your current role at Dropbox?

A: I’m a Program Manager. I make sure new hires in Engineering, Product, and Design have a great start and I maintain programs to keep Dropboxers working effectively, efficiently, and happily.

Q: What is one thing you’ve accomplished while at Dropbox that you’re particularly proud of?

A: Starting Vets@ is one of the things I’m most proud of at Dropbox. A lot of people want to put Veterans in a box and this group allows Veterans from around the world to show that we are just like everyone else… we just happened to wear a uniform for a bit of time.

Dottie & friends in Vets@ t-shirts standing next to her Black History Month office spotlight

Q: Have you had any transformational or inspirational moments at Dropbox?

A: Getting to know my fellow Dropboxers has been amazing. I came from an office of six to a rapidly growing company… I get to meet so many awesome people and some have become lovely friends.

Q: Why did you decide to join Dropbox?

A: I wanted to work for a company that cared about social good and was close to home.

Q: What did you do before?

A: I was a Community Outreach and Education Manager at the Oakland Vet Center. I went out in the community to let people know about veteran counseling services, vetted resources, and did some peer mentoring. It was amazing work and I love making sure people are their best selves.

Q: What surprised you most about Dropbox when you joined?

A: How much work can get done when you take away limitations. I am always amazed at the projects during Hack Week. Coming from a background within the federal government, it was refreshing (and almost overwhelming) to see things get done.

Q: What does creative energy mean to you?

A: Having the freedom to fail. I treat my failures as opportunities to know what works, what I like, and how I can expand my horizons. I love that I can experiment and that, if it doesn’t work, I can dust myself off and try again.

Q: How do you unleash your creative energy in your day?

A: I unleash my creative energy by using skills I learned in the military and new and exciting ways… military police and program management have a lot in common. You have to listen to people, know when “fine” isn’t, and find ways to get things done when something new and unexpected pops up.

Q: What are your hobbies? Or what can we find you doing outside of work?

A: I like to going to things where I can dress up, traveling, and watching absolute garbage television.

Dottie dressed up for events!

Q: Any accomplishments you’re proud of outside of work?

A: I currently serve on the Department of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans, I met Magic Johnson in a hotel lobby once, and I did a PSA for the ACLU for reproductive rights for women in the military.

Q: What is something interesting about you that not a lot of people know?

A: I think 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days is amazing. Don’t @ me.

About Veterans Appreciation Month

Q: What branch of the military did you serve in and for how long? Can you describe what you did?

A: I served in the Army National Guard from 2000–2005. I was Military (Fun) Police and was put on active duty on September 11, 2001 and did a tour in Baghdad in 2003.

(left )Basic Training, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, October 2000 (right) Shannon Airport, Ireland. On her way back to the States from Baghdad, December 2003

Q: The theme for Veterans Appreciation Month is “Our Service Continues.” What does that mean to you?

A: I didn’t get the military service I expected. It was okay, but I knew it was not a career for me. I had some good times, some very bad times, and it was hard to maintain a life with the uncertainty of the world at that time. As a Veteran, I have worked in my communities to make sure folks know how to get resources and find help, and I make sure people after me don’t have that feeling of being lost when they are dropped back into civilian life.

Q: What were some of the skills you learned in the military that have been helpful in your role at Dropbox and in your civilian life?

A: The biggest thing is understanding motives and listening to people. In Baghdad, I was a guard at a detainee camp with some of the most wanted people in the country. I got to see a different side of people we only knew of from the news. Not all bad things are done by bad people. I also learned how to break up bar fights with minimal effort, which is weirdly applicable in my life.

Q: What are common misconceptions about serving in the military/being a veteran?

A: SO MANY THINGS, but the biggest one I hate is that joining the military was my only choice. I was a decent student, got admitted to my first choice college, and lived in a middle-class neighborhood in the South. I joined because a close friend did and sold me on the community service aspect and that it was a great way to gain community. It didn’t go according to plan at all, but I am still successful (ish)… I just took a different path.

Check back soon to meet more Dropboxers. In the meantime visit us at Dropbox is growing, grow with us!