Plato Member Spotlight Series: Meet Cecilia Corral, Co-founder and VP of Product at CareMessage
At Plato, we love highlighting the amazing members of our community. In our ongoing Spotlight Series, we are introducing you to some incredible engineering and product leaders who have managed to build strong and thriving teams.
She explains how Plato has helped her and her team become better managers.
What does CareMessage do?
CareMessage is a Stanford University born and Y Combinator backed non-profit focused on using mobile technology to make underserved populations healthier. The CareMessage technology platform allows healthcare providers to reduce no-shows, increase attendance to preventive care screenings, and improve chronic disease management- all via simple “nudges” sent through text message.
What made you look for Plato in the first place?
At the time we were revamping our entire product development process because we were running into a number of issues and could not pin point the problem. The challenges ranged from employee performance to predictability on our roadmap deliverables.
How did you first discover Plato and why did it appeal to you for your team?
I learned about Plato through the YC network. At the time, I was hoping to connect myself and our engineering managers with mentors that could help us think through the problems we were facing. I was semi successful in doing this outside of Plato, but felt guilty circling back with people to ask more questions. I understood they were as busy as I was, and I had no way to compensate them for their time. Plato made this much easier without the awkwardness of asking someone to mentor you and as a mentee feeling like you are not imposing on someone else.
How has Plato impacted your ability to improve/develop further, your management skills, and become an even better product leader?
As a leader, I feel I am better able to help my team work through our problems with the certainty that I providing industry-level guidance. Overall, we’ve taken bits and pieces of the way other companies do things and added out own flavor to it to make software development best practices work for our team.
Are there any specific moments or anecdotes you could share about your experiences during a call or AMA on Plato that truly helped you solve a problem you were facing?
When developing our career ladders, I was surprised by how willing mentors were to send me the career ladders they used. Having a written document to work off of helped us save a lot of time and gave us enough examples to know we were benchmarking correctly against others in our industry.
What is your favorite thing about the Plato service?
The ease of finding help for a problem, whether talking to people directly or reading through the stories.
How has Plato been a solution for the management challenges you’ve faced at CareMessage?
The breadth of experiences of the mentors and the number of mentors available has allowed us to tackle a number of problems that would be difficult to solve through 1:1 mentorship outside of Plato. We are also excited to see the expansion from engineering into product management because it will give us the ability to provide more growth opportunities and support for our team.
What specific topics or challenges has Plato helped you address and how?
Developing career ladders, thinking about performance evaluation and iterating on our product development process to have more predictable releases. The greatest part of addressing these challenges through Plato is that you are paired up with mentors that are right ahead of you or have gone through similar experiences recently, making their feedback very actionable.
Why would you recommend other companies check out Plato for their engineering or product managers?
Every now and then we all need to validate our ideas or think through problems with someone. This can sometimes be hard or uncomfortable to do with someone on your team. Having access to people that have been through the same problems and are available to help provides a level of support to your team you might not have had before.
Curious about Plato? Here’s a bit more about us:
Plato is on a mission to help engineering + product leaders develop soft skills and build better teams. Plato does this through a powerful mentoring platform, where new leaders connect with seasoned professionals for 1–1 sessions, AMAs, and a comprehensive knowledge base.
Plato Mentors have extensive experience in management, and come from top tech companies like Google, Facebook, Lyft, Slack, Netflix, and Spotify — among others.
Founded in 2017 by two French entrepreneurs, Quang Hoang, and Jean-Baptiste Coger who met while attending the prestigious ISAE-Supaero school of engineering, Plato is one of the fastest growing engineering + product mentoring platforms in the world.