From the journalism spotlight in Cameroon to making waves behind-the-scenes at Zscaler in Munich, Isabella Muma has had a remarkable journey. Fluent in three languages, she supports almost every team at Zscaler and is passionate about clean content, collaboration, and her co-workers.
Outside of work, she loves to draw, write poetry, appreciate art, and study history and ancient civilizations. See why Isabella makes Zscaler a Great Place to Work!
What is your background?
I was born and raised in Cameroon in Central Africa. My full name is Ngela-ah Isabella Muma, but Ngela-ah is hard for people to pronounce, especially in Europe, so I go by Isabella or Bella.
My background is in journalism. After getting a bachelor’s degree in journalism, I got my first job at a prominent non-profit organization as a communications officer, then transitioned to radio and print journalism. I also had the opportunity to work in the film and entertainment industry as a scriptwriter for a time. That was a very adventurous part of my career and it was something I really loved.
In 2014, I moved to Germany to get my master’s degree in trade journalism and corporate communication. When I came here, I really had no knowledge of German, so I had to go through the process of learning the language before proceeding with my studies.
After learning German and completing my master’s studies, I got a job at a PR agency in Munich, which specializes in IT security. So I moved from the nice small town of Würzburg to Munich in 2018, and that’s how my journey to Zscaler started.
Tell us about your journey to Zscaler
I joined the PR agency not long after Zscaler became a client and I was put on the team to manage the account and projects. At the kickoff meeting with the Zscaler management team in Munich, my boss at the time introduced me, saying, “This is Isabella. She speaks English, French, and German, so she’s really valuable to us when it comes to handling information in English.” At the time I didn’t realize that someone in the Zscaler management team was taking note of my language skills!
I continued working on the Zscaler account at the PR agency. Then, one blessed afternoon I got an email from someone at Zscaler about a content localization role that needed a candidate who could speak English, French, and German. It was a tough decision because I loved my job at the agency, but I eventually decided to take a leap of faith and apply, and I got the position. My transition was really easy because I not only had the language requirements for the job, but had also been working on the Zscaler account for ten months and was quite well-versed in Zscaler’s vision and products.
I officially joined Zscaler in October 2019, and my first day was the Zenith Live event in Portugal, so I really hit the ground running. It was so fun—hectic—but fun! My coworkers made all the difference. They were always ready to help me out and point me in the right direction, so they made it easy for me to settle into the new role. I like to refer to them as the “ready to help team.” I think this is the type of team every ‘freshman’ needs, and I was lucky to have that.
What do you do in your role at Zscaler?
In my role, I manage all localization projects, so every white paper, video, eBook—every asset coming from HQ that is relevant to the European or Japanese markets—I make sure they are translated into the local languages and adapted for the respective markets. I collaborate closely with the field marketing teams to pick out and design what’s relevant to a specific region or country, make sure all the assets are transcreated, and send them back to field marketing so that they can easily run their campaigns within the targeted regions and countries.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I really love that I have the chance to work with so many different people. I work with almost every team at Zscaler: field marketing, sales, product management, sales enablement, public relations, dev, digital, you name it! I also work with two translation agencies, one in the UK and the other in Japan, that have team members all over the world. It’s been really great to work with a wide variety of people who have very different ideas, ways of working, and ways of dealing with a particular situation. It helps me to always keep an open mind and constantly work on my teamwork and leadership skills.
What’s your favorite Zscaler memory?
Not long ago, during a conference call with the entire EMEA team, I learned I had been nominated for the Bravo Award. I had no idea I was even nominated, and I ended up being chosen!
That made me feel really good, and it showed that even though I work very quietly behind the scenes, my work is being noticed. We live in a fast-paced world where people tend to focus more on themselves and their work, and may not take the time to recognize others and the work they do. This award said loud and clear to me, “we see you, and your work is valuable.” That was a really beautiful surprise and had a big impact on me.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I love to be creative and my hobbies definitely reflect that. I’ve always loved writing and drawing, so I try to continue those when I can. I’ve also picked up writing poetry. I like to call my work “alternative poetry.” I actually have a whole collection of poems now, and am hoping to publish them in the future and integrate them into another very creative project I have in mind.
I also love to take long walks and travel when we’re not in a pandemic. I usually try to travel home to Cameroon to visit my family, but unfortunately couldn’t do that this year. Chatting on the phone and catching up over video chat has been a great way to decrease the distance and stay connected.
What advice would you give to someone looking to get into your field?
Love what you do and always keep an open mind - we’re constantly learning. If I didn’t keep an open mind, I wouldn’t have made the decision to join Zscaler in the first place, and I wouldn’t have contributed as much as I have so far.
Also, approach tasks and goals with the “we” mentality instead of “me.” I work with different groups, I manage different people within projects, and I always approach it with a “we” perspective. When dealing with a challenge or project, I like to ask questions and work together rather than dictating what I think is right. Especially when working with outside agencies, you have to understand that it’s a team effort that requires being patient and flexible, but firm. At the end of the day, it’s not just about me or the team, it’s about the company as a whole.
Join Isabella and the rest of the team!
Visit our careers page to explore opportunities in marketing as well as the many other roles in which you can help Zscaler drive secure digital transformation for enterprises around the world.