Emily Feld is responsible for Real Estate, Travel, Security and Project Management on the Business Operations team at Datadog. She manages a real estate and operations portfolio that includes 57 leases in 17 countries. As an avid problem solver, Emily challenges the Business Operations team to implement and streamline scalable processes on a global scale.
“Emily has been integral to maintaining our team mission of keeping Datadog employees safe, productive, and happy. She has set up countless office leases around the globe, has been pivotal in building a real estate strategy that can scale, and works on key aspects of our operations across these locations. She plays a vital role in department process optimization, team development, and has a keen eye for coming up with creative solutions in a hyper growth environment.” - Pascal Schaary, Director of Operations, Datadog
What is one thing that no one knows about you?
“I was born and raised in New York City and am a voracious reader. I am also a certified scuba diver who’s obsessed with sharks!”
How did you get into the Facilities/Real Estate field?
“When I was a student at Oberlin College, I was paid to be a Booking Agent for our college music venue. Getting paid to hang out with rock stars seemed like a great gig at the time and sparked my desire to graduate and work in the music industry. Upon graduating, I accepted a position in Business Continuity/Crisis Management at NBCUniversal, hoping I could transfer into a more creative role within the company at a future date. I grew to enjoy the world of business continuity and found that my creative background gave me a unique approach to solving problems. Subsequently, I transferred internally to the Global Facilities/Operations Department after building a reputation for fixing processes/departments that were underperforming and have been on Business Operations teams since.”
Tell us about a favorite project highlight.
“At Datadog we offer amazing employee perks, such as free snacks, beverages, and lunch. We try to minimize the amount of food waste we generate but we’re not at zero waste yet. I’m a driver of our sustainability effort and was able to implement a composting program in our NYC headquarters. Datadog’s compost materials get processed locally in Brooklyn and help to provide energy and heat to New York City homes.”
What is your greatest success story?
“I’m extremely proud of the career that I’ve been able to build at a young age. From leading an external staff of over 100 at NBCUniversal before the age of 30 to earning a reputation that has yielded me the opportunity of choice with my responsibilities and teams, I am living proof that hard work pays off and that age isn’t always a relevant factor. I can’t wait to see how much more I can accomplish and contribute to my industry in the future.”
Tell us about a challenge or obstacle that you face in the Real Estate/Facilities world.
“When a company is in a period of hyper growth, it is extremely challenging to create an effective real estate strategy. Getting internal stakeholders to align on headcount projections is never easy, but it is crucial to ensuring we approach space from a proactive perspective versus a reactive perspective, as the latter can have huge financial implications.”
What learning experience would you pass onto future FM’s?
“Volunteer for or create projects that are outside of your comfort zone. When you take on new projects, you’re adding new skills to your toolbox. The more expansive your toolbox, the more versatile and valuable you are to current and future employers. You never know which skill that you have acquired will be the winning factor in helping you land your dream job.”
Interviewed by Sonya Verny of IA Interior Architects, IFMA NYC Secretary