Learn how professionals in the tech
industry got to where they are today 
and what a day in the life looks like.

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Career Path - Joe Rein, Product Manager at CreateMe banner image

Career Path - Joe Rein, Product Manager at CreateMe

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What do the career path and the day-in-the-life look like for a Product Manager at CreateMe?

We connected with Joe Rein to find out!

Interested in learning more about CreateMe and their job openings?  Make sure to check out their company page on VentureFizz!


Where did you grow up?  What did your parents do for work?  

I grew up in upstate New York near Bear Mountain, in a small suburban town. My parents were civil servants at the local Hospital and College.   

Where did you go to college?  What did you study and what were some of your initial jobs out of school?

I went to Florida International University for my first undergraduate degree in Accounting. Then 9 years later, I went to The New School for two additional undergraduate degrees; A Fashion Design degree from Parsons and a Media Technology degree from their School of Public Engagement.

I'm currently doing my Masters in Media Technology concentrating in Immersive Media and have plans on a second Masters in Systems for Non-engineers. 

One of my first jobs was at a hedge fund for a prominent Black investment banker on the top floor of the HSBC private bank here in Manhattan. I knew this was only one of the first stops of my career. I also worked at Yahoo! I left towards the end when they were being sold to Verizon and changed their name to Oath.

What has attributed to your success thus far and has helped propel you to the position you have now?

Similar to some of the folks in the Black in Tech features, I am a person of color; LatinX, first generation immigrant, and I sought out support through associations and mentors that valued diversity, equity and inclusion. I was accepted into an honors internship program during my first undergraduate degree, where I was able to get exposed to corporate culture and the demands of an enterprise finance and accounting department. 

I am the youngest of four children and I have always had a sense of responsibility to prove to myself and my family that I can reach to do more. I have always had an innate sense of curiosity to understand how things work and how to collaborate with folks from different domains of expertise.

The path that has propelled me to land a Product Management role at CreateMe is as diverse as the company itself. There are three stages of my professional experience that have given me the expertise to apply vision, innovation, and business know-how to the technology products at CreateMe.

In the first half of my career, I have held positions as an Accountant and Financial Controller. A career that was demanding yet fruitful; those roles exposed me to enterprise accounting systems and a top down management view of how businesses are structured. 

I’ve also held positions as Director of Apparel Product Development and owner of a military apparel manufacturing company. I blended my finance background and my interest in design to lead teams of apparel designers and factory operators to develop, manufacture and deliver goods. This stage of my career taught me how operations work and how my management style directly affects the bottom line and the motivation of your team and coworkers. 

After owning my own company, I was recruited for a role as the IT Systems Manager for an Apparel Trading company in Hong Kong, and was promoted to be the United States Customer Success Director for outbound product management. This role was a great fit for me as I was able to bring together all my past experiences to launch products for our customers.

Photo: offsite review with the Program and R&D teams 

(Khamvong, Lindsay, Shailesh, Joe, Martin, Freddy, Aman)

Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as a Product Manager at CreateMe?

To envision the software and hardware product offering for CreateMe. I manage the customer engagements to gather their requirements by defining their pain points and correlating them to a product market fit within their customer segment.

I in turn translate those requirements into our product requirement document where I detail out the personas and the acceptance criteria of the user action and need.

I also work with finance and marketing to build out the business model ensuring our pricing is  profitable. Lastly, I manage the roadmap and schedule to ensure I hit our milestones toward our product launch detailed in our go- to-market strategy.

Any tips for someone considering a career in your field?

Here at CreateMe, we believe in a set of factors to be a successful Product Manager. I would recommend that anyone considering a career in product to try to hit on these factors either through personality or through work experience.    

Being proactive, applying continuous improvement to the product. Being adaptable. Staying on top of new markets and technologies by being an avid learner. Challenging the status quo to push innovation and to define the jobs to be done that we are solving for. And overall being intellectually curious allows you to navigate through these areas.


Day in the Life

Coffee, tea, or nothing?

Coffee black with sugar and some days an iced breve’ from a local Coffee shop. I live in midtown Manhattan so there are a lot to choose from.

What time do you start working? 

The day starts at 9:00am, but I start on emails towards 8:30am

What are three things that motivate you in your role?

  • Our people and culture at CreateMe
  • Our 10X mission to revolutionize manufacturing
  • Working on modern digital solutions and advanced automation products for hardware-as-a-service

Every day is different, but can you outline what a typical day looks like for you?

Mornings

  • Check and respond to emails and slack
  • Daily Standup where we touch base with the team for 30 mins to go through our Kanban board and give a short update on progress, blockers and next steps for the week.

Afternoons

  • Tuesdays we have a department alignment with the VPs and CPO of Product.
  • Market Research: I spend time analyzing customer segmentation using Statista
  • Working sessions:

Each week I'll schedule sessions to work through ideas as they pertain to integrations and robotic autonomy

Requirements gathering session with customers

End of Day

  • 1:1 Conversations with our Program Manager Craig, and Project Managers Rodrigo and Lindsay on the west coast measuring where we are on the project plan.
  • 1:1 with Product Analyst: defining users' stories and acceptance criteria
  • Updating the roadmap in Aha and Productboard
  • Office hours

I hold office hours once a week where anyone from the cross functional team can schedule time with me for a working session to discuss their topics. 

What time do you typically wrap up the work day? 

6pm 

Any productivity hacks?

  • Pomodoro clock to remind me to take short breaks throughout the day.
  • Holding working sessions with digital whiteboards and shareable google docs to collaborate in real time.
  • Bose headphones with noise canceling and ambient music to stay focused.

What are the 3 apps that you can’t live without?

  • Nicehash
  • Spotify
  • Instagram

What professional accomplishment are you proudest of?

Leading software product launches for mega retailers and brands

Who do you admire or call upon for professional advice?

 My mentor and CIO Kristian Hertel of a Shanghai based company. He's a good friend and a great leader. He has a one in a million personality that can balance fun, hardwork and a vision of the future.

About the
Company

CreateMe is an integrated software, hardware, and design company that’s revolutionizing the apparel industry. Combining breakthrough technology and human ingenuity, we take brands from concept to consumer faster and more sustainably than ever before.

 

 
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Career Path - Casey Hekker, Sr. Client Success Manager at Alloy banner image

Career Path - Casey Hekker, Sr. Client Success Manager at Alloy

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What do the career path and the day-in-the-life look like for a Client Success Manager at Alloy?

We connected with Casey Hekker to find out!

Interested in learning more about Alloy and their job openings?  Make sure to check out their company page on VentureFizz!


Tell me about a day in the life as a Client Success Manager at Alloy?

With how quickly our company and our client base are growing, there is a lot to get done in a day! Before diving into emails, I start my day by going for a walk to get coffee and dressing up in “real clothes,” even when working from home. I feel way more productive changing out of my pajamas and putting on a dress with bright, colorful earrings that translate well over Zoom calls. The majority of my day is spent on video calls talking to clients, so I like to have statement outfits which usually become the starter conversation of most of my calls.

Once I have my earrings on, I do a quick scan of emails to see if anything urgent has come in and prioritize my tasks before my calls start. I typically have 4-5 client calls each day, consisting of answering Alloy questions, teaching clients about a new product or feature we have, or generally chatting with them and seeing what I can do to make their jobs easier. The main goal of being a CSM is to manage and grow the relationships with the clients, so the status calls are a great way for them to get to know me and see that I’m a real person who understands their needs and can help them achieve their company goals.

I also spend my time planning for strategic business reviews, ensuring workflow performance looks okay, identifying certain gaps there might be within processes and making sure that I’m learning about my clients’ KPIs to introduce new use cases. Outside of working with clients, I collaborate with a lot of internal teams such as Sales, Solutions, Product, Data, and Engineering to provide them with client feedback, submit feature requests and figure out how we can all work together to keep improving and growing our products.

What types of clients do you work with?

I work with a wide variety of clients, ranging from traditional and community banks to credit unions and growing fintechs. What I’ve found while learning about all of my clients is how much potential there is within Alloy, and the fintech industry as a whole.

During the start of the pandemic, we found that some of our community banks and credit unions did not have a way to automate their approvals. They were truly “risking their lives” to go into their branches with masks and gloves on to protect themselves against COVID while physically sanitizing the documents to review driver’s licenses, social security cards and various bits of paperwork to prove that an applicant was actually a real person and not a fraudster attempting to open an account. I really enjoy learning how and why clients have chosen to use Alloy, and hearing about the tangible ways it’s helped them — no longer having to go into the office and look through and sanitize real documents during the pandemic.

Casey Hekker AlloyWhen you came to Alloy, you were new to fintech. How has it been learning a new industry?

I was previously at an Adtech company that focused on fighting online advertising fraud, so I was interested in pivoting to a company focused on online banking fraud. I knew very little about fintech before coming to Alloy; however, when I was interviewing with Alloy in 2020, I had unfortunately gotten my identity stolen. Someone opened up two bank accounts using my information, spending close to $8,000 in my name. It was a disaster to figure out how it happened and how to prove that this new debt was not actually mine.

After a 300 point drop to my credit score, a police report and a lot of paperwork later, I was able to rectify everything and use it as a not-so-serendipitous story to tell to my interviewers at Alloy, showing them how much I understood the value of KYC. It was an unfortunate situation, but it became a good story to tell during my interview and now working with clients to let them know just how important this industry is.

I’ve since realized that banking fraud is ever-evolving, and there is so much risk associated with individuals and banks when onboarding new clients. I’m very happy to be at Alloy and help my clients mitigate that type of risk - I certainly don’t want others to go through the agony caused by a stolen identity that I learned about firsthand!

What about Alloy motivates you?

There are a lot of amazing things about this company, and I am so fortunate to have been introduced to Alloy when I was starting my job search nearly two years ago. First and foremost, everyone at Alloy is incredibly smart, and being able to learn from my colleagues (even while mainly working remote) has taught me more than I thought possible since I started working here.

In the year and a half since I’ve been here, we have achieved so much! We hit unicorn status with our most recent round of funding, onboarded many new clients, created new products, gotten invaluable client feedback, opened a new office — the list can go on for a while. It’s been exciting to see how quickly the company has grown. At the same time, awesome new people in the door and it is great to see how involved our leadership team is with inclusion and enabling everyone to do their best work.

What do you want to see happen next on your team? What projects are you working on?

I was recently promoted to a Senior Client Success Manager, so I’m excited to see how this role evolves on my team and helps me grow at Alloy. Our team has doubled in size so quickly and the amount of growth potential that we have is super exciting. I’m looking forward to figuring out more ways that we can help our clients and expand our relationships with them, while also working on our career growth.

Outside of my CSM work, I’m on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, and another Alloy friend on the committee and I have created our “Good News Friday” newsletter. One Friday per month, we send out an internal email that features, you guessed it, the good news that our colleagues share with us! We miss the in-person excitement of celebrating each other’s fun personal lives outside of work, and wanted to find a way to share wedding announcements, new babies, new homes, achievements, and other wins in people’s lives that they may not have been able to share otherwise. It makes us really happy to have created this newsletter, and we think that the rest of the team likes to see these happy moments in our friends' lives.


This profile originally appeared on Alloy's blog. Photos courtesy of Casey Hekker.

About the
Company

Alloy is the Identity Decisioning Platform that helps banks and fintech companies automate their decisions for onboarding, transaction monitoring and credit underwriting.

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Career Path – Brad Buchman, Enterprise Sales Executive at RaySecur banner image

Career Path – Brad Buchman, Enterprise Sales Executive at RaySecur

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What do the career path and the day-in-the-life look like for a Enterprise Sales Executive at RaySecur?

We connected with Brad Buchman to find out!

Interested in learning more about RaySecur? Make sure to check out their company page!


Where did you grow up? What did your parents do for work?

I grew up in Tampa, FL. My mom was a legal investigator, and my dad was a CPA.

Where did you go to college? What did you study and what were some of your initial jobs out of school?

I played 4 years of collegiate level baseball at a couple of schools in North Carolina. I finished at Florida Atlantic University with a BS in Ocean Engineering. While completing my degree at FAU, I worked full time at Whole Foods, did boat and engine maintenance, and I was a Saltwater Charter Captain. After I completed my degree, I worked as a Trade Expansion Manager and then was promoted to a Technical Sales Specialist for my previous company in Montreal, QC, Canada.

What has attributed to your success thus far and has helped propel you to the position you have now?

I would say personally, playing baseball at a collegiate level taught me how to work effectively in a team as well as setting high personal standards and having relentless determination. On the business side of things, adopting the phrase, “understand before being understood” has opened the doors for better professional relationships and great effective communication.

Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as a Enterprise Sales Executive at RaySecur?

High level responsibilities would be being an effective team player, confident in your abilities but open to new ideas and suggestions, and most importantly, having a great determination to deliver on your quarterly and yearly sales goals.

When comparing to other companies you’ve worked for, what makes RaySecur different and/or special?

The team and the work environment. Everyone has one common goal and that’s to see this company grow exponentially. There is open communication, everyone is willing to help each other in different situations, and we want to see the entire team succeed.

What are two to three things about RaySecur that you would want someone considering joining the company to know?

I would say don’t be shy and don’t think you have to do it on your own. A lot of other companies out there expect you to do everything on your own or don’t provide enough support. We are interdependent here, everyone is working independently but, the lines of communication are always open for comments, suggestions, and new ideas.

Any general tips for someone considering a career in your field?

Be determined and confident in yourself but be open to input from everyone in the company. There is one common goal.


Day in the Life

Coffee, tea, or nothing?

Tea, Coffee if you want to hear me talk non stop for 4 hours!

What time do you start working?

I always start before 8am.

What are three things that motivate you in your role?

We have an innovative product that could save peoples’ lives, high personal goals, and I don’t like to lose.

Every day is different, but can you outline what a typical day looks like for you?

Lots of calls and emails with potential and existing clients.

What time do you typically wrap up the work day?

No set time, if there is an email or phone call at 10pm, I will answer it.

Do you log back in at night or do you shut it down completely?

It depends on what needs to be done. I don’t think I ever completely turn off from working or business.

Any productivity hacks?

I like to work in spurts of 45min -1 hour then take a 5 - 10 minute break. Rinse and repeat throughout the day.

What are the 3 apps that you can’t live without?

Outlook, Teams, and Expensify.

What professional accomplishment are you proudest of?

I was the top performing sales rep for 5 years in a row at my previous company.

Who do you admire or call upon for professional advice?

My brother-in-law who is an entrepreneurial coach for businesses.

About the
Company

RaySecur’s security scanning technology is used by leading Fortune 500 companies, including 4 of the 5 largest US corporations, and government agencies to detect security threats and keep their employees and operations safe across the globe.

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Career Path - Linda Marchese, Senior THz Systems Architect at RaySecur banner image

Career Path - Linda Marchese, Senior THz Systems Architect at RaySecur

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What do the career path and the day-in-the-life look like for a Senior THz Systems Architect at RaySecur?

We connected with Linda Marchese to find out!

Interested in learning more about RaySecur? Make sure to check out their company page!


Where did you grow up? What did your parents do for work?

Suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. Owners of two optician stores

Where did you go to college? What did you study and what were some of your initial jobs out of school?

University of Rochester. Physics (undergrad), Electrical Engineering (graduate). Initial
job out of grad school was R&D at Kodak for US government radar imaging systems.

What has attributed to your success thus far and has helped propel you to the position you have now?

My love of science and my perservernce.

Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as a Senior Terahertz Systems Architect at RaySecur?

Technical lead for developing and improving Terahertz imaging systems.

When comparing to other companies you’ve worked for, what makes RaySecur different and/or special?

It is very dynamic, things change quickly.

What are two to three things about RaySecur that you would want someone considering joining the company to know?

Fast-paced with hardworking colleagues

Any general tips for someone considering a career in your field?

Work hard and stay focused, but mostly enjoy it. Science and Technology are the
coolest!


Day in the Life

Coffee, tea, or nothing?

Coffee

What time do you start working?

8am

What are three things that motivate you in your role?

Learning new technical things, contributing to the company’s success, working with smart highly motivated people.

Every day is different, but can you outline what a typical day looks like for you?

Each day is a mix of Teams meetings, some internal and some with external partners and then some lab time taking measurements with my colleagues and then analyzing the results.

What time do you typically wrap up the work day?

5pm

Do you log back in at night or do you shut it down completely?

Yes at night but also early in the morning.

Any productivity hacks?

Try to have at least one or two half days without any meetings planned.

What are the 3 apps that you can’t live without?

Teams, Google, Outlook

What professional accomplishment are you proudest of?

Being project manager and technical lead and first author on the patent that created MailSecur.

Who do you admire or call upon for professional advice?

My spouse

About the
Company

RaySecur’s security scanning technology is used by leading Fortune 500 companies, including 4 of the 5 largest US corporations, and government agencies to detect security threats and keep their employees and operations safe across the globe.

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Career Path – TJ Kelly, Commercial Executive at RaySecur banner image

Career Path – TJ Kelly, Commercial Executive at RaySecur

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What do the career path and the day-in-the-life look like for a Commercial Executive at RaySecur?

We connected with TJ Kelly to find out!

Interested in learning more about RaySecur? Make sure to check out their company page!


Where did you grow up? What did your parents do for work?

I grew up in North Andover, MA and relocated after starting a family to Ashburnham, in central
MA.

My parents are both retired civil servants of 40+ years. My mother taught middle and high
school in Danvers, MA and my father was an engineer for the US Navy in Kittery, ME.

Where did you go to college? What did you study and what were some of your initial
jobs out of school?

I studied Communications and Information Technology at UMass Amherst. While there, I fell in
love with web development and had several jobs working for the University supporting their
various websites.

After graduation, I landed a full-time job in the marketing department for a travel company as a
Front-end Web Developer. After a few years there, I hopped between a few web development
and digital marketing agencies and spent several years providing those services self-employed
as a sole proprietor.

What has attributed to your success thus far and has helped propel you to the position
you have now?

Starting my career in marketing has given me a unique perspective on how to position
RaySecur’s solutions to sales prospects. All marketing is sales-driven, but flipping that model
(marketing-based sales) has been valuable to me as a salesperson.

It has also given me a deep understanding of our prospect's most common questions and
objections—and the resources to overcome those objectives quickly and confidently.

Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as a Commercial
Executive at RaySecur?

First and foremost, I’m a salesperson. My responsibilities are to bring new customers into the
business and expand on existing accounts.

My background in marketing has also afforded me the opportunity to represent RaySecur in
some of our customer-facing marketing efforts: webinars, videos, conferences, tradeshow
booths, etc.

When comparing to other companies you’ve worked for, what makes RaySecur different
and/or special?

RaySecur’s solutions are novel in the security industry. No one can do what we can do. That
fact offers a tremendous advantage to corner the marketplace—but it’s not without its
challenges. Our uniqueness can pose a challenge if prospects are unfamiliar with our
technology. We’re always working to educate the marketplace on the value of our solutions.

What are two to three things about RaySecur that you would want someone considering
joining the company to know?

We’re growing like crazy, in both personnel and clientele. Now is the right time to get in on the
ground floor!

Any general tips for someone considering a career in your field?

The more sales and marketing can understand each other and act as one group, the better the
company can achieve its growth goals. Marketing pros need to understand how salespeople
think, and salespeople need to understand why marketing does what they do. Whichever team
you’re on, I recommend that you get more familiar with the other one!

About the
Company

RaySecur’s security scanning technology is used by leading Fortune 500 companies, including 4 of the 5 largest US corporations, and government agencies to detect security threats and keep their employees and operations safe across the globe.

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Career Path - Meaghan Moraes, Sr. Manager, Content Marketing at EDB banner image

Career Path - Meaghan Moraes, Sr. Manager, Content Marketing at EDB

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What do the career path and the day-in-the-life look like for the Sr. Manager, Content Marketing at EDB?

We connected with Meaghan Moraes to find out!

Interested in learning more about EDB? Make sure to check out their company page!


Where did you grow up?  What did your parents do for work?  

I was born and raised in coastal New England! An avid lover of the ocean, I grew up in New Bedford, Massachusetts, the south coast of the state.

My parents are both hardworking people, and I’ve observed their career-focus throughout my life. I’ve always admired how well they’ve balanced work and family life, with family at the core. My mom is an oncology nurse and healthcare administrator, currently acting as director of a cancer center. My dad worked in business operations for years and then shifted to funeral direction; he’s now retired.

Where did you go to college?  What did you study and what were some of your initial jobs out of school?

I attended Boston University and graduated with a B.S. in Communication - Advertising, concentrating in Psychology. I knew I wanted to study advertising/marketing writing before applying to college, which brought me to a top Communication school like BU! I’m thankful to have grown a career doing exactly what I studied.

When I think of my initial jobs out of school, I can’t help but chuckle. Having graduated during a recession, my dream job didn’t just land in my lap. Early jobs included: “hotel front desk clerk,” which turned out to be groundsperson at a local hostel; hostess at a high-end Japanese restaurant; and unpaid food writer/critic (that was great). I eventually broke into full-time marketing, worked in Ad Ops in New York City, then moved back to Boston and worked as a marketing copywriter at TechTarget before moving to agency life–then back in-house.

What has attributed to your success thus far and has helped propel you to the position you have now?

I can honestly say that what has brought me to be the head of Content Marketing at a company like EDB is the fact that I’ve grinded every single day: constantly learning, honing my craft, and now teaching others. I’ve been writing all day every day for the past decade at work, and I also write for fun in my spare time.

Being intuitive and personable has also helped me form key relationships and partnerships at work. Not to mention, I’ve had some stellar mentors and colleagues to thank for inspiring me to push further throughout my career. Because of the true grit of hard work, invaluable support and an intrinsic belief in my abilities, I got here.

Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as a Sr. Manager of Content Marketing at EDB?

In my role, I oversee content marketing strategy for the company, which includes managing our blog, creating longform lead generation assets like eBooks and infographics, producing promotional videos, and assisting with aligning messaging across marketing programs. I focus on leading cross-functionally with strategies to bring stakeholders together, connect the dots and enhance outcomes. I do this through creative problem solving, fresh storytelling and continuous research and refinement.

Any tips for someone considering a career in your field?

My tips for someone considering a career in marketing, and specifically content marketing include: Practice writing frequently and follow top publications in your space of interest. When you have an intriguing idea, write it down, revisit it later, think about it again, reframe it, have it reviewed, even have it rejected, start over, make it stronger. That’s the type of ritual to get accustomed to. Go have a weird or wild experience and then bring those new perspectives to your work and conversations. People in the corporate world need creative minds, so harvest your seeds for big ideas so you’re ready to bring them to the table.


Day in the Life

Coffee, tea, or nothing?

Coffee first thing in the morning with soy milk and cinnamon! My fiancé is nice enough to make it for me. Green tea after lunch to keep the brain activated and power through the afternoon.

What time do you start working? 

I’m usually digging into work around 8am (answering Slacks and scanning email starting at 7:30 from bed, then making the long commute to my desk in the next room).

What are three things that motivate you in your role?

  1. Keeping quality super high
  2. Providing our audiences the answers they’re looking for
  3. Genuine interest in awesome marketing

Every day is different, but can you outline what a typical day looks like for you?

Log in with coffee, respond to all emails, prepare for upcoming morning meetings, start on the first item on my ongoing to-do list. Check in with my content marketing manager teammate to ensure weekly blogs are on track and queued up; I’ll copy edit and provide feedback before finalizing. Block of a few morning meetings, have a light protein shake, walk around my riverside neighborhood in West Newbury, MA. Wrap up tasks like campaign deliverables, answering any content inquiries or updating my content strategy plan. Take a break for lunch, take another walk, have tea. Jump into afternoon meetings (usually fewer or more spaced out than the morning), block time to get work done— which may be editing more blog posts, updating our content tracking sheet or metrics, preparing collateral or creative assets for an upcoming marketing event, or helping craft a new external customer success story. Work until around 5:30 and ensure I have time to work out and make dinner!

What time do you typically wrap up the work day? 

I typically call it a day around 5:30-6.

Do you log back in at night or do you shut it down completely?  

90% of the time, I completely shut it down after hours, unless there’s something easy enough to get done while watching TV that will save me time and stress the next day. I do get Slack notifications on my phone (unless I’m on a vacation) and I tend to keep tabs on my email every so often to stay up-to-date.

Any productivity hacks?

For the last few years, I’ve joked with coworkers about doing “power 15s,” which is finding something you can finish 15 minutes before a meeting to check it off your list. I also spend gaps in between meetings taking quick walks to get some energizing air, and I like to block my calendar with “working blocks” in open mornings or afternoons to get heads down and in the zone.

What are the 3 apps that you can’t live without?

I probably can’t live without Spotify (need to work to music, especially Spanish guitar), Slack (EDB is all about the Slack culture and I enjoy it), and I’ll say Instagram. I can probably live without it, but I like it; I like social.

What professional accomplishment are you proudest of?

I’d say I’m most proud of the keynote presentations I’ve created for CEOs, and the creative videos I’ve storyboarded and directed. Outside of work, I’m proud to have accomplished publishing a book of poetry, Poems of Her 20s, which is available on Amazon.

Who do you admire or call upon for professional advice?

I currently lean on my boss Ian Bain, VP of Corporate Marketing, for advice and guidance, I often reach out to my talented former colleagues and friends for input, my fiancé is also a creative and I always have him review my critical pieces, and my mom never fails to provide important career and life tips that keep me centered.

About the
Company

The world loves Postgres. If you work with developers or data scientists or anyone wrangling data, you’ll probably see a sticker with the tusks and trunk of the Postgres elephant on the lid of a nearby laptop. EDB has a lot to do with that.

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Career Path - Cristen Justiss, Area Vice President of HCM Sales at PrismHR banner image

Career Path - Cristen Justiss, Area Vice President of HCM Sales at PrismHR

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What do the career path and the day-in-the-life look like for the Area Vice President of HCM Sales at PrismHR?

We connected with Cristen Justiss to find out!

Interested in learning more about PrismHR? Make sure to check out their company page!


Where did you grow up?  

I grew up in a suburb of Dallas, TX. True born and raised Texan ya’ll.

Cristen Justiss PrismHR

Where did you go to college?  What did you study and what were some of your initial jobs out of school?

I went to the University of North Texas and was a dual major in all level special education and elementary general education. I graduated early with honors and went straight into being a special education teacher at an elementary school. I continued as a special education teacher for just over 4 years before entering the world of sales. What a fun segway that allowed me to continue teaching others but in a different way than I had never known before.

What has attributed to your success thus far and has helped propel you to the position you have now?

I attribute a large part of my success to my father who was profoundly gregarious and tenacious. He taught me the importance of loving what I do and differentiating myself by truly caring about each person I work with. Our careers are not about our titles and our job descriptions but rather all the little things we do that aren’t expected or requested, that make a huge difference. Genuinely seeing the good in everyone and helping them to see it in themselves is the way I was raised and will forever be in the office and outside of it. 

Cristen Justiss PrismHR

Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as a Area Vice President at PrismHR?

I am responsible for supporting a team of incredibly talented sales professionals in generating opportunity, moving it forward in deal process, and bringing it across the finish line to produce new recurring revenue for our company. This requires working closely with each individual contributor to ensure we strategize our deal process, find potential vulnerabilities, and proactively stay in front of our competition by differentiating our technology and our process from the rest. My favorite part of the deal stage is when we get to the negotiation phase. If you are there you are one step away from a win and those challenging conversations reviewing T’s & C’s make the victory that much sweeter. When we win, the happiness I feel for each person that supported in that close is overwhelming in the best way. Our team deserves the wins and they work incredibly hard for each and every one. The effort and passion that goes into the process is never unnoticed so we celebrate every hurdle we cross each step of the way.

Cristen Justiss PrismHR

Any tips for someone considering a career in your field?

You’ve got to absolutely love coaching and supporting plus truly believe in your people and your product. This is the key. I know each person on my team is insanely talented and can crush their goals, making sure I block anything that can keep them from doing so is imperative. It’s the job of a leader to “take the heat and radiate the cool” as our CSO would say. Your team needs consistency in their leader regardless of what happens in the day, because in sales, each day is different and we’ve got to be ready for it all. 


Day in the Life

Coffee, tea, or nothing? 

Coffee! My nespresso and frother set can compete with any bistro (get one if you don’t have one already, trust me).

What time do you start working? 

At my computer and camera ready at 7:00 am for my east coasters

What are three things that motivate you in your role? 

Seeing each team member meet and exceed their goals, being a consistently dependable resource and support system, and truly believing in our company, our people, and our product. 

Every day is different, but can you outline what a typical day looks like for you?

A typical day is made up of individual team member coaching calls reviewing their active opportunities in the pipeline as well as the specific metrics that will support them in hitting their monthly, quarterly, and annual goals. Every day is prospect facing where I attend first time meetings, discovery calls, proposal presentations,and contract reviews alongside each rep. Prior to, and following each call, we often precall plan and debrief, as well as discuss solutions with other resources internally, to ensure we are bringing our best to each prospect. In addition to this, frequent communication with other teams like marketing, operations, service, and implementations ensure I am in the loop on anything that can support our sales team in staying ahead of the curve with our technology advances, client testimonials, and best marketing resources.We have the most talented people in every department and making sure I strategize internally is just as crucial as my one on one time with each person on the sales team. My team members depend on me to provide current information so I do just that day in and out. If something could distract or hinder a rep from doing what they do best, it is my job to take that on so they can stay focused on deal process and getting our company new revenue.

What time do you typically wrap up the work day? 

7:30 pm for my west coasters.

Do you log back in at night or do you shut it down completely?  

I am always accessible after hours via cell or slack. The reps work extremely hard to generate opportunity so I will always make myself available to them, their prospects, and clients regardless of the hour. If it matters to them, it matters to me.

Any productivity hacks?

Compartmentalize, Prioritize, and Delegate!!!

What are the 3 apps that you can’t live without?

Spotify, Slack, and Google Mail 

What professional accomplishment are you proudest of?

Earning this role of AVP of HCM here at PrismHR.

Who do you admire or call upon for professional advice?

David Farrell and John Whisner. They both have extensive experience in leadership, sales, and the HCM industry. In addition to this, they are two of the most passionate and caring individuals I have come to know from a career standpoint which leads me to admire them for who they are professionally and personally as well. 

About the
Company

PrismHR creates exceptional software and services for HR service providers and their SMB clients.

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Career Path - Reba Hatcher, Chief of Staff at ButcherBox banner image

Career Path - Reba Hatcher, Chief of Staff at ButcherBox

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What do the career path and the day-in-the-life look like for the Chief of Staff at ButcherBox?

We connected with Reba Hatcher to find out!

Interested in learning more about ButcherBox? Make sure to check out their company page!


Where did you grow up?  How has that shaped who you’ve become?

I’m a NYC gal living in Boston, who splits her sports affiliations, and that should tell you a lot about my ability to compromise and deal with folks with different preferences. I was raised by two amazing women, my grandmother and mother who taught me that the whole world was mine for the taking and exposed me to as much as they possibly could in a city that has a lot to offer. Learning that consistently at home, especially as a black queer woman, is the only way I became confident that I could be in spaces that any other person was in. And they also made sure that I knew in order to be in the ‘room where it happens’, I had do the deep work to know myself, devour information, and question everything. I built this deep sense of curiosity, and I recognize now that the relentless questioning can be incredibly frustrating with a kid, so even more praise to them for putting up with it so I could blossom into my personality.

Reba Hatcher Butcher Box

Where did you go to college?  What did you study and what were some of your initial jobs out of school?

As a Boston College Eagle, I studied Business with an Accounting concentration, and a double major in Sociology. I interned at a large consulting firm right out of school, and was on the road 4-5 days a week dealing mostly in the Energy sector as a change manager.

Reba Hatcher Butcher Box

 

Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as a Chief of Staff at ButcherBox?

Overall, making sure our CEO has everything he needs to be successful and amplify his message and vision to the organization. To do that, it's crucial that I keep an ear to all that is happening in the organization to make the connections for others without getting into the exact resolutions for each project or initiative. By knowing the ins and outs of all the happenings, I am able to lead projects that don’t have easy owners or homes within the organization, for example, our partnership with Instacart or executing our first ever price increase. Additionally, my role is to aid the high level, people, and process strategy for each executive team member while also onboarding new executives to our leadership team and to their organizations.

Any tips for someone considering a career in your field?

While I love my job, I never knew this role existed until I was in it. Start in a role where you appreciate the ability to learn – for me it was operations and I still have an immense appreciation for knowing how the physical nature of our product works. One of my first roles was to process map the entire company’s processes, and it was the groundwork for being able to be the ‘dot connector’ of the organization.


Day in the Life

Coffee, tea, or nothing?

Doppio espresso over ice

What time do you get into the office? 

Home office desk by 8:30

What are three things that motivate you in your role?

  • Chance to work with complex situations and disentangle in a thoughtful way
  • Always an opportunity for me to add humor especially when things are tense to get people back to a level head to make real change happen
  • Enjoy connecting dots around the organization to make people’s lives easier and better

Every day is different, but can you outline what a typical day looks like for you?

Begin the day with a one-on-one with someone helping them think through projects/people/process. Then catching up on major projects I am working on like pricing strategy research or onboarding/hiring of new executives. Throughout the day I have random 1-on-1s with new employees or people I haven’t checked in on in a while. Then usually some planning for one of the core meetings I organized for our Leadership Team and our All Hands for everyone. In the afternoon, there’s time for some planning or reviewing our goals. Midday I try to take a break to watch a snippet of a random TedTalk not related to work at all so I can stay creatively engaged and learn something new. At some point, I also have either impromptu or planned time with my CEO and/or COO. Also later in the afternoon, working on one of our company objectives I’m responsible for. To round out the end of the day, if I’m in the office, I get have some good chats with the few others around or if I’m home, I’ll make sure my inbox is squeaky clean #inboxzero.

What time do you head out of the office? 

I’m currently in the office 3-4 days a week, so when I am usually around 6-6:30.

Do you log back in at night or do you shut it down completely?  

I usually log back in for 1-2 things that popped up towards the end of the day but would make the person on the other end have a much easier beginning to their day if I finished it beforehand.

I am a morning person by nature who wants to get things ready for the day before anyone else is awake – not quite the 5AM Club though!

Any productivity hacks?

Emailing yourself tasks that pop into your head when you’re not near your notebook (physically or virtually)

Simple bullet journal style on my iPad

What are the 3 apps that you can’t live without?

Outlook, Microsoft Flow for automating, and Goodnotes for iPad notes

What professional accomplishment are you proudest of?

Since I grew up searching for certainty because I did not find it in many places, I went to a job post grad that offered as much certainty as possible at a 300,000 person firm that was older than sliced bread. And so the jump to a young startup was incredibly nerve-racking, but the best decision I ever made.

Who do you admire or call upon for professional advice?

Libby Moore, former Chief of Staff to Oprah. When I went searching for mentorship, I quickly learned that many Chief of Staff’s serve in their roles for less than 2 years, and I was planning on making this a longer part of my career and I happened upon a podcast that Libby spoke on. She described working for a mission-oriented, founder, CEO for 12 years and I knew she’d be a perfect person to connect with, and I am so very lucky for the connection we now have.

About the
Company

Founded in 2015, ButcherBox™ began with a simple mission to make high-quality meat more accessible to all. The company soon discovered that meant more than delivering 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef, free-range organic chicken, pork raised crate-free, and sustainably sourced seafood, it meant rethinking the country’s food system. ButcherBox is in pursuit of a better way, one that’s focused on animal welfare, supporting farmers, treating the planet with respect and upholding diversity, equity, and inclusion across its business.

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Career Path - Riley Steinbach, Head of Partnerships at Pavestep

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What do the career path and the day-in-the-life look like for the Head of Partnerships at Pavestep?

We connected with Riley Steinbach to find out!

Interested in learning more about Pavestep? Make sure to check out their company page!


Where did you grow up?  What did your parents do for work?  

I grew up in Grand Forks B.C Canada! My dad has been a mechanic for the last 30 years and my mom has worked for the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction! 

Where did you go to college?  What did you study and what were some of your initial jobs out of school?

I graduated from the University of Calgary where I received my Bachelors of Commerce and majored in Marketing. I interned at Pavestep during my final year in university. I transitioned to a full time position as a Marketing Generalist once I graduated. I was recently promoted to Head of Partnerships at Pavestep! 

What has attributed to your success thus far and has helped propel you to the position you have now?

Understanding the power of networking. Not only has networking helped me get connected to relevant people in the industry, but it has helped me gain real world experience and knowledge outside of university. 

Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as Head of Partnerships at Pavestep?

I develop Strategic Partnerships, and I nurture and grow the existing partnerships. I make sure that strategy executions are properly implemented, and I enable cross-selling initiatives and co-marketing strategies

Any tips for someone considering a career in your field?

Keep up with the latest trends in the industry, and never stop learning! 


Day in the Life

Coffee, tea, or nothing?

Coffee, coffee, and more coffee! 

What time do you start working? 

We are a remote team at Pavestep, so I normally begin my work day at 8:00 AM.

What are three things that motivate you in your role?

  • Working with a talented team with a great culture
  • The opportunity to develop and grow my career - especially since we are a start up
  • Receiving feedback (positive and negative) motivates me to continuously improve

Every day is different, but can you outline what a typical day looks like for you?

My typical day starts at 6:30 AM and I make coffee straight away. I get ready for work and sign on at about 8:00 AM. I begin my day by checking and replying to any urgent emails, and then I like to touch base with any partners that we are working with at the time! Most days I spend some time doing outreach before I work on any current marketing initiatives. At the end of the day, we have our daily check-in with the rest of the Pavestep team. I then sign off for the day and head outside. 

What time do you typically wrap up the work day? 

It depends on the day and the projects we are working on at the time. I usually finish my day around 5:00pm and take my dog for a walk!

Do you log back in at night or do you shut it down completely? 

I don’t check my email or log in after hours. One rule we have at Pavestep is no  communication outside of our core work hours. 

Any productivity hacks?

  • Plan and track your progress towards objectives/tasks
  • Create a dedicated workspace if you work remotely

What are the 3 apps that you can’t live without?

  • Slack
  • Instagram 
  • LinkedIn

What professional accomplishment are you proudest of?

My biggest accomplishment is helping grow the Pavestep team. I was the 5th employee at Pavestep, and we now have over 12 employees and still growing!

Who do you admire or call upon for professional advice?

 My team members! 

About the
Company

Pavestep - Performance Management Made Simple

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Career Path - Nisha Kappillil, Sr. Manager, Cyber Operations at CybelAngel banner image

Career Path - Nisha Kappillil, Sr. Manager, Cyber Operations at CybelAngel

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What do the career path and the day-in-the-life look like for a Sr. Manager, Cyber Operations at CybelAngel?

We connected with Nisha Kappillil to find out!

Interested in learning more about CybelAngel? Make sure to check out their company page!


Where did you grow up?   

I grew up in Kerala, India until I was 17 and moved to the US. 

Nisha Kappillil CybelAngel

Where did you go to college?  What did you study and what were some of your initial jobs out of school?

I graduated from University of North Texas with a degree in Psychology and in Applied Sciences. I worked as a data analyst and IT developer in my early career.

Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as a Sr Manager, Cyber Operations at CybelAngel?

I am responsible for managing a global team of Cyber Security Analysts and ensure smooth operations for CybelAngel, North America. I develop processes and enhance client relationships for better customer satisfaction and retention.

Nisha Kappillil CybelAngel

Any tips for someone considering a career in your field?

Keep up with the latest trends in the industry with an open mind and willingness to learn something new every day.


Day in the Life

Coffee, tea, or nothing?

Coffee in the morning. Tea in the afternoon. 

What time do you get into the office? 

I have a global team and I start as early as 7 am to accommodate my team in Europe.

What are two things that motivate you in your role?

  1. My Team
  2. The opportunity to learn and grow

What time do you head out of the office? 

It depends on the day but I like to wrap up by 5 pm so I can spend time with my family. 

Nisha Kappillil CybelAngel

Do you log back in at night or do you shut it down completely?  

I don’t unless there is an emergency. In my opinion, work life balance is essential for success

Any productivity hacks?

  • Plan your work week ahead
  • Have  open and honest two way communication with your team
  • Assign achievable goals to the team

What are the 2 apps that you can’t live without?

  1. Masterclass
  2. Audible

Who do you admire or call upon for professional advice?

My Boss 

About the
Company

CybelAngel's mission is to create cutting-edge technologies which make the Internet a safer place.

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