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 - Eric Zadorian, Enablement Specialist at Onapsis banner image

Career Path - Eric Zadorian, Enablement Specialist at Onapsis

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What do the career path and the day-in-the-life look like for an Enablement Specialist at Onapsis?

We connected with Eric Zadorian to find out!

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


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

I grew up in Pembroke, which is a town on the south shore of Massachusetts. My mom has worked in the financial services industry for over thirty-five years. My dad recently retired but he spent time working in the golf and fitness industries.

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

I recently started taking classes as part of the MBA distance learning program in Colorado State University’s College of Business. As an undergrad, I attended UCONN and graduated in 2008 with a degree in Economics.

Upon graduation, I decided that working 9-5 in a cubicle was not where I wanted to be, so I decided to follow my passion for golf and began a career in the golf industry as an Assistant Golf Professional. Don’t worry, I’ve since learned that not every job out of college is 9-5 in a cubicle. I was very fortunate to work at three golf facilities in the Greater Boston area. My responsibilities included organizing member and charity golf tournaments, managing the golf merchandising operation, providing instructional lessons to members, and representing the club in local tournaments. Part of my experience included completing the PGA of America’s rigorous certification program and becoming a P.G.A. Golf Professional.

After working in the golf industry for 10 years, I decided it was time for a career change.  Fortunately, I had a couple of former colleagues who had undergone a similar transition before me and they provided incredible guidance.  My first role post-golf was as a Business Development Representative (BDR) position at a cloud security startup in Boston. After that, I joined Onapsis in November 2018 as a Strategic BDR and was a part of that team for 2+ years before joining the Sales Enablement team in July 2021.

Eric Zadorian Onapsis

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

First and foremost, I have had the opportunity to work with great people in my professional life who I have learned a lot from and who have supported me throughout my career. I think my work ethic, intellectual curiosity, and willingness to learn from others has led me to where I am today. In addition, I pride myself on following through on my commitments which I hope bring reliability and accountability to my role.

Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as an Enablement Specialist at Onapsis?

The Company Enablement team is a part of the broader Strategic Programs team at Onapsis. As an Enablement Specialist, my responsibilities include: strategic initiatives such as global onboarding and bootcamps for new Ona team members, implementing certification programs for our GTM teams, and helping to organize various internal and external training sessions.

Any tips for someone considering a career in your field?

I am early on in my Enablement career, and it has been a winding road to get here, but I think it is important to define end-goals for the projects that you are working on and design a plan to get there. This will provide clarity and direction towards achievement. I also think it is important to be task-oriented and have the ability to juggle multiple projects simultaneously.


Day in the Life

Coffee, tea, or nothing?

Both. Iced coffee year-round with iced and hot tea mixed in from time to time.

What time do you get into the office? 

Around 7:30 AM. I am an early riser and like to walk to work, so I can’t blame it on the #7 bus being late.

What are three things that motivate you in your role?

  • Helping others achieve their goals
  • Taking part in projects that have a meaningful impact
  • Working at a company that makes a difference

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

I live in Boston and like to walk to the office, unless the weather prevents me from doing so. This helps set the tone for the day. Once I arrive, I usually eat breakfast and clear my inbox. Throughout the rest of a typical day, I meet with colleagues on our current projects, attend company-wide or team-specific meetings, and then perform work tasks related to those projects. I think it is important to break up the day a bit so I like to go for a walk around the city during my lunch break.  

What time do you head out of the office? 

Between 5:15-5:30

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

Shut it down completely. One thing the pandemic has taught me is the importance of work-life balance.

Eric Zadorian Onapsis

Any productivity hacks?

  • Build short breaks into your schedule and block off your calendar for lunch
  • Block off time at the end of the week to get caught up on things that got pushed back during the week
  • Create a ‘To-Do’ list each night for the next day which will help you stay organized and hit the ground running in the morning
  • Take notes during meetings, especially if you have several meetings each day

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

  • Spotify for music and podcasts
  • 98.5 The Sports Hub for Boston sports talk radio
  • GHIN mobile golf for posting scores, tracking stats, and handicap updates

What professional accomplishment are you proudest of?

When I was in the golf industry, I was elected President of the New England PGA’s Assistants’ Association, which is a volunteer association responsible for organizing a tournament schedule and career development opportunities for members of the Association.

Who do you admire or call upon for professional advice?

I typically reach out to my mentors and friends within my professional network who have helped me in the past. I try to identify someone who has been in a similar position before and pick their brains for advice. 

About the
Company

Onapsis protects the business-critical applications that power the global economy including SAP®, Oracle® and leading SaaS providers. Onapsis proudly serves more than 300 of the world’s leading brands including 20% of the Fortune 100 and partners with leading consulting and audit firms.

 
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Why I Joined: SmartBear banner image

Why I Joined: SmartBear

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We connected with Dan Faulkner, Chief Product Officer at SmartBear, for a Q&A to discuss why he decided to join the team. 


Why join SmartBear now?

SmartBear is an exciting company at a critical stage. The company has maintained a rapid growth rate and expansion over recent years. During the interview process, it became very clear that the entire executive team is ambitious for even more success. I’m excited by that desire for more. I believe I can help the company position itself for and execute on the next stages of growth. 

I was particularly pleased that the executive team and investors would like to drive more of the company’s growth through organic product investments. That means building more products from scratch, and it means expanding the capabilities of our existing products to expand our user base and increase pricing. While I love utilizing M&A as part of a growth strategy (and I do expect that to continue), supplementing that with our own innovations presents an opportunity to compound growth. It also creates new technical and career opportunities for the entire product organization, as well as creating a greater sense of cohesion and common mission throughout the product and engineering community at the company.

So that combination of scaling the organization, continuing M&A, and setting up the company to accelerate organic growth is very attractive to me. 

What are your first impressions of the teams you are working with here?

Very positive, and I expected them to be. The SmartBear culture comes through in all my interactions. I’ve found the entire team to be friendly, committed, smart, driven, and curious; all traits I love to see in my colleagues. There’s a high degree of technical excellence, also as expected. 

With that said, there are clearly opportunities for us all to improve and evolve as the company grows, and I’ve been grateful that the people I have worked with so far have been candid about where they feel we excel and where we have opportunities to improve. 

It’s also rare to see such outstanding sales and marketing lined up behind the product portfolio as we have at SmartBear. Product, Marketing, and Sales really support each other, and the sales and marketing teams are real powerhouses that catapult our great products into the market. 

I recently had the opportunity to have in-person meetings with the teams in Bath, UK, and Wroclaw, Poland, and there really is no substitute for meeting people face-to-face. I have more listening to do over the coming weeks and months, and I’m looking forward to hearing from as many people in the organization as possible. 

Coming from a larger company (Nuance), is there anything you can see bringing into SmartBear from what you helped to build over many years?

I believe I can. I was with Nuance as it grew from a few hundred employees to over 14,000. Like SmartBear, Nuance executed many acquisitions, had offices all over the world, and generally operated with a high degree of complexity. There are very clear parallels in SmartBear that are familiar to me, and I believe I can help the company get the most out of the opportunities that lie before it based on that experience.

While Nuance did experience outstanding growth, it also made mistakes along the way. All companies make mistakes, and we will obviously make them, too. My goal is to try to help SmartBear repeat the best practices that Nuance developed during its best phases and to achieve them earlier than Nuance did. And of course, to help us avoid some of the issues and pitfalls that Nuance encountered. 

I learned at Nuance that it is critically important to have a conscious set of values and a conscious culture to get the best from your organization. I can see the management team here really cares about its people and is invested in making everyone in the company successful and rewarded. It probably doesn’t always feel like that to everyone – it never always feels like that to everyone – but it is clear to me, from the executive team to individual managers, there’s a deep commitment to team welfare, growth, and advancement. 

Are there any particular strengths our product and dev teams have that you see as important to continue?

I expected a high level of technical acumen and I see it. So that is – for me – a given. 

One thing that has resonated with me is the extreme degree of customer focus throughout the organization. Every developer I have met so far has a keen sense of the end-users of our products, what they need, and what they’re going to need. That’s fantastic to see, and long may it continue. Deep customer knowledge is invaluable – it helps developers work more efficiently and make better decisions day-to-day. 

There’s also a higher than usual level of accountability, which I absolutely love to see. Caring about the complete performance of your products – rather than just the tasks to be completed in the sprint – is one of the key markers of excellent software teams.

What surprised you most in your first few weeks here at SmartBear?

Well, there’s a lot of orange 😊. Seriously, very little has surprised me so far. This is a highly, highly competent organization that demonstrates operational excellence daily. The strengths are as advertised, the areas for focus are as anticipated. The company is very much as I expected it to be based on the interview process, which speaks well of the interviewing team. 

Fill in the blank in this the sentence: “Expect …. from the product and development team in the coming year”

A technical vision for the SmartBear portfolio, expressed quite specifically and concretely: our target portfolio to address a well-defined target market. From that, a logically prioritized roadmap and execution strategy that gets us from where we are today to our target, with urgency. Greater velocity both through streamlined processes and increased investment in R&D. A tighter technical integration between our products. A focus on reusability across the portfolio to free up more bandwidth for new product developments and innovative enhancements to our existing products. An intense focus on a delightful end-user experience that is common to SmartBear users, whichever of our products they are using. A more integrated product and engineering organization whose members are excited to contribute to the SmartBear technology mission, wherever they are and whatever product they are working on.  

About the
Company

Smartbear's tools are built to streamline your DevOps processes while seamlessly working with the products you use – and will use

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Career Path - Rob Russell, Outreach Partner at Panorama Education banner image

Career Path - Rob Russell, Outreach Partner at Panorama Education

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What do the career path and the day-in-the-life look like for an Outreach Partner at Panorama Education?

We connected with Rob Russell to find out!

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


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

I grew up in a small town in Oregon called Baker City. My dad is a cattle rancher and my mom is an entrepreneur owning several small businesses.

Mr. Banksy (at home co-worker) always down to hang during break time!
Mr. Banksy (at home co-worker) always down to hang during break time!

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

I went to Portland State University and studied Psychology and Sociology. I supported myself through school by working at Whole Foods Market. My first job out of college was teaching 3rd grade at an international school in the suburbs of Bangkok, Thailand. I stayed in the classroom and taught in Seoul, South Korea, Denver, CO and most recently Brooklyn, NY. 

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

I would definitely have to say that being awarded the Ford Family Foundation Scholarship and going through their mentorship program was a major driver in my success today. The program was designed for first-generation college students and it’s really the only reason I successfully completed my degree and was able to afford college.

Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as an Outreach Partner at Panorama Education?

High level, I am responsible for overall outreach to districts with 5,000+ students. I research and prospect districts and then build relationships with district administrators to further drive Panorama’s mission of making a difference in the lives of all students. 

Coworkers keeping me motivated!
Coworkers keeping me motivated!

Any tips for someone considering a career in your field?

Having spent the last 10 years in the classroom, I took a rather long road to the career I have today. I think my biggest tip or advice would be to always focus on the impact that the organization you work for is making. If you feel good about what your company is doing, everything else falls into place. 


Day in the Life

Coffee, tea, or nothing?

Iced coffee. Every day. All year round.

What time do you get into the office? 

I’m usually at my desk and ready to go around 8:30am, but I do have days where it’s harder to get motivated to make that commute from my bedroom to my living. On those days I log in right at 9.

What are three things that motivate you in your role?

  • My coworkers - they are hilarious and always down for a good competition.
  • My family - I try to always work hard during my working hours so I can fully enjoy my time with my husband and our dog Banksy.
  • Impact - every time I book a meeting or we close a deal I think about the students I used to have and the impact Panorama will have on the lives of children like them.

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

The typical day is scattered with phone calls, emails, data entry, and research. On a busy day I may have 1-2 meetings scheduled with a prospect where I ask questions and learn as much as I can about their current needs and if Panorama can fit those needs. The best days are filled with Panorama Demos where I work with my closer to highlight our product. These are always fun when the prospect walks away really excited about partnering with us.

What time do you head out of the office? 

I try really hard to stay super focused all day and shut down right at 5pm.

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

I will occasionally check slack and emails one more time after dinner. Mostly to curb my own anxiety about any surprises coming up the next day or to check in on messages that could be coming in from colleagues in west coast time zones. 

Any productivity hacks?

  • Color code everything!
  • Don’t be afraid to turn on “Do Not Disturb” when you really need to focus. 
  • Take Breaks! It’s important to recognize the power of downtime when we are trying to be productive. 

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

  • Google Calendar
  • Slack
  • Spotify (I love listening to music when I need to really focus)

What professional accomplishment are you proudest of?

I stayed in the classroom for 10 years. When the average tenure of a teacher in the USA is around 1-3 years, it’s something I’m proud of professionally. 

Who do you admire or call upon for professional advice?

I tend to really lean into my friend group for advice both professionally and personally. I have a great chosen family here in NYC and a few mentors from my college days that I still reach out to for advice. 

About the
Company

Panorama’s mission is to radically improve education for every student.

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Career Path - Rory O’Connor, Inside Sales at Nexthink banner image

Career Path - Rory O’Connor, Inside Sales at Nexthink

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What do the career path and the day-in-the-life look like for an Inside Sales Technical Enablement at Nexthink?

We connected with Rory O’Connor to find out!

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


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

I grew up in Quincy, MA just 5 minutes South of Boston. My mother is a teacher and my father was in law enforcement.

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

I attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst. As a shameless plug, I will say they were some of the best 4 years I experienced. Between the culture, education, people, and overall environment, UMass was top notch. 

I was a political science major with a minor in macroeconomics. I loved political science because the classes involved discussion, thought leadership, and opinion, which has always been of interest. 

In high school, throughout college, and even on the side with my first job, I caddied. Caddying to this day has had the biggest influence on me workwise. I was able to spend time with accomplished individuals for hours on end, making conversation, seeing how they carried themselves, and getting exposed to new ideas. To this day, I still keep in touch with some of them, one in particular who has become a mentor. 

Caddying indirectly led me to my first job. A year or so after graduating from college, I was at a bar making small talk a year with some older golfers. Long story short, after we realized we had some mutual connections, learning that I was looking for a true first job and an “interview” over some libations, I was given a job at a boutique marketing firm in Boston.  

That marketing job was the perfect first job. I gained work experience and learned how marketing operated. However once that job wrapped up, I realized I wanted something to work towards on a daily basis. This led me to look into BDR (Business Development Representative) roles and ultimately Nexthink. I read a small article in the Boston Business Journal about a Swiss startup making inroads in Boston and sent in my resume. A few days later, I got a call from the Director of the team and told him about my prior experiences (bar story included), and he loved it. I knew little to nothing about enterprise IT but I think my ability to make conversation and connect with individuals helped!

Rory O’Connor Nexthink

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

I am a firm believer in keeping an open mind towards work. I think coming into a new job and ‘being a sponge’ is key to success. You want to learn from those around you, whether they do the same thing or not. Their experiences and knowledge will only allow you to better yourself. 

Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as a Inside Sales Technician at Nexthink?

Some of it is classified info but I can let you in on a little… My responsibilities consist primarily of finding ways to allow the business development team to exceed. I also work with the sales enablement team. This encompasses how we pitch, the cadences, onboarding, finding new ways to get to our prospects’ attention, working through the lows and the highs, and everything in between.  

Rory O’Connor Nexthink

Any tips for someone considering a career in your field?

For anybody who is considering getting into this, they should ask themselves if they want to work with others by helping them learn and be in a team environment. It’s all about passing knowledge on as well as seeing how you can add value to make a colleague that much more successful. 


Day in the Life

Coffee, tea, or nothing?

Coffee! Trenta Hazelnut from Starbs!

What time do you get into the office? 

I’d be lying if I said I was a morning person... let's just say the Red Line is always ‘delayed’.

What are three things that motivate you in your role?

Passing on knowledge and seeing it work, finding new ways to win/learning from failures, and watching someone excel in their development.

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

I like to have a coffee and see what's happening in the news. I usually have the new BDRs do the same. It is amazing how a news tidbit can then lead to a quality sales call down the line. Then, depending on the week, I have some calls with the team in Europe to see how they are doing. Right before lunch and for the afternoon, I will do some training sessions/exercises depending on where people are at. Then there is a mix of calls with the Boston team and miscellaneous activities. It really depends where we are with new hires and the time of the quarter. 

What time do you head out of the office? 

Usually, we will start heading to the train around 5:30pm depending on the night and what line you take home. We have a good group in the office and later in the week, predominantly Thursdays, there is an ‘understood’ consensus that we’ll all go grab a beer at a local bar...and I'll never say no to a beer or two!

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

Very rarely. I think shutting everything down is important and most of the time it can wait for the morning. I think that if you truly do not have work to do past 6pm, then being on your work computer for appearances could be better spent with family, friends, working on oneself, or just taking a breather!

Any productivity hacks?

My boss once showed me the importance of putting time on my own calendar to get work done. It has been very helpful and prevents distractions from creeping in, but also keeps you accountable. 

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

I admit I have an Instagram addiction. Spotify is key, especially for podcasts during the commute to and from work. Then, oddly enough, Yelp. I love finding new food spots and bars. It always cracks me up at some of the reviews people leave, too. 

What professional accomplishment are you proudest of?

A couple of years ago here at Nexthink, I won BDR of the year. It was a great experience because the company event was in Malta, where most of us had never been, and I won it with the sales rep and sales engineer I worked with at the time. When I first started as a BDR, I was pretty bad at it and it took me a while to get it down. Eventually, it all started to click and I was able to contribute and help bring in some logos for the company. However, it was a great experience because when I see someone struggling on the BDR team, now I tell them I was no ace either… it takes a while, but eventually, if you keep trying to improve, you’ll get there. 

Rory O’Connor Nexthink

Who do you admire or call upon for professional advice?

It would be my father. His background is law enforcement which is a completely different world from enterprise software. However, the leadership skills I have learned from him are unparalleled. Whether it is decision making and owning that decision or staying calm when things might not be going well, those are things I look to emulate and work towards. 

About the
Company

Nexthink is a global leader in Digital Employee Experience.

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 Why I Joined: Panorama Education banner image

Why I Joined: Panorama Education

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There are many factors that play into one's choice when deciding on what company is the right fit for them, so we decided to dive deep into why Panorama Education is a great place to work by asking their team members the question "Why did you join Panorama Education and what were the major factors for you?"


Vinu Kumar Panorama EducationVinu Kumar, Outreach Director

I started working on the Outreach team at Panorama about 2.5 years ago. I was really interested in staying connected to the social impact space and was looking to join a company whose work could affect meaningful change.  I came across Panorama a couple months into my job search, and felt inspired by the company’s mission and focus on elevating the voices of students in communities across the country. 

When I was job searching, I was reflecting often on past experiences where I derived the most value and joy. The two factors that kept coming up from those experiences were (a)  the ability to work on and contribute to a team goal, and (b) the ability to build relationships centered around problem solving and improvement.

I had not previously considered a role in Sales until meeting the team at Panorama and getting a glimpse into the day to day of the Outreach team. Now, I have the pleasure of connecting with school districts across the country, learning about the incredibly thoughtful ways they are supporting students on the ground, and talking through how Panorama can be most supportive of their priorities. Those conversations, and seeing conversations turn into strong years-long partnerships, are really fulfilling. 

Finally, the culture at Panorama is what solidified my interest in joining the team. I felt that the culture at Panorama was unlike any one that I had experienced previously, and it was palpable from my early conversations with folks here. I met several wonderful people just throughout the interview process who made a deep impression on me. They seemed (and now I know this to be true!) to genuinely care about their colleagues and their work, and were excited to strive towards betterment. 

The biggest factors that initially piqued my interest in Panorama are the same ones that make me excited to stick around for years to come  - the opportunity to work at a growing company with big ideas and ambitious goals, working alongside great colleagues and being apart of a culture that values work-life balance and caring about people.


Ben Mark Panorama EducationBen Mark, Director of Field Sales

I joined Panorama in 2016 because after 7 years in student-facing roles, I was looking ahead into the future and didn't see myself as a career-long educator. I really wasn't sure what would come next, but I knew I wanted to stay close to education, while also doing something completely different from teaching. I took what I liked about teaching (learning new things, working directly with people, preparing lesson-plans/presentations) and just started looking around. 

As an organization, Panorama excited me because of its education focus and because at Panorama, I saw a lot of other people who got their start in the classroom and had made a similar move to the one I was looking to make. 

Finally, I wanted to make sure I was joining a company that felt like it was doing something exciting and meaningful, but also something that felt sustainable and scalable. I was convinced that Panorama was doing all of those things after my interview process in 2016, and I'm still convinced of that today!


Casey H Panorama EducationCasey Hill, Outreach Partner

From leasing companies to tech startups, and even a multibillion dollar data visualization company, I've worked in sales for some cool companies in the past 6 years. However, one thing missing from every single one of those jobs was a mission that I could really get behind.

Everything we do is for students. That’s the thing I loved about Panorama immediately. It gave me that sort of pit in the stomach feeling that I really wanted to work here. We help support students and enable district administrators to make their students successful. We are living our mission every single day, and it’s threaded into everything I do.

We don't have the Wolf of Wall Street sales culture here that I've experienced in other companies. Panorama embraces collaboration and makes sure that we understand every activity that we do is for students. 

For me, being an Outreach Partner at Panorama is the feel good sales role that I've been waiting for years to be a part of. Everytime I see a deal close, or progress in the pipeline, it makes me happy. Deals mean that we're helping to support 1 more, 100 more, 1000 more students succeed across this country! I go to bed at night feeling like I did a really great job and I’m excited to wake up in the morning so that I can call more districts and help more students succeed!

About the
Company

Panorama’s mission is to radically improve education for every student.

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Career Path - Chris Pope, Director of Sales at Crayon banner image

Career Path - Chris Pope, Director of Sales at Crayon

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What do the career path and the day-in-the-life look like for a Director of Sales at Crayon?

We connected with Chris Pope to find out!

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


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

I grew up in Newfields, NH which is a small town in southeastern NH. My mom has worked in sales at Microsoft for almost 30 years and my dad has held a number of jobs including managing manufacturing plants, coaching every youth sport you can imagine, and helping manage a golf course.

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

I graduated from Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York with a degree in Public Policy and English. I initially worked as an apprentice for Kerivan-Lane, which is a family-owned HVAC business out of Needham, MA. That opportunity was humbling and really opened my eyes to the real world and taught me a lot about hard work and customer service. It also taught me that manual labor wasn’t something I wanted to spend the next 50 years of my career doing. After my time there, I started my career in sales at AppNeta, working for the brilliant Matt Stevens. I attribute a lot of the sales skills and knowledge I have to my time there. They were a gritty start-up at the time that wasn’t afraid to provide young people with the opportunities to grow their careers quickly. While sometimes you felt like you were drowning, I also credit the sales leaders there for teaching me how to swim pretty quickly. Since then, I have been at Crayon for the past 4.5 years, where I have grown from Account Executive to Director of Sales. I think I was extremely fortunate to find Crayon when I did. It’s not every day you get to watch a start-up go from doing thousands of dollars worth of business to tens of millions of dollars worth of business first-hand in such a short period of time. It’s been the ride of a lifetime, to say the least.

Chris Pope Crayon

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

I have two mantras:

  • Always be the hardest working person in the room (or on the Zoom)
  • Be an expert

Sales takes a lot of skill, but part of it is science. The harder you work, the more successful you will be. My dad drilled into my head at an early age that if you want to be a leader, you need to lead by example, so that is always what I have tried to do. 

I think one of the most common mistakes salespeople make is not taking the time to become an expert of their product and their industry. Sales is all about trust and showing your prospects you are an expert can go a long way in your attempt to build credibility. One of the first things I did during my time at Crayon is quickly form alliances with every department within the organization, as well as become acquainted with a lot of thought leaders in the industry.

Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as a Director of Sales at Crayon?

Most of my time is spent supporting our senior sales executives with deal support. Whether that is providing technical support on demonstrations or strategizing around negotiations and internal contract review processes. I also assist with hiring, onboarding, and training of new sales executives, as well as other strategic initiatives we have going on internally.

Any tips for someone considering a career in your field?

Network. Network. Network. Immerse yourself into the fast-growing technology community and build as many relationships as you can.

Chris Pope Crayon 1


Day in the Life

Coffee, tea, or nothing?

I crush caffeine-free tea to help me keep going through the day. 

What time do you get into the office? 

Typically between 7:30-8:00 am.

What are three things that motivate you in your role?

  • Seeing others succeed
  • Watching the company succeed
  • Money

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

I am in the trenches with my team.  With a team of reps that vary in tenure and experience, I never know what my day will end up being.  From scheduled demos to last minute negotiations, things move fast and so do I. 

What time do you head out of the office? 

Typically at 6pm 

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

It’s a mobile world, so I am pretty much always on or available. I usually take one or two vacations per year where I try my best to shut it down completely. 

Any productivity hacks?

  • Take short breaks throughout the day. I am almost always pacing from one end of our office to the other between tasks. 
  • Plan your next day the night before. I wrap up every day by creating a to-do list for the next day.
  • Work on one big project at a time. 

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

  • The Grint - So I can closely monitor how bad my golf game is. 
  • ESPN
  • Instagram

Who do you admire or call upon for professional advice?

I have a ton of mentors and peers I call or share ideas with frequently. If you don’t have a career mentor, I strongly suggest speaking to your manager about helping you find one.

About the
Company

Crayon’s award-winning competitive intelligence platform helps your organization see and seize opportunities so you can create a sustainable business advantage.

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Why I Joined: BitSight banner image

Why I Joined: BitSight

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There are many factors that play into one's choice when deciding on what company is the right fit for them, so we decided to dive deep into why BitSight is a great place to work by asking their team members the question "Why did you join BitSight and what were the major factors for you?"


Narmadha Ganapathy BitSightNarmadha Ganapathy, Senior Software Engineer

Throughout my career, I have worked in multiple MNC’s, in two different industries, and I wanted to have a change from my old organization, that’s when I heard about BitSight. Being a passionate engineer I was looking for a place where I can work on a modern tech stack and get to try different aspects of the product. BitSight offers me a perfect environment for me to try this.  Our customer win report gives you a sense of gratification and the impact made by your work. At the end of the day, I can retire to my family with a high level of satisfaction from my job.  

I joined BitSight literally two days before the pandemic lockdown, making work remote. I must say the support I received from every member of the organization assured me that I have chosen a solid workplace. I am my healthiest self in my entire career, both mentally and physically after joining BitSight, as it provides good work life balance.  Every morning I wake up and the thought of work makes me happy, and the credit goes to BitSight!


Luke Mendenhall BitSightLuke Mendenhall, Software Engineer
 
I joined BitSight because it provides a unique opportunity to help people while engaging in the realm of cybersecurity. The people here are incredibly friendly and helpful, and I look forward to developing tools to recognize and thwart cybercrime.

 


Anthony Mason BitSightAnthony Mason, Senior Software Engineer

Before joining BitSight, I was looking for a new challenge in my career, one that would stretch my expertise in a new space and allow me to work with talented and remarkable people. BitSight checked all of those boxes. From my very first interview, I felt like I was accepted and appreciated for who I am by BitSight. My feelings have been solidified since I’ve joined. BitSight offers high-quality cybersecurity products and it is a testament to the brilliant people that work at the company. The culture here is great. It is a pleasure working in an environment where the employees are recognized and respected as people first. I wake up every morning motivated to make the internet a safer place for everyone, knowing I have the support of my team behind me.


Enida Vezelaj BitSightEnida Vezelaj, Software Engineer

I joined the BitSight engineering team because it's a company that puts people first. During my application I did some research and spoke to the team to know more about what they do and how they work, I immediately felt like we shared the same core values and work ethics. Thus, I decided it could be the right place for me. Our teams bring together a very diverse group of minds, making our workplace a really good learning environment and that is reflected on the product we build for the customers. I believe what we build is great because the way we work is great.

About the
Company

 

BitSight offers the most widely adopted Security Ratings solution with a mission to change the way the world addresses cyber risk.

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Career Path - Journey to JRNI: Luis Fleitas banner image

Career Path - Journey to JRNI: Luis Fleitas

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Meet JRNI’s Professional Services Manager, Luis Fleitas. Members from JRNI sat down (virtually) with Luis to find out more about his career progression, what makes JRNI different, and what he enjoys doing outside of work!

Original article can be found on JRNI's blog.


You’ve been at JRNI for four years now. How have you grown in your role thus far?

I started out as a Solutions Architect on the pre-sales team four years ago. I worked with many large enterprises designing integrations that are still up and running today. I am now managing the Professional Services team in the U.S. In the past four years, I have had the good fortune to work closely with the Sales, Product, and Engineering teams and have learned a lot from them.

What’s one of your biggest accomplishments so far in your career at JRNI?

It's hard to pick one single project or task as my biggest accomplishment in JRNI. I have worked on multiple large challenging projects that have helped the company grow and establish ourselves as market leaders. However, I would consider building a truly amazing PS team as my biggest accomplishment. It’s rewarding to see how my team delivers large projects and maintains a high level of engagement with our customers during the implementation cycle.

What’s the most rewarding part about working at JRNI?

The impact of our work. We work with very well established and recognizable brands, and our products are used by hundreds of thousands of people every month across the world.

What’s your favorite thing about your coworkers/team?

There is a direct line to anybody in the organization. We are truly an open door organization. I am able to reach out to anybody if I have an idea or issue I need to discuss.

What makes JRNI different?

The fast pace of change and how quickly we can react to market changes. It was truly amazing how our company was able to react to the changes that the COVID-19 pandemic brought to the marketplace by introducing new product offerings that helped bridge a gap.

Do you have any hobbies you’re passionate about?

I have two main hobbies. I love to cook and I also practice Crossfit. I bought a side smoker a couple of years ago and have been perfecting my technique. I am always reading on what is the best way to smoke and season a brisket.

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I have been lucky enough to travel a little bit and see some truly amazing places. However, if I could pick my next destination it would probably be Istanbul. I love the idea of walking through the open markets and visiting the Hagia Sophia mosque.

About the
Company

JRNI is an enterprise SaaS scheduling platform for personalizing and optimizing the customer journey.

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Career Path - Eli Scherr, Director of Cloud Alliances, Aqua banner image

Career Path - Eli Scherr, Director of Cloud Alliances, Aqua

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What do the career path and the day-in-the-life look like for a Director of Cloud Alliances at Aqua?

We connected with Eli Scherr to find out!

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


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

I grew up in southern Maine in a small coastal town called Yarmouth.  My mom was a special ed teacher in a neighboring public school, and my father worked on the waterfront in Portland from selling, building & maintaining boats to running a full-service marina. 

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

I went to Hobart College in Western NY. Taking full advantage of the liberal arts opportunity, I started in economics but later re-aligned, and I finished with a major in Psychology with minors in education & social justice. Following college, I had an unpaid internship with a four-person start-up in NYC. Then after a road trip to Colorado (where I became hooked on the outdoor activities, culture, and pace of life), I ended up sticking around. I spent four years there working for Maxim Healthcare in HR, Operations, Sales, and then Dish Network in HR & Field operations.

Eli Scherr Aqua

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

I believe that hard work will always be a foundational component of anyone’s success and growth.  Beyond that, I believe that accountability and delivery have helped form key relationships with my colleagues.  In my opinion, no matter where you sit in an organization the relationships you build are key to establishing yourself.

I started my career at Aqua in a different department but then transitioned into business development and cloud alliances. This career shift was possible because of the relationships I built and the trust I established. I have been lucky enough to work with leaders at Aqua who are open to creative paths for me to demonstrate my potential and allow me to explore new skills. Leadership that is committed to mentorship and people development is a game changer.    

Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as a Director of Cloud Alliances at Aqua?

At Aqua Security I am responsible for the strategy of our global alliances with the major Cloud Providers (AWS, Azure, GCP, RedHat, VMware, Alibaba Cloud) as well as with relevant technical eco-system partners that support a joint value in an aligned approach. 

Any tips for someone considering a career in your field?

There is no one-size-fits-all for business development, but it is integral that you are comfortable with ambiguity and can build structure around some unknown.


Day in the Life

Coffee, tea, or nothing?

Coffee, coffee, coffee!

What time do you get into the office? 

In a pre-COVID world, I was known to be in the office by 7:15 or 7:30 (I wanted to avoid losing hours in traffic, but it doesn’t hurt when I’m working with colleagues in Israel!).  Since the pandemic, my “online” schedule shifted slightly where I sign on just before 8am each morning.

What are three things that motivate you in your role?

  1. My team and the broader Aqua team. We are a group that grows together. We learn from each other but also tackle new challenges together.
  2. The opportunity to have a direct impact on the success of Aqua Security as a whole – that’s the beauty of a hypergrowth startup!
  3. Working with our partners and building alliances together – I am able to really see the broader impact of Aqua’s technology.

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

Each day is a mix of internal cross-functional meetings driving existing/upcoming initiatives and externally facing partner meetings with cloud providers and/or technical eco-system partners. Then there is ongoing chat and collaboration with my team via various communication mediums while simultaneously attending to the small fires that pop up more than I’d like to admit. 

What time do you head out of the office?

It’s quite a range! 5:30-7:00 pm depending on the day, and if I am commuting from my office to living room or our physical office in Burlington, MA home to my home in Boston.

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

With the pace of an exponentially growing global business at Aqua Security, there are times where I have to jump on odd hour calls for different regions around the world.  I’m rarely unreachable unless on a planned vacation outside of cell coverage.  With that said, I would say as a company, we have a culture of being mindful of time zones and respecting a balance of work/life. In the remote world, it becomes even more integral to trust our folks to deliver and not worry about the time you are actually sitting in a seat. It’s about finding the balance that works with your life!  

Any productivity hacks?

Do less better.  Simplify each day by focusing on accomplishing a few critical tasks instead of getting bogged down by the noise around you. It is very easy with a million ways to communicate to never be able to focus on something from start to finish, but I believe this is key.  If the meeting you are on isn’t benefiting you to the point where you are paying attention, I might ask – “why are you on that meeting?”

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

Zillow (not for practical purposes just exploration), [insert food delivery service app], and ESPN

What professional accomplishment are you proudest of?

The elbows in my career where I have moved from stable comfortable positions to take on a new challenge or rebuild something that is not working.  These opportunities to make myself uncomfortable, without a clear map in front of me, but in the end come out successful are the most rewarding. 

Who do you admire or call upon for professional advice?

That would have to be my two older brothers alongside a manager of the past.  These are the people that can be honest and upfront with me without any sugar-coating, which is just what I need having created my non-linear career path so far. 

About the
Company

Aqua Security is the largest pure-play cloud native security company.

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Career Path - Alana Dore, Associate Product Manager at Examity banner image

Career Path - Alana Dore, Associate Product Manager at Examity

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What do the career path and the day-in-the-life look like for an Associate Product Manager at Examity?

We connected with Alana Dore to find out!

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


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

I grew up in Needham, MA. My dad worked as a client service executive - a job I did not fully appreciate until I did something similar when I first started Examity. My mom was an entrepreneur and started two health practices in different disciplines. Both of them often worked out of our house, so from an early age I learned the importance of effective communication and listening to your clients. I also learned the value of noise cancelling headphones.

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

I graduated from Northeastern University with a dual degree in English and linguistics. The best decision I made in college was adding Linguistics as a major. I was discouraged from sciences as a kid and one introductory class (shoutout to Dr. Rob Painter) changed my whole perspective. Studying linguistics allowed me to understand how we can use data and identify patterns to learn more about people and their cultures. That education continues to drive my thinking today. I love that the field of linguistics is always evolving.. 

Through Northeastern’s co-op program, I was able to test drive a variety of career paths. I worked at a nonprofit for students, in digital marketing for Wayfair and in corporate philanthropy at TJX corporate (T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, Homegoods). I thought after graduating I would end up working in philanthropy but landed a job at Examity as an Account Manager. I appreciate the culture and people at Examity and feel passionately about helping to build a better product.

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

  • Being curious and persistent, especially when it entails learning about what motivates, challenges, and excites other people. 
  • Creating meaningful personal connections.
  • A desire to be of service. If something I am doing will help someone else, then I’ll be motivated to get it done. 

Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as an Associate Product Manager at Examity?

As an associate product manager at Examity, my main responsibility is contributing to the formation and execution of our product vision. 

Any tips for someone considering a career in your field? / How did you transition into Product Management?

Do your research - product management is very different from what I first anticipated. It’s a profession I didn’t even know existed until I started at Examity. I took a certificate course with General Assembly to get the lay of the land and read a lot of books and articles from product professionals. 

Ultimately, working directly with our clients as an Account Manager gave me a unique understanding of our industry, our users, and their needs. Examity leadership allowed me to sit in on product and design meetings and even work on some research and story development before I joined the team. Working at a smaller, collaborative company definitely opened up opportunities for me to dip my feet in the product world before diving in. Further, having people within the department who wanted to work with me and were committed to seeing my career develop made all the difference. 


Day in the Life

Coffee, tea, or nothing?

Black decaf. I quit caffeine a year and a half ago and I’m never going back. 10/10 would recommend. I also recently discovered “London Fog” lattes which are delicious! 

What time do you get into the office?

We’re still working remotely, so I log in a few minutes after 8AM.

What are three things that motivate you in your role?

  • Providing value to others.
  • Trying to understand and empathize with our users.
  • Working with smart, engaged people who are passionate about the work we are doing - shoutout to our engineering teams!

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

I always start my day by checking my to-do list and scanning emails and Slack for anything urgent. Part of our engineering team is in India, so I will typically use the first hour of my day to take inventory of the team’s progress on tickets and resolve any blockers. It feels like the best way to utilize our limited overlapping schedules. I can have anywhere from 2-6 hours of meetings in a day but I try to set aside hour-long blocks to work on specific items on my list. On any given day I could be working with clients and users to identify use cases and problems, refining our product vision, detailing tickets, updating documentation, reprioritizing our backlog, investigating user metrics, creating workflows, or collaborating with UX. 

What time do you head out of the office? 

I log off between 5PM and 6PM.

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

I almost always log back in at night. I like coming back refreshed after a few hours of break when there are fewer people online. I like to be available for questions from all of our internal teams during the day, so typically my focus time is at night.

Any productivity hacks?

I keep a master to-do list. Before I log off for the day, I identify three things that will push my big projects forward and any easy wins. I highlight those to tackle tomorrow. I also schedule time that I really need to buckle down and focus on a big project and highlight what that item will be in advance. 

For productivity in my personal life, I schedule exercise into my calendar at the start of the week, even if I’m just stretching. If I treat it like a “to-do” or a meeting, then I get it done. 

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

  • Headspace.
  • Notion - I’m newly addicted. I feel like it has all the best things about every productivity, note-taking, or spreadsheet app I’ve ever used, but with way more flexibility.
  • Google Maps - even when I know where something is, I put it in the app. I’ve tried new navigation apps and I always come back to this one. 
  • Bonus: Peloton - I’m in the Peleton army now and they’ve really locked in on how to “surprise and delight” me as a customer. This is an app that makes me excited about working in product myself. 

What professional accomplishment are you proudest of?

  • Transitioning into product management.
  • Connecting with my team members for volunteering opportunities through our service committee, Examity Gives.

Who do you admire or call upon for professional advice?

My coworkers, especially the other product managers at Examity. They all have a lot more experience in product and each of them can always provide a unique insight. I have a lot of respect for the work they do on a daily basis and try to absorb as much as they are willing to share in every interaction. Second to them, I like referring back to principles by Angela Duckworth and Brene Brown when I need a reminder about the type of person I’m aspiring to be. Specifically, leading with vulnerability, empathy, passion, and perseverance.

About the
Company

Examity was founded to meet the needs of colleges, employers, and certification providers looking to ensure integrity. Since its founding, Examity has partnered with 500+ institutions and certification programs worldwide to provide a cost-effective and flexible online proctoring solution.

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