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: Geza Csank, Manager, Member Services at Virgin Pulse banner image

Career Path: Geza Csank, Manager, Member Services at Virgin Pulse

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What do the career path and the day-in-the-life look like for a Manager, Member Services at Virgin Pulse?

We connected with Geza Csank to find out!

Also, be sure to check out Virgin Pulse's Offices in Framingham and Providence.

Click here for a list of job openings at Virgin Pulse, or check out the right side of this page!


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

I grew up in the suburbs of Lausanne, Switzerland.  My father was a physician and my mother held our home together and ensured we were well prepared for.

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

I studied at Northeastern University and majored in Print Journalism and minored in Philosophy. However, I always wanted to attend Berklee College of Music, which I did.

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

I don’t work for me, I work for the supervisors and the agents on the floor and they are my customers. Always approach every job and task with a positive attitude. 


Day in the Life

Coffee, tea, or nothing?

Coffee. All day.

What time do you get into the office? 

Usually come in around 7:30am. Quieter mornings help me organize my day and tend to any follow-ups.

What are three things that motivate you in your role?

Ensuring that my team is successful and they have been provided the opportunity to be successful.

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

Run between meetings and support my team of supervisors

What time do you head out of the office? 

When my crew tells me to leave. There is always something going in the contact center and I tend to lose track of what time it is. 

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

A life/work balance is important. Through the years I have been able to totally focus on my family and tend to urgent off-hour work matters. It’s a fine balance, but it comes with the job. I am lucky to have a supportive family.

Any productivity hacks?

There is a  lot going on during the day but I found it useful to actually schedule blocks of time in my calendar to focus on projects and get out of the ‘weeds’ for a bit. 

Which apps can you not live without?

  • Spotify

  • Teams 

What professional accomplishment are you proudest of?

I’ve dedicated my career to the contact center and customer service. I started as a representative and was lucky to work in an environment that promoted and encouraged new ideas and development and collaboration. I’m proud of the hard work and dedication I’ve put in my work.

Who do you admire or call upon for professional advice?

My father-in-law was my to-go person. He provided a lot of advice on networking, integrity, managing skills and just life hacks in general. Great man. Smart man. It’s my time to pay it forward now.

About the
Company

We recharge your people. They ignite your business. Replenish your employees w/ tools that help them build habits that matter. Part of Virgin Group.

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Career Path: Rob Kim, Electrical Engineering Lead at Soofa banner image

Career Path: Rob Kim, Electrical Engineering Lead at Soofa

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What do the career path and day-in-the-life look like for an Electrical Engineering Lead at Soofa?

We connected with Rob Kim to find out!

Interested in working at Soofa? Check out all of the company's job openings on the sidebar!


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

I grew up in Moscow, Russia. My dad founded a construction company. My mom used to be a tax inspector, and now she helps my dad run the business. 

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

I went to Northeastern University to study electrical engineering. After graduating, I worked for a startup called ecoVent as an electrical engineer. Then, I joined Soofa.

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

Working for startups, you get a lot of responsibility. There has been a lot of trust from the leadership team for me to deliver, so that increase in responsibility helped me grow very quickly professionally.

Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as Engineer at
Soofa?

I am responsible for hardware at Soofa. Most of it is on the electrical engineering side of things. That involves everything from prototyping, to reliable operation of the product in the field, to the implementation of scalable processes for manufacturing the Soofa Signs and products.

Any tips for someone considering a career in Engineering?

Most college graduates don’t know exactly what they want to dedicate their life to in terms of work. So, joining a startup allowed me to really understand what side of engineering I’m most interested in. Same goes for any other major. If you’re interested in marketing, you can join a startup and do marketing, and really understand what side of marketing excites you the most.


Day in the Life

Coffee, tea, or nothing?

Coffee.

What time do you get into the office?

10 AM

What is something that motivates you most in your role?

 Walking through the streets of Boston and seeing the product running in the field.

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

I come in at 10 AM and make a bowl of oatmeal and a cup of coffee. Then, I log in to my computer, check email, check Slack, review the performance of the Signs and sensors running in the field, and take a look at the project backlog in Asana. I prioritize tasks for the day and execute.

What time do you head out of the office?

I head out anywhere between 6-8 PM.

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

I typically don’t log back in at night, unless I get an alert that a Sign is underperforming.

Any productivity hacks?

I stay productive by keeping everything in Asana, and staying on top of prioritization.

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

○ WhatsApp to communicate with my family and friends
○ Instagram to stay on top of my friends’ social life
○ Slack to stay on top of my work stuff

What project are you proudest of?

Working with a contractor to design a custom power supply for our Soofa Signs was a challenging task, and certainly one of the projects that I’m most proud of.

Who do you admire or call upon for career advice?

My parents have been extremely helpful when choosing my next career step. They trust me to make the right decision, but at the same time can provide another point of view on my career decisions.

About the
Company

Soofa is the neighborhood news feed that connects a community with screens everyone can see and anyone can use.

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Career Path: Kara Noonan, Senior Onboarding Associate at Buildium banner image

Career Path: Kara Noonan, Senior Onboarding Associate at Buildium

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What do the career path and day-in-the-life look like for a Senior Onboarding Associate at Buildium?

We connected with Kara Noonan to find out!

Interested in working at Buildium? Check out all of the company's job openings on the sidebar!


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

I grew up in Burlington.  My dad has always worked in Financial Services, my mom stayed home with me and my siblings while we were younger and now works at Massachusetts General Hospital.

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

I went to Worcester State University. I majored in Business Administration and minored in Economics.  I interned at Everbridge in their marketing department right out of college, but Buildium is my first full-time job.  I started on Buildium’s Customer Care team as a Customer Care Agent and then after a few months started on the Onboarding team as the first Onboarding Concierge.

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

I can truly say that my manager has had a huge impact on where I am today.  Since day 1, she has supported and saw potential in me to be the first person in the role I am in today.  She saw a vision for this role and wanted me to be the one to make that vision a reality. I have the utmost trust in and respect for my manager and truly believe that she wants her team to succeed not only professionally but personally as well.

Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as Senior Onboarding Concierge at Buildium?

I am responsible for the first experience of our newest customers. I assist them in getting their data into Buildium and keep them on target to meet their deadlines all while laying the foundation for long term customer loyalty.  To achieve this, I work cross functionally with sales, customer support, and marketing to ensure all of our customers have a memorable first touch experience. I am their main point of contact until they are passed to their onboarding specialist who further helps them implement the software and delivers customized training, ultimately helping the customer meet their desired outcomes. 

Buildium Team

Any tips for someone considering a career in Customer Success?

In order to ensure that the customer is successful, you may not always be able to say yes to their requests. Sometimes you may have to have a difficult conversation in order to help them see why a different path will lead to their long term success. The challenging conversations often times end up being the most rewarding.  

Buildium’s Onboarding team is growing! Questions? Feel free to reach out to me!


Day in the Life

Coffee, tea, or nothing?

99% of the time coffee!! Sometimes I do like a mid-afternoon cup of tea.

What time do you get into the office? 

I try to get in by 8:30.  I like to get situated and ready to go no later than 9- any later and it throws off my day.

What are three things that motivate you in your role?

  • The respect from my teammates

  • Success of our customers

  • Reaching new milestones as a company

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

  • First thing is always to refill my coffee as soon as I get in the office (I already drank one on my commute in).

  • Next, I check slack and respond to emails that came in the night before.  I continuously check my email throughout the day, but want to ensure customer questions from the previous night are responded to first thing in the morning.

  • Then, I have the ‘first touch’ calls with customers, which are calls dedicated to welcoming them as new Buildium customers and giving them their next steps for Onboarding and getting their accounts set up.

  • Immediately after the call, I always update salesforce with call notes to stay organized.

  • My afternoons typically consist of reaching out to customers that just signed up to schedule their ‘first touch’ calls and ensuring I am staying on top of emails so that customers are responded to within the same work day.

What time do you head out of the office? 

Every day varies, but usually between 5 and 5:30.

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

I always have slack notifications on and if I am waiting for an urgent customer response, I will check my email.

Any productivity hacks?

I am a huge fan of making lists.  I love the feeling of crossing things off as they get done!

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

Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Gmail

What professional accomplishment are you proudest of?

I was the first person at Buildium to be in the role I am in now.  It is really cool to think how this role was non-existent a few years ago and I specifically was given the opportunity to build it out and make a vision become a reality. 

Who do you admire or call upon for professional advice?

 My family is my go-to for professional advice.  My parents and siblings are all successful in their careers, and although they have taken different career paths, I always look to them for advice.

About the
Company

Buildium is a property management software-as-a-service (SaaS) company headquartered in Boston. 

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Career Path: Rekha Rajaram, Data Scientist at Applecart banner image

Career Path: Rekha Rajaram, Data Scientist at Applecart

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What do the career path and the day-in-the-life look like for a Data Scientist at Applecart?

We connected with Rekha Rajaram to find out!

Click here for a list of job openings at Applecart, or check out the right side of this page!


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

I grew up in New Delhi, India. My dad was a career central government employee, who made decisions on policies, and budgets for various departments of the government. My mom worked for the Reserve Bank of India.

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 Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, where I studied Metallurgical Engineering. Right after I graduated, I moved to California to work on my Doctorate in Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford. My career started out in microprocessor research and development. I worked for a startup called Intermolecular, and then for IBM, before making a pivot to Data Science.

Rekha

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

Taking ownership, and seeing tasks to completion are critical to being a valuable contributor to any team. This has helped me learn about what makes me tick, and where I want to go next in my career. Additionally, being relatively open to learning new skills, has opened up new avenues for me. Finally (and very importantly), being a team-player, and helping co-workers succeed has not only been rewarding in its own right, it has actually helped me build knowledge, skills and improved my network. I would attribute any success I have had to these practices. 

Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as a Data Scientist at Applecart?
 
I build, productionize, and integrate machine learning models for the recommendation engine service on our app. I am also helping build out the internal data analytics platform for the company. Additionally, I work on newer initiatives, such as additional functionalities for the product (particularly as relates to the recommendation engine), and data analysis to support business decisions.
 
Any tips for someone considering a career in Data Science?
 
There are many flavors of data scientists. Some of the things they have in common are: An ability to quantify almost anything, a thirst for data discovery, and the ability to code/prototype their work. My advice to someone with these traits, who is considering a career in Data Science, would be to spend some time both on fundamentals (learn the workings of machine learning models, and some coding - Python, SQL), as well as building projects, and maybe even publishing the work to Github or a similar platform. If possible, taking on data-heavy roles in their current organization is a good starting point. All of this not only helps prepare someone for the big interview, it also helps them learn if the job is really for them.
 

Rehka

 


Day in the Life

Coffee, tea, or nothing?

Coffee. Anytime. (unless it’s wine ‘o clock).

What time do you get into the office? 

Around 9.30 am

What are three things that motivate you in your role?

Creativity, Data discovery, Building products.

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

We have standup in the morning, where we quickly discuss current progress, plans for the day, and any blockers. The rest of the day is mostly a lot of coding or reviewing others’ code. There are some weekly meetings we have for planning, and others as needed, but I am not burdened with too many meetings (which is great!)

What time do you head out of the office? 

Around 6 pm

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

I would say I log back on about 40% of the time. 

Any productivity hacks?

I start with some clear goals - break down complex tasks into smaller ones (Jira is a good resource). Then I often put on some music. For a mid-day pick-up, I turn to hip-hop or pop from the 90s or worldbeat. When I need to focus, something more mellow like classical or blues. Then I put the phone away, and get to work!

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

Google maps, camera, and a tie between Podcasts / Spotify

What professional accomplishment are you proudest of?

I’m pretty excited that some of the microchip fabrication steps that I designed for one of the technology nodes while at IBM, are now in production. 

Who do you admire or call upon for professional advice?

I was fortunate to work with some very capable managers both at the Startup Intermolecular, and at IBM, whom I’ve always admired for their ability to identify and bring out the best in those reporting to them. When I was at an inflection point in my career, one of these managers greatly helped me think through how to apply my strengths as a semiconductor research scientist to becoming a data scientist. I still call upon them for professional advice ever so often.

 

About the
Company

Working with proprietary tech and the nation's largest political, nonprofit, corporate organizations to overturn the Applecart

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Career Path: Heidi Schmidt, Data Engineer at PatientPing banner image

Career Path: Heidi Schmidt, Data Engineer at PatientPing

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What do the career path and day-in-the-life look like for a Data Engineer at PatientPing?

We connected with Heidi Schmidt to find out!

Interested in working at PatientPing? Check out all of the company's job openings on the sidebar!


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

I was born in Columbus Ohio and most of my childhood was spent in Columbus and Dayton Ohio. My Mom worked in the Hotel Industry then in Hospice care. 

My Dad worked as a Mechanical Engineer for Kroger Bakery for most of his career. 

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

I went to college at Ohio State University and took 4 classes my 1st semester. One of them was architectural history and from that I wanted to study Architecture. 

I had 3 jobs in college. One working informally for the Architecture Computer lab, The Smith Physics lab, and the MAGNUS computer group. 

Outside of school I was a paper delivery person from 10 years of age to my summer before college. 

I volunteered at the Center Of Science and Industry (COSI) all through high school. 

I worked remodelling houses and doing jobs for my Dad and step mom as well. 

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

A willingness to be an uncarved block. A desire to learn new things and make the world a better place. 
 

Any tips for someone considering a career in Engineering? 

Technology has changed so much so that we have tons of options. So many that it’s hard to reduce the noise to signal. My advice would be to get out and meet as many different people and see how you can help. 


Day in the Life

Coffee, tea, or nothing?

Tea in a large oversized mug

What time do you get into the office?

Typically 9AM -- though the MBTA can make it a challenge

What are three things that motivate you in your role?

The desire to make the world a bit better than I found it. Solving a puzzle. Collaboration. 

What time do you head out of the office?

I head out of the office around 4:30 p.m. because the MBTA is so variable. I end up checking things outside of the office and also do work when needed off hours. 

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

Depends on what is needed.  I check my phone on the train as I try to stay focused during the day. Most of the time I shut down being available from about 9PM to the next day.  I check in the a.m. before I get into the office to be prepared for anything that may have occurred (mostly on the train) 

Any productivity hacks?

TextExpander rocks my world. It saves my brain a bunch of typing and can run quick shortcuts and commands that I use frequently. 

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

  • Headspace

  • DataCamp

  • Sudoku 

What professional accomplishment are you proudest of?

At Gillette I reached out to the factory floor team to ask what their pain points were with their databases I supported. Their Boston database was not keeping up with reporting. After sorting out scope, the vendor, the types of needs for the software and the database options I was able to template the solution for 3 of the 5 factories, increase the speed, space, type, and throughput of the bare metal hardware, upgrade and tune the Oracle Database for one particular use case pattern, and provide them their reports in 8-10 minute that had been left to run for weeks on a dedicated work station on the factory floor.  Through my work the executive team was able to fix the original contract, obtain updated software, and get the deliverables promised by the vendor years ago when the system was first implemented.

About the
Company

Bamboo Health (formerly Appriss Health and PatientPing) is a healthcare technology solutions company, focused on fostering care collaboration and providing information and actionable insights across the entire continuum of care.

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Career Path: Laura Matthews, Senior Solutions Consultant at JRNI banner image

Career Path: Laura Matthews, Senior Solutions Consultant at JRNI

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What do the career path and day-in-the-life look like for a Senior Solutions Consultant at JRNI?

We connected with Laura Matthews to find out!

Interested in working at JRNI? Check out all of the company's job openings on the sidebar!


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

Before moving to Boston, I grew up in Southampton, England, which I often have to clarify for people because they ask, “Where is that?” I always say, “That’s where both the Mayflower and the Titanic set sail from,” and then they get it. 

My dad works as a computer programmer, and my mum works as a professor at the University of Southampton, so I like to say that I get a nice blend of “tech smarts” from them. And, it’s no surprise that I work in technology. 

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

I attended City University in London, but I actually only did so for a year. I found that experiential learning worked best for me, so I wanted to accelerate my start in the workforce. I learn best hands-on, and with technology, I believe there’s no better way to learn than by doing. 

I undertook a few internships at technology companies in London before, ultimately, joining the team at JRNI. The best thing about working in technology is that you can carve your own trail, and my internships significantly helped to build the foundation for my success today. 

When I moved from London to Boston for JRNI a couple years ago, I was looking for an adventure since I was working in London for six years and was ready for a change. I thought that moving to America would be a great opportunity for me to grow my career with the company, especially as JRNI continues to expand its U.S. operations. Since I’m immersed in our product every day, I thought that the opportunity to become the go-to resource for our solution in our Boston office would provide new and exciting career challenges. It’s one of the best decisions that I’ve made.

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

I’m genuinely passionate and interested in technology, and it’s always been a big part of who I am. I especially love hardware technology – I always have the newest smartphone, smartwatch, and other technology accessories. 

I also love researching technology before I buy it – you’ll often find me reading websites about certain products and analyzing the reviews, so you could say that research is a big component of being successful in my role. As a Solutions Consultant, I need to thoroughly research my prospects and clients to see how we can tailor our offerings to them. 

I also love teaching myself computer programming. When I first joined JRNI about five years ago, I didn’t know HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, for example, but I taught myself these programs by reading books and practicing to write code. I learn best through experiences and doing hands-on work. My role at JRNI is so hands on that there’s a lot that I need to continue to teach myself. 

Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as Senior Solutions Consultant at JRNI?

As a Senior Solutions Consultant, I work with our Sales and Product teams, as well as prospective and existing clients, to ensure that we can fulfill their requirements in delivering an enterprise-grade platform that helps to increase conversions. I work with our customers and prospects to customize the JRNI platform to meet their business needs and goals. And, I’m working on building a team of Solution Consultants as I have one direct report here in Boston and currently looking to hire one more in London. 

Any tips for someone considering a career in your field of work?

My biggest tip for someone considering a career as a Solution Consultant is knowing how to translate technical jargon into everyday language. Solution Consultants work closely with developers on products, and they also work directly with customers and prospects, so they need to know how to explain complex concepts in simple English. It can be hard at first, but once you get to know the products you’re working with and selling, you can speak about them at the back of your hand. 

And, of course, take advantage of any learning opportunity that you can find, especially industry meetups. I enjoy attending outside workshops, as I’m involved with Lesbians Who Tech here in Boston. It’s a fantastic organization since I’m very passionate about women’s voices being heard in the male-dominated arena of technology.  


Day in the Life

Coffee, tea, or nothing?

  • Believe it or not, nothing. I’m the only British person you’ll ever meet who doesn’t drink tea. 

What time do you get into the office? 

  • I’m usually in the office by 9:30 a.m. and always work late – I thrive better later in the day. 

What are three things that motivate you in your role?

  • Great colleagues: We have a fantastic team here at JRNI, and I’m lucky to work with some of the smartest people in technology in Boston, London, and Sydney. As we say around the company: one team, one JRNI. 

  • Interesting technology: I love the platform that we’ve built (and constantly innovate) for some of the world’s biggest retailers and financial services organizations that we’re proud to call our customers. 

  • The beer fridge in the Boston office: There’s nothing better than a nice beverage at the end of the day with my amazing coworkers – cheers!

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

  • When I’m traveling, I’m meeting with prospects and clients across the U.S. For example, within the past month, I’ve been to Buffalo, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Dallas, and Washington, D.C. 

  • When I’m in the office, I’m working on a multitude of spreadsheets to determine how we can best configure and customize JRNI for our prospects and customers. 

What time do you head out of the office? 

  • I usually leave the office by 6:30 p.m. 

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

  • I’m always online – since technology is a big component of my life, I find it hard to shut down completely, even on holiday. 

Any productivity hacks?

  • Toby – I always have what seems like a million tabs open on my computer, so this tool helps me to stay organized with my tabs. It’s life-changing. 

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

  • Expensify – it’s a great way to track expenses since I’m often traveling.

  • TransferWise – it’s a convenient way to transfer money from dollars to pounds because, as I always say, once a Brit, always a Brit. 

  • Facebook – it’s the best way to stay in touch with family and friends back in England, and of course, network and connect with others in the States. 

What professional accomplishment are you proudest of?

  • Moving from London to Boston to help build the Solution Consultants team here in the U.S.

  • Stepping up into a leadership position that continuously challenges me.

  • Growing with a company that puts both innovation and customers at the heart of its business. 

Who do you admire or call upon for professional advice?

  • I admire women in senior leadership roles at JRNI and other technology companies in Boston and London. I feel it’s important to go to these people for career advice when I need it. I really admire their drive and passion, especially in a male-dominated environment. 

About the
Company

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

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How to Land a Career in Product Management - Top Boston Product Talent Share Their Tips banner image

How to Land a Career in Product Management - Top Boston Product Talent Share Their Tips

Career Path is a regular series on VentureFizz where we connect with individuals from our BIZZpages, which are the fastest-growing tech companies in the Boston tech scene. We learn a lot about each person's background and what a day in the life is like for them.

We have compiled advice from some of the Product Managers that have been profiled. They share the details on how job seekers can obtain a career in the field of Product Management. 


"Seize any opportunity you can to take on product management-like responsibilities at your current company, even if there is no formal product management team structure. Express your interest, and take on small tech projects to get your feet wet in working through an initiative from inception, to design, through build, to launch. And if you don’t have a technical background, don’t let that intimidate you. You’ll get used to taking on something that seems insurmountable to understand, and by the end of it, knowing very well what the inner workings are and how to explain them to others. I still face this from time to time and always tell myself that, as long as I keep asking questions, it’s only a matter of time until I understand and can speak intelligently about it."

Read Shana's Career Path here.

Click here for jobs at PlacePass.


"Reach out to people currently working in product. Ask to get coffee. Go to meetups and read as much as you can about the role. If you come from a technical background, that’s awesome, If not, don’t be intimidated or count yourself out of a career that really interests you. Figure out what draws you to product. Once you know, repeat that back to yourself and get good at telling that story to other people. If you come from a place of authenticity and genuine interest, people will respond well to that and want to help you as you jump into a new path."

Read Christine's Career Path here.

Click here for jobs at SessionM.


"My biggest tip to someone considering a career in product management is to embrace their background. There is no traditional product manager; the team is made up of people with a wide variety of experiences (professional and personal). I would also advise people to stay current and curious – inspiration can come from anywhere."

Read Chris' Career Path here.

Click here for jobs at BCG.


Nick Leonard

"Discover your personal spike? Are you the connective tissue that breaks down organizational silos? Are you the brilliant empathizer that has an uncanny knack for understanding users? Are you the engineer’s best friends with your perfect articulation of features and needs? There are lots of things a Product Manager has to do. Understand your strengths and play to them. Where you are weak, you get to choose: Either improve them or build a team that mitigates your weaknesses."

Read Nick's Career Path here.

Click here for jobs at Jobcase.


Maggie Brenner

"Talk to anyone you can who’s an engineer, product manager or designer. Learn about the variations between companies and which type of role you think will be best for you. I also went to a few meetups and introductory courses which gave me some solid baseline knowledge. There’s a ton of great literature out there about the PM role, product teams and how to work best with engineers which I would recommend reading. I found Cracking the PM Interview helpful in understanding what the interview process might look like. Think about what your best entry point is. For me, it has been beneficial to move internally. While I’m learning the role, I’m able to leverage strong knowledge of our product and customers."

Read Maggie's Career Path here.

Click here for jobs at Ellevation.


Colin Barry is the Content Manager for VentureFizz. Follow him on Twitter @ColinKrash

Career Path: Polina Atamyeyeva, Lead QA Engineer at Jackpocket banner image

Career Path: Polina Atamyeyeva, Lead QA Engineer at Jackpocket

Open Jobs Company Page

What do the career path and the day-in-the-life look like for a Lead QA Engineer at Jackpocket?

We connected with Polina Atamyeyeva to find out!

Click here for a list of job openings at Jackpocket, or check out the right side of this page!


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

Luhansk, Ukraine. Later, I won a Green Card lottery and decided to see what the future held for me in New York.

In Ukraine, my mother was a pediatrician and my father was a mechanical engineer. They recently immigrated to the USA, and they’re in the process of finding their path in this country. I respect them for being independent of me; it’s not an easy task to do in a foreign country at their age. 

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

When I finished high school, I moved to Kharkov to get a degree in sociology.  I always loved big cities, which is why I moved from the small Luhansk to the significantly bigger Kharkov. While I was in college I worked with a marketing company. We conducted marketing research, doing all kinds of surveys and focus groups. Companies made advertisements for their products based on the research. I enjoyed every minute of my work.

When I moved to New York I decided to get a Bachelor of Arts from Hunter College CUNY, with a major in sociology and a minor in statistics, to increase my chances of getting a similar job here. While establishing myself in sociology, a friend of mine suggested quality assurance (QA), since it is an easier field to get into without having a master’s degree. 

At that time, I thought it was a crazy idea since I didn’t have a technical background. Since I am very adventurous, I tried it anyway. I am glad I did because I like what I do now. 

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

A few things:

  • The most important—my kids. I wanted them to be proud of their mom. I wanted to show them that with enough perseverance and optimistic attitude, you can do anything. 

  • My friends played an essential role too. They helped me to believe in myself and showed me how to not give up. 

  • I always have been lucky with my team. In all the places I’ve worked, colleagues have helped me to learn something new and grow. 

Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as Lead QA Engineer at Jackpocket?

I am responsible for overseeing and making sure the Jackpocket apps and website work as expected, so that customer service has as little work as possible. The fewer issues that get into production, the fewer questions that need answering. And this includes making sure new features are usable and clear to end-users.

A big part of illuminating issues in production is established the right processes and communication between different teams. I like to think about QA as an art of collecting business requirements. During the process of building features, requirements get changed all the time. It is important to make sure to flag disconnect in early stages, and to bring everybody to the same page if something changes. 

Also, I know it may not seem this way but QAs are trying to save time for engineers. I am always researching what tools to use and what we can do to provide better coverage.     

Any tips for someone considering a career in engineering?

If I can do it with my degree in humanities, you can do it, too, if you like learning.

You will always need to learn something new since technologies are changing so quickly. But that’s what makes this field so interesting and dynamic. Also, if you encounter a problem, chances are that somebody else already has a solution. You are not alone. Just Google it. 

Polina Atamyeyeva


Day in the Life

  • Coffee, tea, or nothing? Coffee in the morning and tea during the rest of the day

  • What time do you get into the office? 9 - 9:30 am

  • What are three things that motivate you in your role?

    • It is always interesting to work on innovative features. I like seeing when a new feature is shaping up from nothing.

    • Customer feedback is also very motivational. It is very satisfying to see that somebody likes your efforts.

    • Challenges, when you need to figure something out. I get more energetic when I figure out some difficult tasks. 

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

    • Usually, I start by reading emails and Slack notifications. It sets my priorities for the day. Later, we have a scrum meeting where everyone briefs the team about their work progress and challenges. After that, I get to my daily tasks, which usually involves asking a lot of questions. Everyone usually gets some: designers, product, marketing, not to mention engineers. I really appreciate everybody’s cooperation and patience. I am so lucky that everybody works as a team and contributes to the success of the projects.  

  • What time do you head out of the office? 

    • If there are no urgent issues I leave at 5 - 5:30 pm

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

    • I shut it down with very few exceptions. I appreciate that I can do all my work in the office. The schedule at Jackpocket is flexible enough to accommodate different people's needs. 

  • Any productivity hacks?

    • Get enough sleep. That is why I believe people should shut down Slack and work email at night or during vacation.

    • Be proud of your work. You need to be passionate about it. Make it interesting and challenging enough to keep you going, if it is not.

    • Sometimes you need to take a step back from what you are doing to find the best solution.

    • Always break big tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces.

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

    • Jackpocket :) I open it every day. We’re on both iOS and Android

    • Angry Birds Blast. This game helps me to not be annoyed with New York public transportation and regroup after reading news in the morning. 

    • Splitwise. I do not use it every day, but it makes it so much more convenient to track expenses when you organize trips/events with your friends or relatives.

  • What do you love about Jackpocket?

    • We have very friendly and unpretentious people. Management puts a lot of effort into making sure people enjoy working here, and it’s very noticeable. We do a lot of fun activities like happy hours, trips to Six Flags, a field day with Zog Sports, and more. And the office is a reflection of who we are, right down to the “Jackpocket blue” of our phone booths.

  • What professional accomplishment are you proudest of?

    • I am usually very proud of releasing features that were difficult to develop. That said, I always think that my biggest accomplishments are in my future. 

  • Who do you admire or call upon for professional advice?

    • It depends on the professional advice I need. I reach out to different people. My husband is probably my most trusted advisor at the moment.   

    • I have a deep respect for people who are passionate about what they do. They usually know a lot of information and think outside of the box. 


Alexander Culafi is Producer & Editor for VentureFizz. He also edits and produces The VentureFizz Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @culafia.

About the
Company

Jackpocket is the first mobile lottery app in the U.S. that offers players a secure way to order official state lottery tickets, such as Powerball, Mega Millions, and more, via their smartphones.

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Career Path: Margaret Leoffler, Marketing Manager at TriNetX banner image

Career Path: Margaret Leoffler, Marketing Manager at TriNetX

Open Jobs Company Page

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

We connected with Margaret Leoffler to find out!

Also, TriNetX is hiring. Check out all of the company’s job openings on the list to the right.


Margaret Leoffler
Margaret Leoffler, Marketing Manager at TriNetX

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

I grew up in Brattleboro, Vermont and I moved to Stoughton, MA when I was 14. My mom is an accountant and my dad was a tire salesman.

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

I went to Drexel University. I studied English but wanted work experience, which is why I chose Drexel, which is a Co-Op school. My first two co-ops were in education, and my third was in a corporate communications department for Comcast. It was there where I realized I prefer working in a corporate environment. I interned there for another eighteen months, and went on to work in marketing & business development at a few different companies in Philadelphia.

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

I make it a point to be explicit and goals-driven with my managers when it comes to my professional development. I also am the type to look at my colleagues as collaborators, not competition. I really enjoy coordinating projects across departments and try to make sure I have a good working relationships with the different departments. I really do think that success can be had when you position long-term projects as something we’re all working on together.

Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as Marketing Manager at TrinetX?

Much of my work is based on lead generation. I currently manage our webinar series which occurs quarterly. I also project manage the creation of our marketing materials, ensuring that our many collaborators contribute and sign off by the deadline. I also coordinate programming for many our events. There are many one-off projects and requests coming in from the company all the time.

Any tips for someone considering a career in Marketing?

Do your research; see what other similar companies are doing so you can stay up-to-date on the latest marketing trends.


Day in the Life

Coffee, tea, or nothing?

Coffee! We have cold brew taps in our office and I definitely take advantage of that perk daily.

What time do you get into the office? 

Between 8:30 and 9 AM.

What are three things that motivate you in your role?

My company is a very welcoming place to work. I really like my coworkers; being a woman at a tech company can sometimes be a challenge, but TriNetX has a great group of supportive women working here, many in visible leadership positions, which makes a huge difference. I attached a photo of a gift given to the women of our office on International Women’s Day, which included a book of inspirational quotes from women throughout history, and some cute custom cookies.

What time do you head out of the office? 

Usually 5 PM.

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

It depends; if we have a deliverable or event within the week I will, and I’ll check email in the evenings after dinner.

Any productivity hacks?

Keep a checklist of items you need to do, however small they may be. I keep mine in a file on my desktop, and I’ll often add pictures and use funky font colors to keep it cheerful.

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

Twitter, Spotify, and Slack.

Who do you admire or call upon for professional advice?

 My mom!


Colin Barry is the Content Manager for VentureFizz. Follow him on Twitter @ColinKrash

Images courtesy of Margaret Leoffler

About the
Company

The Global Health Research Network for Healthcare Organizations, BioPharma & CROs.

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Career Path: Jessica Fishman, Customer Support Manager at Privy banner image

Career Path: Jessica Fishman, Customer Support Manager at Privy

Open Jobs Company Page

What do the career path and day-in-the-life look like for a Customer Support Manager at Privy?

We connected with Jessica Fishman to find out!

Also, Privy is hiring! Check out the company’s job openings on the list to the right.


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

I moved from Bellingham in 3rd grade and grew up in Framingham. My mom works for a family run business called 21st Century Biochemicals and my dad works for an accounting firm. 

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

I went to Mass Bay Community College and took various Business Administration courses, but expanding my skills through experience has been the driving force in my career. In terms of what started me off in this industry, it started with the excellent leadership and training I received at Constant Contact. I started as a Customer Support Representative and worked my way up to an Interim Senior Support Representative role where I learned how to handle escalated customers and help my colleagues develop their profession. I then moved on to join the Privy family where I have continued to grow into a Customer Support Manager position and expand the Support team here!

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

I can honestly say, that had it not been for the managers that I’ve been lucky enough to report to, I would not be where I am today. I attribute most of my success to the people who believed in me and pushed me forward. My history of customer service and management has given me the ability to see things from a customer perspective but also from a team perspective. I’ve had a great example of leadership in previous jobs that helped shape the person I am today. 

Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as Support Manager at Privy?

I have three goals as a Support Manager, first and foremost is to create pathways for my team's professional development next is to interview and hire great people to join our support team and third is to be a liaison and advocate for Support to all of the other departments within Privy.

What are books are you currently reading?

Currently reading: 

  • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

  • Let Go of Whatever Makes You Stop by John Mason

Just Finished: 

  • Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

  • The Art of Persuasion by Bob Burg

  • Make Your Bed by William H. McRaven


Day in the Life

Coffee, tea, or nothing?

Coffee! Coffee! Coffee!

What time do you get into the office? 

Typically I arrive at the office around 9:00 AM with plenty of coffee and a Morning Glory breakfast sandwich from The Kitchen Cafe.

What are three things that motivate you in your role?

  1. Our customers’ success

  2. My team members success and growth

  3. Helping grow and expand a go-to solution for eCommerce merchants

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

  • Check Slack

  • Wish the team a good morning!

  • Start of day numbers recorded

  • Check Support volume / trends 

  • Answer follow-up tickets

  • Work on side-projects

  • Check-in with team

  • Be a resource during the day for questions / help

  • Check Billing Disputes and Compliance Imports / Spam

  • Work on customer inquiries and manager escalations

  • Occasionally have midday meetings or development sessions

  • End of day volume recorded

What time do you usually head out of the office? 

Between 5 and 5:30 PM usually.

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

I don’t know how to stop working, my notifications are always on, I tend to log out and check back occasionally to make sure things haven’t exploded. 

Any productivity hacks?

Plenty of sticky notes!

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

The three applications I can’t live without include:

1. Slack which I use daily for internal communications and team check-ins.
2. Bear which I use to store information about our product, integrations, processes, and customer-facing verbiage.
3. Snagit is used on the daily to provide helpful screenshots, video clips and other various captured content used for help documents. 

What professional accomplishment are you proudest of?

  • Highest of High-Fives Award

  • I’m proud of the Support team here at Privy.

Who do you admire or call upon for professional advice?

My father, who has always been my rock.


Colin Barry is the Content Manager for VentureFizz. Follow him on Twitter @ColinKrash

Images courtesy of Jessica Fishman and Privy

About the
Company

The email marketing platform for Shopify & Wix stores that need the tools & coaching to grow from $0 to $1 million in sales. Used by 500,000+ small ecommerce brands around the world.

 
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