August 26, 2019

Career Path: Laura Matthews, Senior Solutions Consultant at JRNI

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!

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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. 

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