Employees from 6 growing NYC tech firms share their career journeys

by Katie Fustich
March 13, 2019

The New York State motto is “Excelsior!” meaning “ever upward” in Latin. Unfortunately, one of the most common reasons for quitting a job is a lack of upward mobility within a company. It makes sense that employees want to experience growth and change, without having to change who they work for.

Fortunately, at these six New York City tech firms, growth is part of the job. Built In NYC spoke with six tech employees to learn how their companies supported them on their personal journeys. Onward and upward.

 

quartet
image via quartet

Quartet is a platform designed to help mental healthcare providers and patients make the connections necessary to deliver exceptional care, without barriers. Business Development Manager Ammon Kansupada shared how the mission-driven company also fosters growth behind the scenes.

 

Tell me about your journey within the company. What was your original role, and how did you rise through the ranks?

I joined Quartet in May 2016 as an operations analyst on our patient outreach team, spending most of my time on the frontlines taking phone calls from patients. I attribute a lot of my growth at Quartet to my managers; they helped me develop a core skillset while supporting my lateral movements across the organization: through market operations, customer success and ultimately to business development.

 

How did your company help facilitate this growth?

Quartet has built a supportive culture of betting on employees to make unconventional career moves. I'm just one example of the many Quartetians who have started in one function and grown into new roles across the organization: operations to data science, clinical to product, executive assistant to chief of staff, just to name a few. Having that culture in the backdrop encouraged me to learn about functions within the company I otherwise would not have explored.

 

What advice would you give to someone looking to take a step forward in their career?

Dream big, carve a plan and connect with the right people to make it happen.

 

Sevenrooms
image via sevenrooms

SevenRooms helps everyone from local restaurants to international hotel chains provide exceptional hospitality experiences with a one-of-a-kind client management platform. Director of Product Tim McDermott has learned the company’s offerings from the inside out during his time with SevenRooms, and shared his journey with Built In NYC.

 

Tell me about your journey within the company. What was your original role, and how did you rise through the ranks?

When I first joined SevenRooms, it was a very different company than it is today. Heading up partnerships, I specifically managed the concierge aspect of our business, working with financial institutions, private concierges and membership groups to manage their access to premier dining, nightlife and entertainment brands.

After a year and the realization that a partnerships role was not for me, I worked with our Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder Allison Page to transition onto the product team. It was a natural progression, as so much of our partnership at that time were tied into our tech stack, and I’d developed a deep knowledge base on the SevenRooms product. I now have the role of director of product, leading the planning and implementation of our product strategy across both mobile and web, and am the most tenured member of the product team.

 

How did your company help facilitate this growth?

SevenRooms has helped me grow in so many ways. When I joined SevenRooms in 2014, I was a recovering banker, having worked at a variety of banks from 2006 to 2012. I was ready for a change and a new challenge, but most importantly, knew that a lifelong career in finance was not in my future. After taking off two years to travel, I jumped into a new role at SevenRooms, excited by the prospect of helping build an early-stage technology company. When I came to the SevenRooms founders and said that I was interested in transitioning to a product role, they were extremely supportive in helping me grow into a new role. Fast forward to today, and I’ve transitioned into a leadership role within the product team, while still staying hands-on in all aspects of the process, from product ideation through to implementation.

 

What advice would you give to someone looking to take a step forward in their career?

First, don’t let your first work experiences dictate the rest of your career. While those jobs lay the groundwork for a career in a particular field, much of what you take away is simply how to learn efficiently on the job, apply that knowledge, and work well within a team structure. Sure, it’s easy and safe just to stay put, but you’ll thank yourself later for taking the leap and challenging yourself. The perspective I’ve gained by switching industries and roles has been invaluable to both my career and life outside of work.  

Second, become an expert — whether that’s in your company’s product, the ins and outs of the business, or even just something specific to your area of expertise. This will demonstrate your value to your company, showing that you are passionate about becoming an expert in the space and will help you get that next big promotion or transfer to your dream role.

 

Monday.com
image via monday.com

Monday.com creates tools that foster communication and collaboration within companies. It’s no wonder that, internally, the company also encourages those same values in its employees. Operations Manager Jessica Saranich walked us through her growth journey with the company.

 

Tell me about your journey within the company. What was your original role, and how did you rise through the ranks?

I originally started at monday.com as a remote customer success manager, based in Charlotte, North Carolina. I began taking on organizational tasks while still on the remote customer success team, such as ordering swag and maintaining general information forums. Upon my relocation to New York, I was approached by the operations team to spearhead all operational tasks in the new office. For eight months, I juggled operational and customer success tasks simultaneously until the business need for full-time operations became clear.

 

How did your company help facilitate this growth?

Both team leads in customer success and operations were very supportive of my transition to full-time operations. I hosted weekly meetings with the leaders from each team to serve as “check-ins” as well as manage expectations for my ever-growing workload. Each leader was flexible and trusted me to lead forward in dictating my weekly tasks and personal growth path.

 

What advice would you give to someone looking to take a step forward in their career?

My advice for those looking to step forward in their career would be to take initiative in the areas that you would like to impact. Visualize your future, plan value-adding steps to achieve your goals, and then implement those steps. The logistics of what taking initiative might look like may manifest itself in a variety of ways, but it is important to take responsibility for the things that you want for your career. Ensure that your actions add value to the greater good of the organization. Be bold, be transparent and lead forward in the things that you want for yourself.

 

Scentbird
image via scentbird

Founded in 2014, Scentbird has quickly become the go-to subscription service for luxury fragrances. The company’s DTC technology helps you find scents you’ll fall in love with for less than $15 a month. Head of Influencer Relations Kate Artemyeva explained how Scentbird’s collaborative culture empowered her to make her mark on the company.

 

Tell me about your journey within the company. What was your original role, and how did you rise through the ranks?

I joined Scentbird in November 2016 as an influencer marketing associate. I was actually responsible for securing collaborations for our sister brand Deck of Scarlet. Soon enough, I started working on both brands, Scentbird and DOS, securing larger collabs and working on various tests. I was delivering high KPIs and establishing really strong relationships with influencers.

 

How did your company help facilitate this growth?

I was eager to learn and go above and beyond. I truly love the company (I became a subscriber long before I started working at Scentbird), and when you work in startup, every move that you do has an impact. The company was also interested in coaching me, and provided honest feedback about both my strong and weak sides. I don’t like numbers, but Scentbird helped me become more analytical, and monthly performance/sales reports are no longer an issue for me. Within a year, I was promoted from associate to head of the influencer department.

 

What advice would you give to someone looking to take a step forward in their career?

First and foremost, you have to love what you do and believe in your company. This gives you energy and pushes you to work hard. Being collaborative and saying informed about other departments helps a lot. Although I’m in communications, I know our product development processes, operations, brand partnerships, etc. Don’t be afraid to speak up and offer changes and improvements to processes. Follow the principle “if you see something, say something.” If you have great ideas that are outside of your responsibilities, it never hurts to share them with your colleagues. And, of course, be nice to everyone!

 

Reonomy
image via reonomy

Reonomy aims to transform the commercial real estate industry with tools that compile and analyze property data like never before. Whether it’s sourcing accurate building data or discovering new investment opportunities, Reonomy can do it. Vice President of Marketing Sam Viskovich traced his journey at the company from his early days as a part-time intern.

 

Tell me about your journey within the company. What was your original role, and how did you rise through the ranks?

I arrived in New York, fresh from New Zealand, looking for an opening (and something to cover my hostel in Spanish Harlem) and started my journey at Reonomy as a part-time intern. After a few months, I accepted a full-time marketing associate role before progressing to demand generation manager, then to director of marketing and finally my current role as vice president of marketing.

Quite honestly, I really lucked out with my timing in joining Reonomy. I began before launching our national product, which provided ample opportunity for me to really dig in on the marketing front. It was also just before our growth infliction so there was a lot of momentum for me to be successful with marketing.

 

How did your company help facilitate this growth?

During my time at Reonomy, I’ve had some fantastic managers. Each has been hugely supportive in giving me opportunities to grow in my role and giving open guidance on how to advance my career. There’s also a really powerful culture of rewarding performance at Reonomy. Set by our CEO Rich, this culture has meant there has never been a barrier to growing and advancing my career.

 

What advice would you give to someone looking to take a step forward in their career?

For starters, make sure you’re working for the right people at the right place. Your leaders are just as important as the company. Having a manager that champions your growth and success makes a significant difference.  

Next, know how to articulate your value. This is something I try and actively coach my team on because knowing how to articulate your contributions (whether it’s at the individual or organizational level) can open new doors at any stage. It also ensures you are spending your time on the most impactful things.

Be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Advancing your career means you will be asked to do things you’ve never done before. Learning to be comfortable that you might not have all the answers now, but knowing that you can work them out is crucial.

And finally, do work you enjoy. It’s easier to work hard and make strides when you really enjoy the work you are doing and the role you have.

 

Sisense
image via sisense

Sisense builds business intelligence tools that help companies handle the otherwise-difficult task of compiling and analyzing major datasets. Account Executive Rachel Archer has held numerous positions in her time with Sisense, serving as a testament to potential growth opportunities.


Tell me about your journey within the company. What was your original role, and how did you rise through the ranks?

I started at Sisense as the first outbound business development representative in the U.S. After nine months of surpassing my quota for business opportunities created, I was promoted to senior BDR. I continued helping my teammates learn the process that we had created thus far.  

Shortly thereafter, I was approached by Sisense’s enterprise team leader who was interested in having me join his team as an enterprise BDR. I gladly accepted and transitioned from working commercial-sized accounts to enterprise-sized companies. I overachieved in this position for six months and started interviewing for an AE position when the director of business development approached me asking if I would consider leading the BDR team, as I was already deeply ingrained with the model and knew what it took to be successful in the role. I decided that the success of outbound at Sisense was something that I was absolutely passionate about, and I put gaining closing experience on the backburner for the time being.

After a year of managing and being able to see the outbound model really take off, I recently made my fourth career move at Sisense to account executive. My journey over these past two years has been a testament to Sisense’s dedication to the success and career progression of their employees.



How did your company help facilitate this growth?

Through every step of my career there was someone in management pushing me to think about my next move and ensuring that I was on the right track toward promotion. In addition, the management team at Sisense has been extremely proactive in reaching out to me and advising on when I’m ready to make the next leap forward.

 

What advice would you give to someone looking to take a step forward in their career?

My biggest piece of advice is to make sure you’re mastering your craft at hand first. Keep your head down, blow your numbers out of the water and ensure you’re making a positive impact at your company. If you’re standing out with your numbers and your attitude, the next step should be a no-brainer for both you and your management team.

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