Meet Gabriella Cohen: Expanding MongoDB’s Presence in Israel as the Newest Regional Vice President
Gabriella Cohen recently joined MongoDB’s sales leadership team as Regional Vice President for Israel. We sat down to discuss her career move from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to MongoDB and the opportunities for sellers in the Israeli market. Jackie Denner: How did you come to join MongoDB, and what made you interested in the company? Gabriella Cohen: I have been privileged to work with some of the most tech-savvy and innovative startups in Israel, and many of them use MongoDB as part of their core products. Developers love the solution. This drove me to learn more about MongoDB’s technology and the potential market in Israel. The total addressable market for databases in Israel is growing rapidly, and MongoDB is only scratching the surface of this market. The extreme potential for MongoDB in this emerging market excited me and drove me to join. JD: Tell us about your experience prior to joining MongoDB. GC: For the last six years I’ve been working for AWS Israel. I joined the team in 2016 when Cloud was a new concept and the market was in its early stages of adoption. I started as an ISV Account Manager and grew to managerial positions as Startup Team Lead and Digital Native Businesses Team Lead. In my last role, I established and led the SMB Segment in AWS Israel and was part of the AWS Israel Leadership team. JD: Why do you believe that Israel is such a strategic and important market for MongoDB? GC: Israel is one of the most prominent innovation and technology hubs in the world, with an economy dominated by industrial high-tech and entrepreneurship. Israel ranks 15th among the 132 economies featured in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2021. This innovation is reflected in the large number of startups active in Israel, over 7,000 — 14 times more concentration of startups per capita than in Europe. It also attracts the highest rate of venture capital funding per capita in the world. Companies in Israel are tech savvy and early adopters of innovative technologies — such as MongoDB. Many of them are “born in the cloud,” while the more traditional companies are trying to close the gap and are rapidly adopting different solutions that enable a true digital transformation. Most of the Israel technology companies target and sell globally, resulting in a growing market opportunity for MongoDB. I view Israel as a strategic market from three perspectives. First, there is a large business opportunity in the Israeli market that isn’t correlated to the size of the country. All the leading cloud vendors are opening data centers here, which indicates the high potential of the market. Second, given that the Israeli market has early adopters of innovative technologies, this could be a great learning opportunity for other regions on how to work with digital-native and startup businesses. Last, it provides a platform for the MongoDB Product team to gather feedback from tech-savvy users, which can improve our product and shape MongoDB’s future roadmap. JD: What are you most excited about in expanding the Israeli market for MongoDB and continuing to build our sales organization in the country? GC: MongoDB’s technology has a strong reputation in Israel, however I believe it is yet to meet its business potential. The challenge of crafting a go-to-market strategy for Israel, which suits the specific and unique market conditions, excites me. Together with the existing sales teams, I’m looking forward to expanding and growing the sales organization to expedite our ability to cover the market. Finally, I’m really looking forward to evolving the MongoDB Israel office atmosphere, bringing together the MongoDB culture and the warm and friendly Israeli approach. JD: How would you describe your leadership style? GC: My leadership skills, style, and approach have evolved over the years. I believe in having a clear and inspiring vision, empowering the individual, generating value to my team, and leading by example. I tend to challenge the status quo and encourage creativity to explore new ways of doing things. The pandemic has added new challenges to leaders: on the one hand, having to lead remotely with minimal in-person interaction; on the other hand, having difficulty drawing the line between personal and professional as our home and family have been the background scenery of our business meetings. As a leader, I view this change as an opportunity to bring my authentic self and encourage my team to the same. I believe this builds trust, creates a fun environment, and strengthens connections. JD: What opportunities do you see at MongoDB? GC: Careers aren’t linear, and MongoDB offers endless career opportunities in both professional and managerial positions. MongoDB’s global presence offers an exciting addition to these opportunities. While the above might be relevant to other leading tech companies, I think what is unique about MongoDB is the hypergrowth we are experiencing. Working for exponential growth companies requires constant creativity, bias for action, and ownership. Each individual has the opportunity to shine, be successful, and develop new skills daily. The MongoDB Israel office in Tel Aviv was established in 2019. We currently have over 30 employees in customer-facing roles. We have a MongoDB customer support team based in Tel Aviv as well, and they provide support to over 900 customers across all industries and sectors. JD: What has your experience been as a woman in sales, and do you have advice for other women who are looking to build their sales careers and become leaders? GC: I believe in being successful, generating value to my team and business, and the rest follows. The three tips I would give are: Be the best version of yourself and insist on high standards. This positions you as a role model and drives success. Avoid having two versions of yourself—your personal/home version and your work version—because we are the same individual and our power is in the total package. It’s all about people. Leverage your interpersonal skills to drive business — to read into situations, connect to people, and understand the subtext. Our sales team is growing in Israel and across the globe. We have several open roles and would love for you to transform your career with us!
How These MongoDB Employees Celebrated Juneteenth
On June 19, 1865, soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, announcing that the more than 250,000 enslaved Black people in the state were free by executive decree. This was more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. Today, June 19 is celebrated as Juneteenth, a day of hope despite present-day uncertainty. It reminds us that at the end of every struggle there comes a time for a change if we persist and do not give up. Juneteenth is a federal holiday in the United States, and MongoDB recognizes this by providing employees with the day off to celebrate and reflect. Members of MongoDB’s affinity group the Underrepresented People of Color share what they did to celebrate. Supporting Black Businesses Kayla Warner , Internal Communications Manager Some of the delicious food and the hands that prepared it, Chef Will Coleman (@chefwillcoleman). Every year, I have to get soul food on Juneteenth. It makes me feel the most connected to my culture (and it’s always great to support small Black businesses). I spent this Juneteenth at a friend’s restaurant pop-up. Being from the Southern United States, it’s not often that I get to have the comfort foods of home in New York. His pop-up had fried fish po’boys, smoked watermelon feta salad, crab deviled eggs, strawberry shortcake biscuits, and sweet tea (that was actually sweet). These dishes and flavors brought me back to backyard cookouts and fish fries all while in the middle of Bed-Stuy. Showing up for folks in my community and building community with them is deeply important to me. Some of my favorite memories in life are connected to food and fellowship, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to create another memory with friends. Juneteenth for me is a time for the Black community to come together in corporal celebration. A day of pure celebration, to honor those who came before us, to reflect on our past and hold one another close as we face the future together. Moreover, I recognize that Juneteenth has recently come into the national conversation as a holiday. The history and importance of this celebration is still being learned by many across the country, and people are still navigating how to participate and acknowledge this day. While it may seem small, it means a lot to me that MongoDB not only held space for employees to share their Junteenth traditions and experiences but also a reminder that my whole self, including my Blackness and my Southern-ness, has a place and is respected and welcomed at MongoDB. Nia Brown , Workplace Coordinator My partner and I are enjoying our meal at Simone’s, Black-woman-owned Caribbean Restaurant in New York. This Juneteenth, while my partner and I were in Toronto, we looked up Black-owned restaurants to support. I was pleased to find there were many options. We support Black-owned businesses year round, but doing it on Juneteenth made it that much more poignant, knowing the Black dollar only lasts six hours in the Black community compared to 28 days in Asian communities, 19 days in Jewish communities, and 17 days in white communities. It’s important we educate ourselves and one another to help build up the Black community, especially on Juneteenth. Knowing the history of this holiday makes me now, more than ever, want to spread knowledge so that we are never left in the dark again. Spending Time With Family Lakuan Smith , Manager of Inclusion This Juneteenth weekend a few of my family members and I rented a house so that we could spend time together and share knowledge on the things we are doing in our lives to improve our physical, mental, and financial wellness. I chose to participate in these activities because one of my takeaways from Juneteenth is the importance of spreading knowledge and information to improve lives. I think about the news that was shared on June 19, 1865, and how important it was for those African Americans to receive the knowledge of freedom. I am also fortunate enough to spread knowledge beyond Juneteenth weekend as a manager of inclusion at MongoDB. My day-to-day consists of expanding perspectives and creating initiatives that improve the professional lives of under-represented communities. At MongoDB, I don't have to do it alone. With the help of company leadership and our affinity groups, things are changing for the better. Members of my family and I gathered together for a weekend get away and graduation party. Bryan Spears , Senior Technical Recruiter Posing with my dad, best friend, and his father after playing a round at Hanover Golf Course in NJ To celebrate Juneteenth, I hit the golf course with some family and friends. At a very young age, my dad got me into golf with my own set of clubs. As he has gotten older, it is becoming less frequent that my pops gets on the course with me, and it had been over five years since his last time swinging a club. To my surprise, but probably not his, my dad was still hitting the ball better than me at the age of 79. He might not swing the club with the same speed, but more often than not, he was hitting clean shots straight down the course! Overall, I really enjoyed being able to spend time with family and friends to celebrate Juneteenth. Thinking about all the things I was able to do with my loved ones really makes me grateful for the sacrifices made by our ancestors so that we could live in a more equal society. My dad was in his late teens and early 20s during the Civil Rights movement; he married my mom in 1969, just two years after the 1967 United States Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia, which struck down all anti-miscegenation (racial segregation at the level of marriage and intimate relationships) laws the remaining in 16 U.S. states. Just being around him is like walking with history, and while I appreciate the freedom that we have today, there is still a lot of work to do in order to combat systemic racism and oppression in the U.S. and worldwide. My hope is that while we all enjoy these holidays with loved ones or use the day off to relax and rejuvenate, we also take some time to reflect and educate ourselves so we can continue to take action. Educating and Reflecting Courtney Turner , Campus Recruiter My Juneteenth weekend was spent reflecting on the past, embracing the present, and encouraging others to have a better understanding of the holiday and the injustices that we are still faced with today. I spoke virtually to a group of young African Americans about the struggle and process of getting to what we now call Juneteenth. I also spent time with my friends at an annual Juneteenth festival, enjoying their company and reflecting on what our community has accomplished and the work still ahead of us all. Spending time with friends and speaking to youth gave me the opportunity to appreciate my culture, enjoy fellowship with other African Americans, and most importantly, do my job educating others on black culture. My desire is that, as we educate ourselves about Juneteenth, we realize that being “free” or “equal” goes beyond signing an order or taking the day off. We can’t celebrate Juneteenth but not teach the history of it in our classes; we can’t celebrate but not encourage justice and equality for all. My desire is that we celebrate with a new understanding and purpose for the holiday. MongoDB is committed to building a culture of inclusion where employees of different origins, backgrounds, and experiences feel valued and heard. Learn more about Diversity & Inclusion at MongoDB .
How Two MongoDB Employees Are Reflecting on Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is a time to reflect on and celebrate the many communities and cultures that make up this group of individuals. Each community has its own history, struggles, and achievements, and it’s important to recognize that the experiences of individuals who belong to them may differ greatly. This year, two MongoDB employees share their personal stories and how they’re reflecting on Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Zaira Pirzada , senior strategy manager for governance, risk, and compliance I live in the hyphen. Indian-Pakistani-American. Pakistani-Indian-American. Oh, I’m also Muslim. There are layers to unpack when I think about my identity and the places that define me. So I live somewhere in the hyphen, trying to figure out what it is to love the India, Pakistan, and the United States that I know. This is reflected in everything I am and I do. My Indian mother and Pakistani father came to this country when they were 5 and 6 years old, so the motherland is a faint memory for them. My mother grew up loving hip-hop, rock, and R&B. She bought me my first cassette tapes. My father introduced me to classic rock. I thank him for showing me the brilliance of Queen and Ozzy. My mother's Bismillah ceremony (she's the one covered in flowers) Today in our family, we hold on to our culture in the ways we can. Our culture sits on our tongue when we speak Urdu mixed with English. I hope we never lose our language. That culture lives in our stomachs in what we crave when we cook and when we eat (even on Thanksgiving). I hope we never lose the taste for our spices. That culture is music to our ears and color to our eyes when we watch South Asian movies (with subtitles). My mother and grandmother could never have been in a position of leadership in a corporate environment. But here I am, exploring a world that is entirely different from the world I came from and that my family has ever known. My parents provided me the opportunity to explore whatever I wanted to be and however I wanted to be it. I do it boldly, and I do it with privilege that I recognize. Me and some of my cousins (all offspring of the people in the previous picture) in American clothing. Me and the same cousins, but in traditional clothing Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month means a lot to many people. To me, it’s a time to reflect on the journey of being American while still being Indian and Pakistani. Especially as the previous generation ages, we must reflect on who we are now while also remembering our roots. We are all living another chapter in the book of humanity’s becoming. This is a part of my chapter. Kailie Yuan , education engineer As I scroll through the web reading stories for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I can’t help but wonder: Why does it seem like everyone had such a fun, supporting, and loving childhood? As sad as it sounds, I never felt that I was enough. In most Chinese families, you are expected to be exceptional and flawless. My family was no different and always tried to make me go the extra mile with all that I do. But how many kids spend Saturdays in school trying to perform better in class, get their free time taken away and replaced with reading and studying, and are constantly told they need to put more effort into school when they don’t know what more they can do? I grew up with the expectation that to be successful, I needed to become a doctor or a lawyer. I was disappointed in myself when I couldn’t deliver on the high standards that my parents held. Because of that, I despised this Chinese stereotype of perfectionism — and still do. I didn’t want to be judged or feel like I wasn’t enough anymore, and this caused me to distance myself from Chinese culture and people outside of my family. That changed when the COVID-19 pandemic happened. Although I don’t support most traditional Chinese views, I realized that I still care tremendously about Chinese people. Several times, I cried out of anger after hearing reports of Asian people being targeted and blamed for the pandemic. I wondered what would happen if those experiencing discrimination were my parents or grandparents? For me, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month now means shining light on what it’s really like for many Asian Americans and the tragedy that has been happening since the COVID-19 pandemic started. So many people don’t acknowledge the horrors some Asians have been dealing with or the fear they have when they leave their homes. By sharing my story, I hope it helps others realize that things have been tough for us. Interested in joining MongoDB? We have hundreds of open roles on our teams across the globe and would love to help you transform your career.
From Enterprise Account Executive to Regional Director: How Lucile Tournier Has Accelerated Her Career with MongoDB France
Lucile Tournier joined MongoDB France as an Enterprise Account Executive in 2020. From learning new technology to becoming a new mom and taking on a leadership role, Lucile has had an incredible journey over the past two years. In this article, I talk with Lucile to learn more about her experience on the Enterprise Sales team in France and how she has grown her career to become a Regional Director at MongoDB. Click here to read this blog post in French . Jackie Denner: Hi, Lucile. Thank you for sharing a bit about your career journey. How did you come to join MongoDB, and why were you interested in the company? Lucile Tournier: MongoDB is my first experience working in the software industry. My previous roles were with French services companies, where I had very different experiences in terms of sales cycles, corporate culture (MongoDB being an American company), and even technicality (databases — the only stack I had never discussed). I was certainly in my comfort zone in my previous positions. I said to myself, “If I am looking for a new challenge, why not try the software industry? Is it for me? Is it possible to switch from a services company to a software vendor?” I decided to contact Alexandre Esculier , Regional VP of France for MongoDB (at the time Regional Director) who experienced such a shift. Who better than him to answer my questions? After many discussions with him and other members of the MongoDB team in France, I was convinced and decided to go through the recruitment process. You might wonder why I chose MongoDB in particular. Three years ago, I co-founded a market finance startup within a services company. It was an exciting experience, in a fast lane, and full of challenges and great successes. I liked the “speed boat” aspect (fast and adaptable) within an established company. For my next chapter, I wanted to join a company that was fast-paced and innovative. I really found the best of both worlds at MongoDB: An established company with clear processes and disruptive technology, all while having a startup spirit with hypergrowth and agility. I made the right decision. JD: Tell me a bit about your experience in the Enterprise Account Executive role. LT: Like a roller coaster. Throughout six months of intensive onboarding, I was able to quickly go into the field alongside very valuable teams: My manager, Solutions Architects, Customer Success, and Partner teams (to name a few). I started to improve my skills, sign my first contracts with major accounts who trusted me (just like my management), open up new territories, and expand existing ones. I learned a lot about the technology, the sales process (based on MEDDIC, co-built by John McMahon, who is a member of the MongoDB board), and especially about myself thanks to a feedback culture that is at the very heart of MongoDB. Learning about yourself is not so easy. It requires being able to question yourself every single day, but what a great opportunity to grow. JD: What makes enterprise sales at MongoDB a unique career opportunity? LT: It is unique on several levels: The technology, the processes, the fast pace, the results of the company, and the people! Everything is amazing. What I particularly remember is the benevolence. During my first year at MongoDB, I had the immense joy of becoming the mother of a little boy, Dorian. Starting a new job and becoming pregnant in the process is not quite what I had planned. I am grateful that the leadership team was open-minded, supportive, and more than happy for me. I was able to successfully carry out my two great journeys: Performing at MongoDB and becoming a mom. I don't think it could have gone better anywhere else. JD: You were promoted from Enterprise Account Executive to Regional Director. What learning and development opportunities helped you achieve this, and how did sales leadership support your transition? LT: If I hadn't had the trust and support of my entire line management, this transition would have been very difficult, if not impossible. I already had a team management role at my previous company. However, it was important for me, as for MongoDB, to go back to the field before returning to a team management position. Coming from a completely different world, how would I have been able to properly guide a team without going through the field first? So, I honed my skills, I proved I was 100% committed, I listened as much as possible to the feedback I was given; I tried; I lost; I won. I did things differently, and I started again and again. In summary, I had confidence in my environment, and I was able to give my all while being well guided. I had regular development sessions, training, and, above all, an attentive ear from Alexandre Esculier and Jérôme Delozière, VP for continental Europe, who helped me to be self-aware and ask myself the right questions. After 18 months as an Enterprise Account Executive, I successfully transitioned to a Regional Director role managing five Enterprise Account Executives. JD: What is most exciting about being part of the Enterprise Sales team at MongoDB? LT: Everything! First, MongoDB’s technology is amazing. It is important to emphasize this, because it is impossible for me to work for a company where customers are not happy with our products. I want to be able to believe in what I am selling, and I believe in it. The R&D teams are always looking for the latest developments that allow us to be 5 years ahead of the market. Additionally, selling through the MEDDIC methodology has taught me a lot. I had the art and MongoDB gave me the science. Even after 10 years of sales, I keep learning. Most importantly, the people! Everyone is trying to be the best version of themselves and one of the builders of this great adventure. It's really nice to work with so much emulation. JD: What is our Sales team culture like? LT: To describe it in one word: Transparent. In transparency we can progress. We have to share with each other, help each other, point out our weaknesses, and listen. The same goes with customers. Transparency is the key. JD: What skills and qualities make someone successful on the Enterprise Sales team? LT: I think success comes from hard work. Nothing comes ready-made in this environment and there is no relying on luck. You have to work, learn, question yourself, and move things forward. Luck comes later. JD: Is there anything else that you think someone should know about our Enterprise Sales team in France? LT: I'm hiring, so do not hesitate to reach out to me via LinkedIn ! Interested in joining MongoDB’s Sales team? We have several open roles across the globe and would love for you to transform your career with us!
D’Enterprise Account Executive à Regional Director : comment Lucile Tournier a accéléré sa carrière en France
Lucile Tournier a rejoint MongoDB France en tant qu'Entreprise Account Executive en 2020. De l'apprentissage de nouvelles technologies à son nouveau rôle de maman tout en assumant des fonctions de leader, Lucile a eu un parcours incroyable au cours des deux dernières années. Apprenez-en plus sur son expérience au sein de notre équipe commerciale en France et sur la façon dont elle a su développer sa carrière pour devenir Regional Director chez MongoDB. Jackie Denner: Bonjour, Lucile. Merci de partager ton histoire ! Comment as-tu rejoint MongoDB et pourquoi étais-tu intéressée par l'entreprise ? Lucile Tournier: MongoDB est ma première expérience dans le monde de l’édition logiciel. En effet, mes expériences précédentes étaient des ESN françaises.Rien à voir en termes de cycles de vente, de culture d’entreprise (MongoDB étant une société américaine) ou encore de technicité (les bases de données - la seule stack que je n’avais jamais abordée !). Ayant l’impression d’avoir fait le tour de mon précédent poste, je me suis dit “Si je cherche un nouveau challenge, pourquoi pas le monde des éditeurs ? Est-ce fait pour moi ? Est-ce possible de passer d’une ESN à un ISV?” J’ai alors pris contact avec Alexandre Esculier , VP France MongoDB, à l’époque Regional Director, qui lui-même avait réussi un tel virage. Qui de mieux placé pour répondre à mes questions? Au fur et à mesure de mes échanges avec lui, mais aussi avec l’équipe MongoDB France, j’ai été conquise et j’ai décidé de me jeter dans le grand bain ! On pourrait se demander pourquoi MongoDB en particulier ? 3 ans auparavant, j’ai co-fondé une start up en Finance de marché au sein d’une ESN. Une expérience exaltante, à 1000 à l’heure, pleine de challenges, de difficultés et de belles réussites. J’aimais le côté “speed boat” (rapide et adaptable) à l’intérieur d’un grand groupe. Aussi, pour mon prochain challenge, je ne voulais pas rentrer dans une compagnie “paquebot”, où tout est long et fastidieux. J’ai vraiment retrouvé le meilleur des deux mondes chez MongoDB : à la fois grand groupe, avec des process clairs, une technologie disruptive, tout en ayant un esprit start up avec une croissance forte et de l’agilité. Et j’ai bien fait ! JD: Raconte-moi en davantage sur ton rôle d’Enterprise Account Executive. LT: Un vrai rollercoaster ! En parallèle de 6 mois d’onboarding poussés, j’ai pu rapidement aller sur le terrain, accompagnée bien sûr d’équipes à très grande valeur : mon manager, des architectes, les équipes post-sales etc. J’ai commencé à monter en compétences, à signer mes premiers contrats sur de grands comptes qui m’ont fait confiance (tout comme mon management), à ouvrir de nouveaux périmètres, à faire grossir les existants. J’ai énormément appris sur la technologie, sur le processus de vente ( basé sur le MEDDIC, dont John McMahon, co-inventeur de celui-ci, est au board de MongoDB ! ) et surtout sur moi-même grâce à une culture du feedback qui est la base chez MongoDB. Apprendre sur soi n’est pas si facile… Cela demande de savoir et de pouvoir se remettre en question quotidiennement. Mais quelle superbe opportunité pour grandir ! JD: Qu’est ce qui rend une carrière chez MongoDB unique ? LT: Elle est unique à plusieurs niveaux: la technologie, les process, le côté 1000 à l’heure, les résultats de la société …LES PEOPLE. Tout est fou.Ce que je retiens particulièrement c’est la bienveillance. Durant cette première année, j’ai eu l’immense joie de devenir maman, d’un petit garçon - Dorian. Commencer un nouveau job, tomber enceinte dans la foulée, ce n’est pas tout à fait ce que j’avais prévu. J’ai eu la chance d’avoir un management à l’écoute et ravi pour moi. Et j’ai pu réussir à mener de front mes deux belles aventures: réussir chez MongoDB et devenir Maman. Je ne pense pas que cela aurait pu aussi bien se passer ailleurs. JD: Tu as été promue d’Enterprise Account Executive à Regional Director. Comment as-tu réussi à atteindre cet objectif, et comment tes managers t'ont-ils soutenu dans cette démarche ? LT: Si je n’avais pas eu la confiance de toute ma ligne managériale, ce passage aurait été difficile, voire impossible. J’avais déjà un rôle de Manager dans mon “ancienne vie”. Cependant, il était important pour moi, comme pour MongoDB, de repasser par le terrain avant de revenir sur un poste de manager. Comment bien orienter ses équipes sans être passé par le terrain, en venant d’un monde complètement différent ? J’ai donc fait mes armes, j’ai prouvé, je me suis donnée à 100%, j’ai essayé d’être au maximum à l’écoute des feedbacks qu’on me donnait, j’ai testé, j’ai perdu, j’ai gagné, j’ai revu, j’ai recommencé et encore recommencé... Bref, j’avais confiance en mon environnement, et j’ai pu tout donner, tout en étant bien encadrée. J’avais des sessions régulières de développement, des formations, et surtout une oreille attentive de la part d’Alexandre et de Jérôme Delozière, VP Europe Continentale, qui m’aidaient à me poser les bonnes questions. JD: Qu’est ce qui est le plus passionnant au sein de MongoDB ? LT: Tout ! Déjà, la technologie est folle. C’est important de le souligner, car impossible pour moi d’aller dans une société où les clients ne sont pas satisfaits du produits une fois mis en place. Je veux pouvoir croire en ce que je vends. Et j’y crois ! Les équipes R&D sont toujours à la recherche des dernières évolutions qui nous permettent de garder nos 5 ans d’avance sur le marché ! Le fait de vendre à travers la méthodologie MEDDIC m’a énormément appris. J’avais l’art et MongoDB m’a apporté la science. Même après une dizaine d'années de vente, j’ai continué d’apprendre ! Et le plus important: les People ! Tout le monde cherche à se dépasser, à être un des constructeurs de cette belle aventure - et c’est vraiment agréable de travailler avec autant d’émulation. JD: Comment tu définirais la culture de vente chez MongoDB ? LT: Transparence ! En transparence on peut progresser, il faut se dire les choses, s’entraider, annoncer ses faiblesses, être à l’écoute. Comme avec les clients ! La transparence est la clef. On peut tout dire, avec les formes et au bon moment. JD: Quelles seraient - selon toi - les qualités pour réussir en tant que commercial au sein de MongoDB ? LT: Le travail. Rien n’arrive tout cuit. Il n’y a pas de périmètre facile, il n’y a pas de “chance” dans ce milieu. Il faut travailler, apprendre, se remettre en question, faire avancer les sujets. La chance arrive après. JD: Autre chose que nos candidats doivent savoir ? LT: Je recrute, alors n’hésitez pas à m'écrire sur LinkedIn ! Si vous souhaitez rejoindre l’équipe MongoDB, nous avons plusieurs rôles disponibles partout dans le monde et nous serions ravis que vous transformiez votre carrière avec nous !
Building Together: A Look Into MongoDB’s Newest Location in Barcelona
MongoDB may be headquartered in New York City, but our company has offices spanning the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific region. We are currently made up of more than 3,600 employees and are continuing to grow. On October 1, 2021, MongoDB opened a new office in Barcelona, a city that is quickly becoming an important European business hub. Hear from some of our Barcelona employees to learn about life at MongoDB in Barcelona and why it’s an exciting time to join this expanding location. An overview of MongoDB Barcelona MongoDB has a variety of teams making an impact in Barcelona. From Sales and Customer Success to Engineering and Industry Solutions, there are numerous career opportunities for individuals from different backgrounds. Our Barcelona team is currently made up of 40 employees, 10 of whom relocated from other countries. Whether you’re a Spaniard or an expat, Barcelona is a great place to continue growing your career with MongoDB. Silvia Tropea , Employee Experience Manager for Southern Europe and the Middle East Our new office in Barcelona is located in the Aticco Bogatell coworking space within 22@, Barcelona’s booming technology and innovation district. The building has a nice distribution of entrepreneurs, startups, and large companies and includes all the facilities and services necessary for a great working environment. The spacious common areas are perfect for enjoying moments of relaxation and organizing social and business events. The space is a great representation of our team based in Barcelona: dynamic, innovative, creative, and eager to learn! Our goal is to build a strong sense of community within the Barcelona team, along with the rest of the Southern European teams. We aim to have people embrace the power of diverse living and working in a stimulating multicultural environment. In order to achieve that, MongoDB’s Employee Experience and Workplace teams are actively working together with the local managers and leadership to organize team-building activities and events so our employees will feel connected and develop a strong sense of belonging. Aside from being part of a multicultural team in an ever-evolving city, take a look at some of the benefits offered to our employees in Spain: Above-standard 27 days of annual leave A fully funded group medical plan for employees and their dependents Employer-funded pension plan Permanent disability, life, and travel insurance Twenty weeks of fully paid parental leave (regardless of gender) for employees who have passed their one-year work anniversary At least $20,000USD for fertility and adoption assistance through Carrot, plus personalized new parent support through Cleo A generous equity package and employee stock purchase program with opportunities for ongoing grants Local and global company initiatives to support physical and mental well-being, including mental health resources, a free subscription to Headspace, gym benefits through Gympass, and an employee assistance program Our Barcelona office Meet some Barcelona team members Carlo Sicoli , Manager, Sales Development MongoDB’s Sales Development team is on the front lines of the customer journey and is one of the main drivers of our Sales organization. Our Barcelona team is made up of more than 25 professionals from all over Europe, and we are one of the fastest-growing teams and regions at MongoDB. We foster a strong culture of collaboration and growth, holding ourselves accountable for our business while having fun together as well. Our team is always willing to learn, progress, and grow both personally and professionally. MongoDB is an incredibly fast-paced environment with many opportunities for career growth. What I find most beneficial is our BDR to CRO program , an initiative sponsored by our CRO, Cedric Pech, to build a direct path between Sales Development and leadership roles. We truly care about career progression and aim to provide multiple career pathways for our reps, whether that be within sales or across other departments like Customer Success, Sales Operations, Marketing, or Sales Enablement. Barcelona is a great place to grow your career in tech sales. Not only is the city attracting large investments from tech companies, but it’s also an incredible international environment with high quality of life. Our Barcelona teams regularly get together for outdoor and sport activities, along with a weekly Thursday get-together on the office rooftop surrounded by amazing views of the sea and Sagrada Familia! There is truly no better time to join the MongoDB Barcelona team. Our overall business is growing over 50% YoY and our flagship product, MongoDB Atlas, is growing 85% YoY. What’s more, our total addressable market is estimated to be $119B by 2025 and has only claimed a 1% market share. This is just the beginning! In addition, our team is growing in Barcelona across multiple functions: Sales Development, Corporate Sales, Customer Success, and leadership roles. There is a lot of mobility to tailor your career path in the direction of your interests. Last but not least: flexibility. COVID-19 brought a lot of changes to the way we work as a company, and MongoDB is embracing flexible policies such as a blend of working from home and in-office. Flexibility is a key driver for us and we are always working to make things better for our employees. Above all, I believe that Barcelona is one of the most beautiful and exciting cities in Europe. Join us! The Sales Development leadership team in Barcelona Marion Duplan , Account Development Representative I had been living in Dublin for two years when I joined MongoDB as an Account Development Representative. While I love Ireland and the experiences I had there, I wanted to be closer to my home country (France) and have a bit more sun! Joining MongoDB was a great experience, from a thoughtful onboarding process to support from my new teammates, who made me feel extremely welcome. I had the opportunity to relocate from Dublin to Barcelona and take some time to get settled in. It was a game-changer and made me much more relaxed knowing that I could take my time finding the perfect place to call home. The Sales Development team in Barcelona is the perfect opportunity to build a sales career and balance a great work experience with a really nice way of life (great tapas, lots of sun, and a dynamic city!). Our team has many opportunities to connect, from sharing tips on the market we work within or how to organize our day-to-day work. We also have some new managers who bring new knowledge from previous experiences, which is great. Outside of work, we get together for weekly meet-ups, and some of my brave colleagues get together at 6 AM to go to the gym before work! We are at the beginning of a new adventure here in Barcelona and it feels really nice to build it all together. Thomas Chardac , Cloud Account Executive I joined MongoDB as an Account Development Representative (ADR) in June 2020. I had the chance to work for a region in France where the reps were amazing and really invested a lot of time into making me become better every day at doing my job. Sales Development management supported me and were really open to feedback, always willing to assess and grow the impact of ADRs on the business. In August 2021, I was promoted to Cloud Account Executive, and I am now managing between 100 to 150 accounts all over Europe. I am also on track to soon work on a team managing one of the biggest European customers. In a nutshell, things go fast at MongoDB! Before coming to Barcelona, I was located in Dublin. I decided to relocate to Barcelona to be part of something new and be at the beginning of an office that will grow at scale in the coming months and where I can help build the culture and onboard new hires. Additionally, I come from Limoges in France, so I am way closer to my family and friends here in Barcelona, which made a big difference in the decision. I had no idea so many companies were present in Barcelona. I am discovering every day how big the tech scene is here, and it is growing super-fast! I foresee many interesting leadership and senior sales positions opening here in the future. Knowing three different MongoDB offices — Paris, Dublin, and Barcelona — pretty well, I can say that the common trait of salespeople at MongoDB is that everyone is here to put the effort into getting better every day. It’s a never-resting, exciting, and stimulating environment. Also, anytime you need help you’ll find some amongst your peers. The growth MongoDB is experiencing, the quality of life here, and the opportunity to experience a new culture and meet people from all over the world is not something you want to miss! Gabriela Preiss , Industry Solutions Manager The Industry Solutions team at MongoDB is a fast-growing team that educates and aids large enterprises in modernizing their data infrastructures based on the needs, wants, and challenges of their specific industry. We are the industry subject matter experts. The bulk of our team is globally dispersed, but we made a strategic decision to start building out a sector of our team in Barcelona. This city is full of inspiration and innovation as a tech hub and has a hard-to-beat climate and nature that coexists with the bustling city. The overall team culture in Barcelona is great. You can always find something to do, and although these times are tricky with COVID-19, we try to regularly make time for casual meetups for tapas, drinks, and lunches. We’ve planned hikes, rooftop meetups, futbol games, and more. I feel very fortunate to work at MongoDB. I’ve always felt encouraged to grow and share ideas, and I feel like my work and initiative are noticed. In a short amount of time, I went from an entry-level Industry Consultant to building my own team in Barcelona. That growth culture may be marketed by every company, but it is still quite hard to find in an organization. MongoDB really sets the tone for individual growth through their leadership and the example they set. This is a very exciting time to join MongoDB in Barcelona. We’re growing exponentially, and to see that journey from the beginning has been incredible. For me, it’s a perfect fusion of a city I love with a career that excites me every day. During these last few years, a lot of people were forced to reevaluate where they live and what they dedicate their life to. I’ve only been reassured that Barcelona offers a high quality of life, while MongoDB has grown stronger than ever, in quantity and quality, despite having to quickly shift and adapt to meet changing global demands for their employees. Learn more about Gabriela’s career story and the Industry Solutions team. Gabriela and her team Tommaso Tocci , Lead Software Engineer, Sharding Before joining MongoDB, I was working as a researcher in the high-performance computing field. After two years of performing investigations and publishing papers, I was getting a bit frustrated. I really wanted to build something that would make a difference, something that would be used by thousands, even millions of people, something that would have a great impact. I also really wanted to write open source code, because I’m convinced that sharing knowledge is one of the key aspects of human evolution. When MongoDB contacted me, I didn’t hesitate: the company was building an innovative and open source database used by millions of people. It was exactly what I was looking for. I joined MongoDB as the second Software Engineer on our Sharding team in Barcelona. The sharding capabilities of MongoDB have received increased interest over the past few years. One of the main reasons we decided to build out the Sharding division in Barcelona was to attract new talent from all over Europe to join us on this incredible journey. Our intuition was correct, and in the past two years, we’ve grown the team to more than 15 brilliant engineers. One of the things I’m most proud of about MongoDB is the culture. When I first joined, I was really impressed by the fact that everyone was incredibly friendly and came from diverse backgrounds. It didn’t take long to realize that this was not an isolated case — MongoDB welcomes open-minded people who share our core values. In the Barcelona office specifically, there is an incredibly nice atmosphere focused on collaboration, inclusion, and trust. We always help each other and share our knowledge as much as possible, and we never forget to celebrate when we close a project. I personally really enjoy our brainstorming sessions; it’s where all our great ideas came from. Every day, more and more developers and companies shard their databases to achieve more flexibility. We have great plans for the Sharding team and numerous exciting features on our roadmap. To make all these dreams come true and improve sharding even more, we need talented engineers who will join us in this effort. Allison Easton , Software Engineer, Sharding I started my career with MongoDB in the summer of 2019 as an intern on the Replication team in the NYC office. I loved MongoDB and the work I was doing, but I didn’t want to live in New York City full-time. I knew that I wanted to go somewhere different after college and continue working on distributed systems, but didn’t really know where or what role. I talked to my recruiter and we discussed the possibility of me joining the newly started Sharding team in Barcelona. There were no guarantees since the team was so new and small, but I came back the next summer to intern for the Sharding team in NYC to see if it would be a good fit. After interning for the Sharding team in NYC remotely, I was offered a position in Barcelona after graduation. In the summer of 2021, I started full-time on the Sharding team here in Barcelona. Moving to Barcelona was pretty scary. I had never been to Spain before, and I didn’t (and still don’t really) speak any Spanish. MongoDB helped me get my visa and connected me with Kal Manassiev , who suggested places to stay in the city while looking for apartments. Everyone here has been super welcoming, and it’s been great living in such a different place. Since joining the team, my focus has been on improving the balancing process for sharded clusters. As the only new grad on the Barcelona team, I have a lot of great people to learn from. Everyone works together on projects and there is a focus on knowledge sharing that makes it easy to ask questions and learn about different projects. Having the new office space has also allowed us to interact in person, and utilizing whiteboard sessions to come up with ideas and learn more about how sharding works is really valuable. Barcelona is an amazing city. It’s lively and very different from the U.S. With the growth MongoDB is experiencing in Barcelona and the number of new team members moving here, it’s exciting to be able to explore the city (and the country for that matter) with other people who are excited to be here. Learn more about the Sharding team in Barcelona. Sara Escribano Slowey , Manager of Customer Success Our Customer Success (CS) department in EMEA is currently a team of over 50 passionate Customer Success Managers (CSMs) who work day in and day out with our customers, leading them from onboarding through their adoption lifecycle and up to their renewal. A CSM at MongoDB has many responsibilities, but the main one is ensuring that our customers adopt our technology, are aware of and employ best practices, and are able to grow their business with MongoDB. Our CS EMEA team is distributed across all of Europe. CS at MongoDB is increasingly investing in our Barcelona hub. We are hiring for our Onboarding, Scaled, and High Touch CS teams, along with fluent second-language speakers in our Barcelona and Dublin hubs. You can expect a growing CS team of skilled peers and additional openings out of sunny Barcelona throughout this year. We use a flexible working model to support our teams, whereby CSMs collaborate and decide the days they will work from home versus days they will be in-office with the rest of the team. Our team communicates daily via Slack and weekly team meetings, and we run virtual social events now and then driven by our CSMs themselves. They have the best ideas! Our main values revolve around expertise, collaboration, and accountability. We are a team focused on continuous self-enablement and hungry to become high-level experts for our customers. We are a highly collaborative team. We take pride in helping each other, have solid ramping and coaching programs for new starters, and ensure this collaboration culture is maintained regardless of our scale. Last but not least, we are a team that plays a key role within MongoDB’s account teams, and we deliver for our customers consistently. Joining the CS team in Barcelona opens up a realm of career opportunities for our employees. As a CSM you have a central role within the company. From collaborating closely with our Sales teams to working through technical milestones with Product teams and our field technical teams (Solutions Architects and Professional Services) to driving the customer’s experience, all angles of this role will give you an ample view of the business. At MongoDB and within CS, we have a well-structured development path around core competencies to continuously increase your skills. In my own tenure, I’ve developed in the company from an individual contributor into leading our Southern CS Enterprise team, which has been a career lifetime experience that can only come within a company that is laser focused on growing, challenging, and rewarding its internal talent. All in all, don’t think twice, now is a great time to join our team in Barcelona! Interested in joining MongoDB in Barcelona? We have several open roles and would love for you to transform your career with us!
MongoDB ASEAN: How the Corporate Sales Team Is Scaling in One of MongoDB’s Fastest-Growing Regions
MongoDB is growing rapidly around the globe, but one region experiencing particularly significant growth this year is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Our ASEAN team works with customers in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines. Hear from members of our Sales and Presales team to learn more about how they’re growing their careers and MongoDB’s presence in ASEAN. Hailey Dinh , Corporate Account Executive, ASEAN I’m currently a Corporate Account Executive at MongoDB. I don’t know if it’s fate that brought me and MongoDB together, but I’m glad I’ve chosen this path. It’s cliché to use the people-process-technology framework to explain what makes me stay, but it’s true at MongoDB. People: supportive, knowledgeable, and helpful. Process: fast, efficient, and always evolving. Technology: beautiful products with constant updates. MongoDB is such an unexpected yet satisfying journey for me . The most exciting things about my role are freedom and support. Freedom, as in we can always be creative and flexible with how we go about doing sales at MongoDB. We have full control of our daily schedules. Additionally, we’re always encouraged to share our initiatives and get recommendations from our leaders and colleagues on areas of improvement. Our leaders are very down-to-earth people who are willing to listen, mentor, and support their employees, so I feel less pressured by hierarchy and more open to sharing my ideas and concerns. For example, I initiated the idea of organizing an enablement workshop for our partners in Vietnam just a few months after joining MongoDB. I was immediately endorsed by our Leadership, Partner, and Marketing teams to own this initiative and run with the idea! I feel like I’ve grown at triple the rate I expected. The accelerated growth, the collaborative environment, the high market demand, the constant product development, the endless learning opportunities — all these factors have driven me to adapt and grow way faster than I had expected. At MongoDB, we all have our fair share of exposure to a highly international environment where our colleagues and customers may sit across different geographies. In terms of career development, our leaders take our career aspirations seriously, and there are defined paths and programs to help sales reps grow into more senior or even managerial roles. Our team culture is very positive. I feel like we are all each other’s mentors and mentees, which says a lot about the learning-from-each-other culture at MongoDB. I think what makes someone successful on the team is proactiveness and self-motivation. For a company with such a high growth trajectory, we have to be proactive and self-driven in the ways we identify and approach opportunities. “Go above and beyond” is the common trait I’ve seen from many successful Account Executives here. It’s impressive and motivating to see how the majority of MongoDB’s salespeople have attained and overachieved their KPIs quarter by quarter. My goal is to make a strong impact in my role, and I’m proud of how I’ve driven several go-to-market initiatives in terms of marketing, partnerships, and social selling toward the Vietnam market that have helped increase MongoDB’s visibility in this country. I couldn’t do all these things without our leadership’s endorsement and other teams’ support. I’m thrilled about the business direction we’re heading in this year. William Tan , Senior Solutions Architect, ASEAN The energy and pace of MongoDB — especially in the ASEAN region — is, for lack of a better word, electrifying. Every day, we uncover customer needs and issues with real business impacts, identify their vision, and translate it all into tangible, technical requirements that can be fulfilled by MongoDB’s technology. At a personal level, it is an endless journey of deepening one’s understanding of databases, cloud, application development, and how it all fits together. There is a deep focus on continuous learning and sharpening our minds as we continue to hone our skills in the field. It is this daily rigor that makes my role exciting. There are no moments of boredom as new questions force me to rethink what I know, and there is no greater joy than to witness the smiles and acknowledgement from our customers when they achieve their goals and resolve the problems they set out to. Throughout the interview process, I discovered how easy, intuitive, and powerful it is to use Atlas as a database for everything, and the many rich and interesting platform features that come along with it. I even told myself it would be okay not to get the job, since the experience of trying was such an enriching and rewarding experience already. Thankfully, I was hired! If I were to summarize the onboarding experience in a few words, they would be “rigor” and “a detailed training plan.” The onboarding process for a Solutions Architect consists of weeks of focused tasks and activities to complete, including online courses and demos, as well as reading tons of write-ups and presenting it all to fellow teammates and managers to obtain feedback on areas of improvement. I’ve never had an opportunity to learn with such seriousness before, and I am still using the training plan to keep my skills sharp. The SA onboarding rigor is key to preparing for day one and beyond in the field. If you are looking for an opportunity to learn something new and work with people of great technical passion in a vibrant and open-minded team, then MongoDB could be a great place for you. Many of us on the SA team come from various backgrounds. Some have experience with databases, while others do not; some are developers, while others are purely infrastructure. Combined, this gives rise to interesting approaches and insights. There are so many things to learn from one another, and very soon you will realize there is more than one way to cook a dish. There is a willingness to share and empower one another, and you can see that when one celebrates the success of another. If you want to experience the marriage of technical exhilaration with the practical abilities to solve real problems, then this is definitely the right team to be a part of. Views from the MongoDB office in Singapore Stephanie Lee , Corporate Account Executive, ASEAN After three years in hardware sales, I moved to software when I joined MongoDB. I currently cover corporate accounts across Singapore, Malaysia, and the rest of ASEAN, including Pakistan and Myanmar. With the rate at which MongoDB is growing, there is always something new to learn. As a salesperson, I find it valuable that I am pushed to grow in areas of technical knowledge to be more well-rounded. There are a lot of internal resources available for anyone who wishes to learn or upskill in the course of their job, regardless of their scope of work. MongoDB has set the bar extremely high for any onboarding experience I encounter in the future. The investment in training and Sales Bootcamp blew me away. The two-week virtual Sales Bootcamp sessions equipped me with the right skills to hit the ground running. Not only were we given in-depth training on the technical aspects of the products, but we also had targeted sessions on sales methodology that I believe is invaluable for any salesperson, but especially for those still in the early years of their careers. Some characteristics I believe make someone successful in a Sales role at MongoDB are self-motivation, resourcefulness, empathy, and resilience in the face of rejection or failure. You are ultimately driving your own book of business and responsible for your own performance. There are also no hard and fast rules for how to land a deal or generate a lead, so it comes down to how resourceful you can be and how thorough you are in researching your prospects. I also think empathy is critical because this is a client-facing role, and you will always be meeting new people who are looking to solve their problems. We need to be invested in listening to them and putting ourselves in their shoes to feel their pain and be motivated to provide the best solution. Finally, you are bound to be met with rejection, so it is important to have a go-getter attitude and not be discouraged. Prior to joining MongoDB, I honestly had not heard much about the company. As I went through the interview process and met the management team, however, I found myself wanting the role more and more. This boils down to two key aspects: the product and the people. Even though I am not the most technical person, the more I learned about the MongoDB product, the more excited I became to sell it. The people I met along the way, such as my hiring manager, Regional Director, and VP, gave me a glimpse into the warm, dynamic culture. Every day is exciting. If you challenge yourself, then there will always be opportunities for growth. I choose to stay at MongoDB because I believe in the long-term vision and goal of the organization. I trust that we are building a world-class team of people, and I aspire to be a part of the process. Members of the ASEAN team gather after work Interested in joining the team? We have several open roles in Singapore and would love to help you to transform your career at MongoDB!
How These Women Are Leading Teams and Growing Their Careers at MongoDB
Each year, MongoDB highlights some of our most influential leaders in celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. These women were nominated by their colleagues for making a huge impact on their teams. They’re taking their careers (and MongoDB) to new heights and inspire us every day! Reba Cox , Director of Procurement I currently lead the Procurement and Travel teams, and I was recently asked to build out a new function for Sustainability at MongoDB. My team ensures that MongoDB spends money safely, efficiently, and compliantly! I have somehow turned my personal passion for shopping into a full-time job. I started at MongoDB as a manager and have since been promoted twice and expanded my leadership to three functions. I have gained more experience in four years at MongoDB than I gained in all of my career prior! I think a good leader has to have a combination of traditional leadership skills, such as making and implementing multiyear strategic goals, being well-spoken, and standing up for what’s right, but they also need to have compassion and put a huge emphasis on developing their team. If you are not spending the majority of your time building leaders, then you are missing a great opportunity to multiply your positive impact at a company and in people’s lives. The greatest lesson I have learned as a leader is to have compassion. I can be very demanding of my team, but the one thing they know is that I always have their back and I honestly try to do what’s best for them every single day. If my team doesn’t trust or believe in me, then how can I ask great and difficult things from them? If you want to be a leader someday, then showing up, speaking up, and consistently doing what you say will help you get there. I always tell my team to be someone who people can rely on and trust. Be more helpful, more kind, and more ‘can do’ than anyone expects you to be! You will gain respect among your peers and put yourself in the right position to receive additional responsibilities and opportunities. The opportunities at MongoDB are limitless. As a female leader at MongoDB, I have been able to create so many lasting friendships and mentorship opportunities with an endless list of incredible women. The most rewarding part of my job is mentoring and working with the many fabulous women I come in contact with on a day-to-day basis. I love how the culture of MongoDB allows us each to be unique and really lean into who we are as women and leaders. The growth you can experience here, both personally and professionally, is endless. Anokhee Mepani , Director of Operations, Technical Services For the past several years, I’ve led customer success and operations teams at rapidly growing startups. I deeply enjoy working through the opportunities and challenges that come with fast, exponential scaling, and I wanted to expand my experience at a larger but equally fast-growing tech company. My previous companies used MongoDB to power their businesses, and I saw firsthand how impactful MongoDB is. I knew I would find the work here meaningful and exciting, so it was an easy decision to join my team. Technical Services Operations supports the Technical Services team , which provides 24/7 support to our customers. Our mission is to enable Technical Services to serve our customers successfully. As a leader, it’s my responsibility to ensure my team is best set up for success, and my continued growth and learning are a big part of that. I am focused on learning through inclusion — learning from my team’s and my colleagues’ different perspectives and varied experiences. As an individual contributor, I learned a lot from industry best practices and standard approaches; as a leader, I believe my greatest growth comes from seeking novel and diverse solutions to challenges. What I believe makes someone a good leader is truly caring about your team and providing support and advocacy that is in the team’s best interest. I truly believe that if you set high standards and take care of your people, then success will follow. Cristina Castillo , Director of Sales Development, EMEA I currently lead the South and Central European regions for the Sales Development organization. Our team plays a crucial role for MongoDB’s Sales team. We generate business opportunities for the most strategic accounts in all types of industries and work with the Enterprise organization to plan and execute pipeline-generation strategies. Working in the Sales Development organization is really exciting. As a leader, you have a huge responsibility for the development of emerging professionals, and I want to make my team’s time in Sales Development a memorable experience and empower them to own their careers . From a leadership perspective, compassion is key. You need to understand your team’s feelings, goals, strengths, and areas of development, and be passionate and committed to supporting their success and career growth. Self-awareness is also really important; we are an example for the people around us, so we need to be able to self-reflect, ask for feedback, and analyze our development areas to always become better as leaders. In addition, you need to be able to build trust with your team so you can create a safe environment where people will be encouraged to speak up and communicate not only the positives, but also the negatives so you can take action. If your team is happy, then they will deliver at their best! If you are new to a leadership role, then you may face many challenging situations along the way. It is important that you believe in yourself and trust your gut. I also think it’s helpful to find a mentor you can trust who will give you guidance when you are lost and feedback to help you accelerate your skills. Last but not least, remember that, at the end of the day, we are humans dealing with humans, so make time for fun! Melissa Mahoney , Lead Technical Writer, Cloud I am fortunate to lead the incredibly smart, resourceful, and compassionate technical writers of the Cloud Documentation team. We produce procedural, reference, and tutorial content for MongoDB’s Cloud services and strive to provide users with delightful learning experiences and self-serve support through documentation. I have always had a passion for mentorship, both in learning from others and in helping those around me grow. I have been fortunate to turn that passion into a key part of my job. I transitioned from an individual contributor role to a team lead about a year and a half ago, and every day I learn something new about myself and how best to serve my team and their goals. I think a good leader must be grounded in empathy. Empathy for your users drives you to fully understand their needs, sparks creativity to meet those needs, and inspires the best possible deliverable. Empathy for your team requires that you listen actively and openly and communicate clearly and honestly, and it motivates you to seek collaborative solutions. Empathy for yourself forces you to delegate, seek help when you need it, and allow yourself to learn and grow from mistakes. The biggest lesson I’ve learned as a leader is that I can’t (and shouldn’t!) do it all. The transition from an individual contributor to a manager was difficult for me; at first, it was hard to let go of projects or meetings. But as my calendar filled up and the work I promised to do fell behind, I realized I had become the bottleneck I had tried so hard to prevent. Learning to delegate not only freed up my time to be a better manager, but also created new opportunities for leadership and expertise for members of the team. My advice to someone new to leadership is to learn to manage your time early on. Your calendar will fill quickly, so ask yourself if you really need to be there or if someone else could use this opportunity to learn or lead. Interested in making an impact at MongoDB? We have several open roles on our teams around the globe and would love for you to transform your career with us!
Honoring Black History Month
As Black History Month comes to an end, we reflect on and honor the history, legacies, achievements, and contributions of the Black community in the United States. Hear from three members of MongoDB’s affinity group TUPOC (the Underrepresented People of Color) to learn more about what this month means to them, and how they are honoring Black history all year round. Bryant McCombs , Manager, Customer Success I manage the Customer Success team for New England, Eastern Canada, & the Mid-Atlantic. My team is responsible for making sure that our customers have all of the resources they need to be successful in leveraging MongoDB. I’ve had a very non-linear path to tech, starting my professional career as a performance coach at an athletic training facility. I then decided to transition into financial sales consulting, but quickly realized that it was not the career path for me. So, I decided to drop everything I was doing and move to rural Australia. There, I began working as an irrigation manager on a farm the size of Manhattan. After my brief stint as a farmer, I decided to get back into coaching and landed a role as volunteer assistant track coach at the University of Pennsylvania. During my time in Philly, I also held a number of part-time jobs and began attending my first tech meetups. It was when I attended Philly Tech Week that I finally realized tech was the place for me. Several months later, I landed my first role at a startup software development consultancy as an operations manager. I was the second employee and I knew next to nothing about software development. Over the course of two years, I helped grow the team to over 60 employees while managing everything from the company accounting, human resources, account management, and more. Those two years were probably the most valuable years of my professional career in tech, and I haven’t looked back since. When I was being recruited to work at MongoDB, the values that prioritized intellectual honesty and psychological safety were very enticing to me, and I’ve found them to be embodied values throughout my tenure. MongoDB has had a huge impact on my career within a very short amount of time. In the year and ten months that I’ve been here, I’ve been promoted twice: first as an individual contributor and then to a manager role. I enjoy working at MongoDB because we are solving some pretty huge challenges every day and are in a period of consistent and rapid growth. In college, I was a history major with a focus on the African Diaspora. I remember being amazed the first time I learned about the impact various African traditions had on the culture of a wide range of places such as Brazil, the Bahamas, and the U.S. When I think about the middle passage and the incredibly harsh conditions that my ancestors endured reaching America, I can’t help but think that it’s a miracle I am even here today. Learning anything about the lives of my enslaved ancestors has never been an easy task, with no equivalent of Ellis or Angel Island and poorly maintained slave papers. However, after extensive research, I found some of the names and photos of my ancestors that were enslaved in Mississippi and North Carolina. This process helped me reclaim some of my family’s history and feel more connected to my lineage. When a lot of people think of Black history they think of slavery or black and white footage of Martin Luther King Jr. marching on the capital. However, to me, it’s a lot more than that. My parents were teenagers before the Civil Rights Act was passed and adults by the time it was widely adopted. They experienced most of their childhood and a significant part of their adulthood without basic human rights. They struggled with racist institutions and setbacks based purely on the color of their skin, and as an unintended consequence of their experience, they became stronger and more resilient individuals. I like to think that they’ve passed that strength and resilience down to me, and as I begin to start my own family, I hope that I can pass it down to my children. When I think of what Black History Month means to me, I think that Black history is unable to be contained by a month and that Black history is being made and should be celebrated every day. Kayla Warner , Internal Communications Manager As a child in Alabama, Black History month was recognized and celebrated wherever I went– school, church, and especially at home. From rote memorization of Black History facts like Madame C.J. Walker being the first female millionaire, or memorizing lines for the latest Black History month play at church, I was fully bought into celebrating the achievements of Black people. However, I never gave much thought to why it was important to recognize these achievements. As I got older, I learned about the atrocities of slavery and segregation; met people who protested and participated in the Civil Rights Movement; and realized that my father was born two weeks after Bloody Sunday. It was now clear to me that Black History doesn’t live in the past– it affects us now and shapes our future. Kayla and her father As I came of age, racial identity and consciousness became more and more important to me. But to be honest, it was less by choice and exploration– but by necessity. The deaths of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, and Michael Brown made a seismic impact on my life because they were all my age. Race became the biggest conversation in my life. I had to interrogate my held beliefs and values, and define what being Black in America meant to me– when so much of Blackness in America was becoming synonymous with pain and strife. I had to forge my own identity, so I decided to do something radical. I chose joy. My definition of Blackness became one of light, celebration, laughter, and most importantly, hope. Black History Month has become a time to celebrate customs and traditions, to rejoice with levity and laughter, and to embrace my community. That communal aspect is key, especially within the Black community and other communities of color across the country. That is why I am so thankful that there is space for community at MongoDB through affinity groups like TUPOC. Onboarding as a remote employee is never an easy feat, but having a resource like TUPOC made me feel less alone and reminded me of the importance of fellowship. Beyond TUPOC, the Corporate Communications team has made me feel at home and respected as a member of the team. MongoDB’s value “embrace the power of difference” made me want to join and seeing it in action from the executive team to my peers has confirmed that I made the right choice. Courtney Turner , Campus Recruiter Black History Month is not just 28 or 29 days to reflect on the countless contributions of African American culture to society, nor is it a month to make a one-time purchase from Black businesses. Black History Month is truly a lifestyle for me. Growing up in a small town in North Carolina, I can remember my family teaching me about prominent figures in Black history like Medgar Evers, Dr. Shirley Jackson, and Carter G. Woodson. They also taught me about the harsh realities of Black history like the tragic murder of Emmett Till, the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, and the lynching of Joe Code. As a child, my mother and late aunt encouraged me to be active in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, where I hosted annual Freedom banquets, sang the Negro National Anthem, and was even recognized for my contributions to the community and the state. Understanding that Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were created when admission wasn't granted to African Americans, I knew it was imperative that I attend an HBCU. Starting my college journey at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and completing my collegiate experience at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, I was surrounded by black excellence and unity, but most importantly I saw the hard work HBCU students put forth to excel even when not given the same opportunities and funding as other students. This is where my passion for inclusion and advocacy arises from, leading to my passion for starting a career in recruiting. Despite the stereotypes and labels placed on African American males, my mother always reminded my two brothers and me that we were kings. This led me to run and serve in the role of Mister Black North Carolina. My platform was Reconstructing the Black Male Image, and after serving as Mister Black North Carolina, I decided to launch my own mentoring program “Dapper Distinguished Men Society”. Courtney and his mother Today, we reflect not only on Black history but all parts of the Black experience. Black history represents the tears that slaves shed in the stillness of the night while working to escape into what they thought would be freedom. Black history contains the fear that Black families felt driving through sundown towns while using Green Books for guidance, it's the feeling of not being equal, not being heard, not being appreciated, and not feeling safe enough to jog in your neighborhood, visit the local store, and relax in the comfort of your own home. It is the realization that we have progressed but have so far to go to truly be counted equal. As we reflect on Black history and glimpse into our Black future, we recognize that no matter how many times we are knocked down, we are never knocked out. Interested in joining MongoDB? We have several open roles on our teams across the globe and would love for you to transform your career with us!
Meet Gesa Musiol: Growing Her Career in Customer Success at MongoDB
Gesa Musiol has experienced exponential career growth since joining MongoDB two years ago. Through multiple promotions and a relocation, she’s achieved both personal and professional goals and continues to learn something new every day. I spoke with Gesa to learn more about her MongoDB journey and what’s exciting about being part of our Customer Success organization. Jackie Denner: Hi, Gesa! Thanks for sharing a bit about your career journey with me. What was your experience prior to joining MongoDB? Gesa Musiol: Thank you for having me! Coming from an academic background in literary and cultural studies, I took my first full-time professional role working in Customer Support for Google Ads. Then, stepping into the role of account manager for the German-speaking SMB market at Pinterest, I managed a portfolio of customers and supported businesses and agencies in successfully developing and running their advertising campaigns on the platform. Until MongoDB reached out to me in regard to the then-brand-new “Customer Success Specialist” opening, my primary experience was in advertising, but I had built out a transferable skill set relevant to any customer-facing role. JD: Why did you decide to join MongoDB’s Customer Success (CS) organization? GM: Truth be told, prior to kicking off the interview process, I was unfamiliar with the product and had limited industry knowledge - my previous professional life had taken place exclusively in the advertising space. However, I had always been interested in the tech world and was hungry for a new challenge. While preparing for the interview process and diving into the subject matter head first, the more I read, the more I was fascinated and interested. What MongoDB does in the database space is disrupting the industry and helping more than thirty thousand customers to innovate - I was intrigued. Moreover, the company values resonated with me, and from the well-organized and clearly communicated interview process, it was apparent that these values were more than just pretty on paper. Every person I spoke to throughout the interview process was sharp, professional, and warm - this was a company I wanted to work for, and a team I wanted to be a part of. Glowing Glassdoor reviews and the employee retention rate only affirmed my impression. JD: Tell me about your MongoDB journey. I heard you started as a Customer Success Specialist in Dublin and are now a Customer Success Manager in Frankfurt. Can you walk me through those career steps? GM: I joined MongoDB in April 2020 as one of their first Customer Success Specialists globally and the first Customer Success Specialist working with DACH, the Central European market (DACH = Germany, Austria, and Switzerland). In this role, I managed a large portfolio of customers across all DACH territories, gaining insights into different industries and all types of use cases. About a year later, I was promoted into the role of Senior Customer Success Specialist and became involved in interviewing potential candidates, coaching new hires, and building out global at-scale initiatives to engage with our customer base. Five months later, I was promoted to Customer Success Manager (CSM) focusing on a smaller portfolio of strategic customers. A personal highlight was the opportunity to work with two of our largest global customers based in the UK as their interim CSM, filling in for a colleague on parental leave - a fantastic chance to gather cross-market experience and connect with a new regional account ecosystem. When the COVID-19 pandemic led me to reassess my personal priorities, as it did for many, my managers supported me in making the decision to relocate to Germany from Ireland every step of the way, ensuring a smooth and speedy transition. Counting from the day of making the initial decision to relocate, it took less than two months for me to now be officially employed by MongoDB in Germany. Now, being based in Frankfurt as a Customer Success Manager, I have the pleasure of working with a small customer portfolio in the region and being even more closely aligned with our regional sales ecosystem. JD: What sort of learning and development opportunities were provided to you along the way? GM: Growth and development are key topics that management at MongoDB takes very seriously; your manager will work with you to understand your short-, mid-, and long-term goals, and support you in developing and implementing an actionable plan to get you where you see your career path leading. In my personal example, my managers helped me prioritize initiatives and projects that were conducive to my long-term goals. Management trusted me to take big steps, such as going from working with a large portfolio of 300+ customers to closely working with a handful of strategic customers, and encouraged me to approach challenges creatively and step outside of my comfort zone again and again. Most importantly, my managers gave me space to fail and provided me with the guidance, resources, and buddy support leading to success along the way. JD: How does the Central Europe team stay connected to the global Customer Success organization? GM: The Customer Success organization at MongoDB is at a very interesting stage. Like any other team, we very much miss in-person meetings and team events that cannot take place due to COVID-19. At the same time, our Central Europe (CEEUR) team and global CS team alike are growing exponentially. However, despite the fact that I have personally only met a fraction of my colleagues in person since joining the business in April 2020, we have a very strong team mentality and cultivate communication channels that are always open. When facing a challenge or obstacle, we are encouraged to turn to and collaborate with our colleagues across the globe to learn from their experiences. Beginning on day one, the onboarding plan and buddy system ensure that we work very closely with team members from the same market as well as broaden our horizons by connecting with colleagues with largely different daily tasks or different customer segments. On the interpersonal side, the CS CEEUR team has two weekly meetings that quench the thirst for water cooler conversations, and we regularly come together for team events in various constellations - as the CEEUR CS team, the EMEA CS team, or in conjunction with our colleagues from the CEEUR sales ecosystem. In a business that evolves as dynamically as MongoDB does, feeling connected to our colleagues helps us navigate professional challenges and, very importantly, makes our day-to-day fun. JD: What makes Customer Success at MongoDB unique? GM: The Customer Success team lives and breathes our company values ; we own what we do, practice intellectual honesty, embrace the power of differences, and build a successful future together. Working with quite complex, technical products in an environment where no day is like the other, we are able to learn from and lean on our own regional CS teams and the wider global CS community alike. Personally, from day one, I was in awe of the incredible team spirit - your colleagues and management will go out of their way to make you feel welcome and lead you to success. JD: Why do you think now is a great time for someone to join the Customer Success team? GM: Customer Success at MongoDB is growing exponentially on a global scale. However, the CEEUR region, in particular, has a very exciting future ahead. Gustavo Loewe, our Regional Vice President for Enterprise Sales, recently referenced the expected growth as “brutal” in the best sense of the word and is planning to build out the region as the “MIT of Enterprise Software Sales in EMEA” - a great indicator for the magnitude of impact the region will develop over the coming months and years. By joining the Customer Success team in CEEUR now, or indeed any of our regional Customer Success teams, you will be able to experience this hyper-growth first-hand, onboard new, exciting customers, ensure their ongoing success with our technology, and learn from and contribute to a growing ecosystem of highly motivated and smart professionals. With business growth also comes the privilege of shaping processes and developing new roles within Customer Success, of testing what works, and determining what good looks like. If this is something you are passionate about, MongoDB Customer Success is the right place for you. JD: Is there anything else you’d want someone to know about Customer Success at MongoDB? GM: Customer Success at MongoDB is a highly dynamic environment. It is the place to be for anyone with a passion for technology and innovation who flourishes outside of their comfort zone. Personally speaking, my time at MongoDB so far has flown by - not a day has gone by that I have not learned more about the field, industry, and myself. Our executive team often mentions that at the end of our careers, they want us to look back at our time at MongoDB as a time of immense development and as the pivotal accelerator of our professional lives; a vision that permeates the opportunities you will be granted from day one. Interested in joining MongoDB’s Customer Success organization? We have several open roles on our teams across the globe and would love for you to transform your career with us!
Solving Complex Technical Challenges with MongoDB’s Technical Services Team
MongoDB's Technical Services team works with our customers to ensure that their MongoDB deployments are running at their best. From a query performance question on a test Atlas cluster to helping upgrade large self-hosted sharded clusters run by some of the world's best-known global enterprises, the Technical Services team is available 24/7 to help our customers with any MongoDB product or feature. This deeply technical team is distributed globally, with a variety of backgrounds and expertise to ensure that they can best address any new issue or question. In addition to solving these complex customer challenges, the team also works on internal projects such as software development of support tools for performance tuning, benchmarking, and diagnostics. Hear from three team members about their career journeys and role within Technical Services at MongoDB. Francisco Alanis , Senior Technical Services Engineer, Austin Tell me about your journey into tech. How did you get to where you are today? I've liked technology ever since I was a little kid. I grew up in a small border town in Mexico where my opportunities to learn more about technology were limited to books and magazines. However, I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the U.S. every once in a while. My favorite store to visit was Radio Shack, where I could be more hands-on with technology and inspired by what I found. I eventually started some more formal training in electronics when I did my junior high in a technical middle school, which offered the chance to get a technical degree by the time I started high school. Those days I was studying the basics of how computers worked as a side project, and I felt more attracted to that, but I didn't have access to an actual computer. After several months of savings, my dad was able to buy a computer at my insistence. From that moment on, I started to learn everything I could by poking and prodding and getting every computer magazine I could. I couldn't get access to the Internet until much later. During high school, I moved to the U.S. and started living on my own at about 17 years old. My main objective back then was to get into a college to study computer science or computer engineering. I still had to finish high school but was sent back to 9th grade due to my poor spoken English. I didn't let that stop me, though. I dropped out and got my GED a few months later, my Associates in Arts from a local community college two years later, then got accepted at the University of Texas - Pan American (now UT Rio Grande Valley) after that. There, I worked on projects specializing in networking, distributed systems to solve Physics problems (processing of LHC data), and later on, computer-assisted protein alignment. I completed my Master’s degree a few years later and graduated, married, and started working at IBM all in the same week. At IBM, I worked on Power VIOS Virtual Device Drivers, then AIX Network Device Drivers where I got experience in diagnosis, testing, and SR-IOV driver implementations, and finally at Watson Health where I worked as a DevOps engineer until 2017. In 2017 I started working at MongoDB as a Technical Services Engineer. What has your career path looked like at MongoDB? Before starting at MongoDB I had been working for almost 10 years as a developer, but I had no experience interacting directly with customers. In addition to that, my experience was deep in very specific types of technologies, but my breadth of knowledge wasn't great beyond what I could learn on my own from personal projects. Because of these limitations, my main goals when I started at MongoDB were to get better experience communicating with customers and to expand my breadth of knowledge. In these last four years, I can say I've done that and much more. I still feel a great sense of pride and accomplishment every time I start a call with a customer to assist in an emergency situation and end that call with either a crisis averted or with the customer confident that they are in good hands, knowing their problem will be handled not only by myself but by the full Technical Services team backing me up. Four years ago, I couldn't even imagine being able to offer that kind of service with the level of confidence I can today. In addition to that, it is a world of difference having experience in the design and development of applications versus actually seeing those applications used in the real world, especially the day-to-day consequences of design decisions that may seem inconsequential as a developer but that can profoundly affect customers' usage patterns and views of a product. It’s also interesting to see how different product stacks that include MongoDB can have different effects on the database, both positive and negative. What is the most enjoyable part of your role at MongoDB? Undoubtedly, the best part of MongoDB is the people I work with. I'm very grateful to have the opportunity to work daily with colleagues that are not only very smart but are also very passionate about technology and solving problems. On top of that, they are more than willing to share their knowledge. Our work in Technical Services is very collaborative since there's no single person that knows everything about the data platform. We are exposed to all kinds of different and sometimes unique issues. These issues frequently create learning opportunities that we then share with the team. Additionally, because MongoDB is being used in all kinds of use cases with both mature and emerging technologies, we get a lot of exposure to different solutions used in the field. This can give you accelerated experience in any well-known or new industry trends. Linda Qin , Staff Engineer, Sydney Tell me about your role as a Staff Engineer. My day-to-day job includes casework and project work. When I start my day, I first review the cases in both my own queue and the support queue, then work on the cases based on the urgency and severity. Normally my team responds primarily to the cases submitted by our customers on the MongoDB Support Portal. For critical issues, we’ll set up or join a call with the customer to resolve the issue. I am experienced in MongoDB core databases utilizing sharding, so I regularly help the team with questions in these areas. I am also the Named Technical Services Engineer (NTSE) for some customers. Our NTSE service is a premium enterprise support offering. MongoDB NTSEs work closely with designated customers and have a deep understanding of their environment in order to provide holistic, context-sensitive support. I join regular NTSE meetings with our customers to review opened issues, work on planned activities, and follow up on cases for them. Aside from the casework, I contribute to projects that help improve our productivity. For example, a colleague and I worked on a sharding analyzer to analyze the metadata in a sharded environment. Sharding is a method that MongoDB uses to distribute data across multiple machines. The sharding analyzer can be used to help us understand the data distribution and diagnose issues more efficiently. How do you collaborate with other teams and engineers in your role? Sometimes a case covers multiple areas and different subject expert teams work together to help our customers. For example, when an Atlas customer reports a performance issue, the issue could be caused by under-provisioning or could be related to the queries or indexing configuration. In those cases, I work with my colleagues from the Atlas support team on the investigations into the core database. Within the Technical Services team, we have technical experts with deep experiences and particular responsibilities surrounding their subject matter area. For example, we create a product report to highlight the main pain points and highly-demanded feature requests for the product team. We write Knowledge Base Articles to share internally and with our customers. Additionally, we are often involved in the early stage of new products to review the product description and scope documents and provide feedback based on our field experiences. I am a technical expert in sharding. Apart from the above contributions, I have been working on growing the Technical Services team's skills in this subject area. I have developed a sharding workshop that provides a real sharding deployment with many exercises. New hires or anyone on the support team can use this workshop to get hands-on experience with common issues related to sharding and to gain additional knowledge on the topic of sharding. I am currently working on adding functions to our internal diagnostics tool to automatically analyze MongoDB logs for issues on sharding. What are you most looking forward to in 2022? For MongoDB Technical Services, I am looking forward to more talented people joining our team. We currently have lots of openings in many different locations . For myself, I would like to continue working on projects related to sharding and issue diagnosis. I also plan to work with the other sharding experts to complete the next level sharding workshop, which includes some deeper exercises and knowledge on sharding. Emilio Scalise , Staff Engineer, Rome Tell me a bit about your career journey at MongoDB. I started working at MongoDB in 2015 as part of a small team of six Support Engineers in our Dublin office. The company grew considerably, and I had the opportunity to move back to my country (Italy) to work as a remote Technical Support Engineer in 2016. This role started as an undifferentiatedTechnical Services Engineer for any MongoDB product, but I then began to specialize in supporting our enterprise applications and integrations, a focus that was created the year after I started. This team specializes in supporting Ops Manager, Cloud Manager, and other applications that MongoDB provides in addition to MongoDB Enterprise Server. Over the years I became a Senior Technical Services Engineer, then a Technical Team Lead, and finally a Staff Engineer which is my current role. How has Technical Services leadership supported your career growth? The Technical Services leadership team supported me greatly through the years. I’ve been given the opportunity to take on increasing responsibility and lead many internal projects, teach and coach new team members, and work together with other teammates to continuously improve our MongoDB Support Service to match our growing company needs and expectations. All of these experiences helped me become the Staff Engineer I am today. What types of activities do you take part in as a Staff Engineer? Besides daily casework like all other Technical Services Engineers, as a Staff Engineer, I try to track and contribute to the resolution of major customer escalations and product issues. I’ve been coordinating training and internal tools efforts together with my teammates. Coaching, training, and collaborating with teammates is something that happens continuously over the day, every day. I am also involved with the Technical Experts Program in our organization as an “Expert Champion” (I help recruit new Experts) and as a member of the Ops Manager Experts Team. Within the Experts program, we collaborate with our Product and Development organizations by sharing feedback with them regarding product features and issues, and we also suggest and discuss future improvements in our products. Interested in a career in Technical Services at MongoDB? We have several open roles on our teams across the globe and would love for you to transform your career with us!
Starting a Career as a Solutions Architect in MongoDB’s Remote Presales Centre
MongoDB’s Remote Presales Centre is kickstarting presales careers and helping customers unlock the value of MongoDB technology. I spoke with Chris Dowling and Snehal Bhatia to learn more about the Remote Presales Centre Solutions Architect role, how they’re making an impact, and why this is an exciting opportunity for those interested in understanding the intersection of business and technology. Jackie Denner: Hi, Chris and Snehal. Thanks for sitting down with me today to discuss the Remote Presales Centre. What is MongoDB’s Remote Presales Centre team? Chris Dowling: The Remote Presales Centre Solutions Architect is an introductory Solutions Architect (SA) role. Our global team is spread across the Americas, EMEA, and APAC, and we are actively growing. We currently have SAs in EMEA covering French, German, Italian, Spanish, and English speaking customers. By joining the team, you’ll essentially be in an “incubation” period to gain experience in a presales role and exposure to sales cycles. Snehal Bhatia: Yes, this Solutions Architect role is for people who are earlier in their career and might not necessarily come from a presales background. We’re not dedicated to particular customers or accounts, rather we cover a wider perspective to help a larger volume of customers across various regions and Sales teams. Not only do we gain valuable experience, but we’re able to add value to the sales cycle by way of customer education through enablement sessions and workshops, along with engaging with customers at an earlier stage to bring technical value from the get-go. We’re also brought in to help qualify opportunities during discovery meetings. Overall, the biggest gap we see is that customers often have a difficult time understanding MongoDB technology, so we’re there to provide clarity, answer questions, and showcase the value of MongoDB. JD: So, what is a typical week like in your Solutions Architect role? CD: I’ve had 15 customer contacts this week. If you’re looking at strictly one-on-one sessions, the maximum number of customers someone on our team would handle per week is around 20. If you take into account some of the wider marketing events we help run as well, it could be as many as 100 customers, it really depends on the day. We don’t just do account-based activities, we also run wider campaigns like workshops and webinars. Snehal and I also had the opportunity to speak at MongoDB.local London in November 2021 on the topics of read and write concerns and how to set up your database for the tradeoffs you need and how ethical concerns need to be factored into technology and IoT design. We also get the chance to do things outside of core responsibilities and are able to work on side projects if we’d like. For example, I really enjoy management and education so I do a lot with sales reps to help them understand MongoDB technology. We really do a mixture of things. In a typical week, we’ll have one or two webinars, a few security questionnaires which is part of the end of a deal cycle and includes some technical questions that we need to respond to, then we have discovery meetings and prep calls with different reps, and we also have a day dedicated to enablement. SB: Yes, we have all of these customer engagements but the core of it is the prep that comes beforehand. We end up working with Marketing, Sales, Sales Managers, Product Owners, Professional Services - we work with a lot of different teams to get their insight so that we’re able to provide a complete view or solution to the customer. The internal prep meetings are a big part of that execution. JD: Why would someone move from an implementation role into a Remote Presales Centre role? CD: Snehal and I both come from an implementation background. I think you should join the Remote Presales Centre team if you’re interested in the architecture of how businesses are running their systems and want to see how the sales process works. In this role, we’re uncovering the answers to “What is motivating the customer to do this? Why would they buy MongoDB? Does MongoDB work for them?” Every day is different for us. In an implementation role, you end up working on the same system and use cases day in and day out, whereas in our role we get to see everything under the sun of what customers might want to do and get to go in and explore a new piece of technology. It’s exciting to see the newest things in tech. SB: In my previous implementation role the goal was to become an expert on just one of the products, which didn’t really help with broadening my skillset. When I came here, I had the opportunity to work with customers from financial services, telecom, banking, IoT, startups, big enterprises, you name an industry or company size and we’ve done something for them, or you name a technology and we’ve likely worked with it. That variety is not something you’d get in an implementation role. Not to mention, in implementation roles you’re often told what to do. The requirements are already made up and you just have to meet them. In our roles as SAs, we’re really influencing the direction of things and understanding the bigger picture and business implications of utilizing the technology. We have the ability to influence customers in a positive way and provide value. JD: Can you describe the learning curve for someone moving into the Remote Presales Centre from a more delivery-focused role? SB: I would say that the biggest mindset shift is instead of immediately answering questions, you need to stop and ask why. If someone says “We want to do this” your first instinct may be to respond and say “Yes we have the capabilities to meet that”, but really you should stop and ask “Why do you want to do this? What value is it going to bring for you? How is this going to influence your business direction?” You need curiosity to understand what the customer is trying to achieve instead of focusing on solving specific issues and pain points, which is very much the focus in an implementation role. CD: It’s also learning the sales cycle and how sales operates, along with figuring out what drives reps and what they want out of the Remote Presales Centre. Sometimes reps need us to explain the technology and sometimes we’re just there for credibility. It’s getting in the mindset of partnering with sales not working for sales. There is obviously a technology learning curve as well since MongoDB products are vast and often complex. SB: I think that extends to the customers we work with as well. Every call you go into you’ll be meeting with a different “customer persona”. Sometimes you’re talking to very technical people like developers and DBAs, so you need to be able to tailor the conversation as per their priorities. But, if you’re meeting with the CTO, you need to contextualize it in business terms to relay what the business needs. It’s all about understanding your audience and tailoring the conversation. JD: Aside from databases, what other technologies do you need to be familiar with or are you exposed to? SB: Everything! When you think of a database, you will never use a database by itself, you have to build an application on top of it. A lot of our role is understanding how the database is contributing to the whole software development lifecycle and overall project. At the end of the day, it’s a part of the tech stack, so you have to understand the whole tech stack, the underlying infrastructure, and the application that’s built on top of the database. It’s not just MongoDB that we talk or learn about, but it’s every other database in the market and every technology that the customer is working with. Every customer we talk to is working with a different tool, programming language, or software development methodology, and you need to be able to communicate with them. JD: How do you stay connected with your colleagues when you are all working remote? CD: If we’re running a workshop it’s a team event, so we end up working closely for that. We also have weekly syncs where we talk about what we’re working on and talk through challenges, and we have things like enablement sessions and coffee chats. SB: These sessions are also on a global level so we have the opportunity to work with the team in the Americas. Since we operate on a volume basis, we’ll discuss workload distribution and try to prioritize tasks based on people’s interests. CD: Yes, for example, I really like time series and search, so I’ll handle a lot of time series and search requests. There’s someone else on the team who loves Realm, our mobile database, so we give him all the Realm requests. JD: Often people are reluctant to move into presales as they don’t consider themselves sales-oriented. How would you respond to that? CD: Stop thinking of it as sales! Think of it as you get to talk to tons of customers about what they think the best technological solution is, and then you can provide insight into MongoDB and how our technology can improve what they’re trying to do. It’s a really technical job in the sense that you’re looking at organizations’ architectures and you’re figuring out why customers are doing what they do. You get to ask a lot of questions and see a lot of new technology. You could end up building proof of values out of that which means you then get to play around with this new technology. SB: I think presales is the best of both worlds. You get to interact with a lot of people in various scenarios, but you are the trusted advisor for the customer. You’re there to help them and are on their side, which means customers trust and confide in you. JD: What learning and growth opportunities are there for someone on the Remote Presales Centre team? CD: You start off doing simple things like learning about MongoDB products, getting ground knowledge, learning customer stories, and understanding why customers use MongoDB. Then you move on to discovery calls with customers and learning how to scope things out for yourself. From there, as you spend more time in the Service Centre, you slowly get further and further through the deal cycle. For example, a few months ago I was in a workshop to determine the technical feasibility of MongoDB’s solution after we had already worked with the customer to determine business objectives and requirements. You eventually go through the whole sales cycle with the goal being that you can execute the whole sales cycle by the time you leave to go into the field. SB: Since the Service Centre is a somewhat new team for MongoDB, you’re also part of discussing processes and helping determine what makes the team most efficient. You get to contribute to building a whole new team and company right now, which is not something you would get in a mature team with defined processes. CD: As the team grows there are a lot of mentorship opportunities as well. MongoDB is growing so quickly that new sales reps come in and are great at selling, but they don’t always have a technical background or understand MongoDB’s value proposition. We are that technical backup for them, and this allows the field SAs more time to do the really deep technical things that we’ll eventually get to do once we move into a more senior position. JD: Why should someone join your team? CD: You have the opportunity to learn so much about MongoDB’s technology and sales cycle, and you get to meet anyone and everyone. I could be talking to a Product Manager in the morning about the newest release and a Customer Success Manager in the afternoon. You really get to meet the whole organization. You’ll have a lot of internal visibility which is great because it also provides pathways to transfer internally if you want to. SB: You don’t get this visibility in most other roles because you’re usually aligned to a region or team. Here, we get to meet everyone in Europe. Chris and I put together a spreadsheet of all of the sales reps in Europe and there’s only 12 we haven’t had the chance to work with yet. Not only do we get to work with all the reps, but we also work with Product Managers, Customer Success, Marketing, Information Security, plus all of their managers. It’s a great way to get introduced to the company. Interested in a Presales career at MongoDB? We have several open roles on our teams across the globe and would love for you to transform your career with us!