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!
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!
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!
Engagement Management at MongoDB: Meet Lalitesh Pal
I sat down with Lalitesh Pal , Senior Engagement Manager at MongoDB, to learn more about the Engagement Manager role and why joining the EMEA team is an exciting opportunity. Jackie Denner: Hi, Lalitesh. It’s great to meet you! Thanks for sharing some insight into Engagement Management at MongoDB with me. Can you start by telling me a bit about the Engagement Manager role? What are Engagement Managers responsible for? Lalitesh Pal: Engagement Management is a services sales role within the Professional Services organization at MongoDB. We ensure customers understand the value of MongoDB technology and drive the adoption of our technology in line with MongoDB best practices. Engagement Managers are engaged in the sales cycle early on in the process, typically right after the Account Executive has done their qualification. An Engagement Manager will then help gather the learning needs, drive the right services proposal, and determine how MongoDB can help customers develop applications on top of our data platform. Since a lot of MongoDB customers are new, or are new business units within existing customers, Engagement Managers also prepare tailored enablement plans to enable them with our technology, helping them become self-sufficient in the long run. JD: What skills and experience make someone successful in the Engagement Manager role? LP: Engagement Manager is a key role that enables our Sales team and helps further proliferate MongoDB product adoption in our customer base. To be really successful, you need techno-functional skills combined with strong commercial proposal and sales experience. If you have a winning and stretch mindset , you can ensure success is guaranteed. Needless to say, an Engagement Manager needs to have the collaborative spirit and be able to orchestrate things amongst multiple stakeholders - both internal and external. Finally, Engagement Managers need to feel confident working hand-in-hand with Account Executives to ensure that MondoDB is well-presented and positioned with the customer. I have been in services sales for about 7 years out of my 14 years of work experience. Engagement Managers need to understand technology on a high level. At the end of the day, the most successful Engagement Managers have a sales mindset and are able to connect with business stakeholders and explain the value of MongoDB Professional Services. It’s important to note that Engagement Management is not a delivery role. There are two aspects of Professional Services at MongoDB: one is services sales, the other is delivery. Engagement Managers work with a customer up until the deal is closed and have their own individual quarterly quotas. Once the deal is closed, an internal kickoff takes place with a Regional Delivery Manager and Project Manager who handle all aspects of delivery. JD: What is interesting and exciting about this role? LP: As an Engagement Manager, you’re not just a champion to your Account Executives and MongoDB, you’re also adding immense value to the customer and are their trusted advisor. In some cases, customers may reach out to you before reaching out to their Account Executive. For the customer, you are someone who is turning their ideas into reality by providing a way to make it happen. What really excites me about this role is the impact Engagement Managers have on our customers and the trust that we are able to build, which further reinforces the partnership spirit with them. JD: What learning and growth opportunities are there for someone in Engagement Management? What does the next career step look like? LP: Engagement Managers are currently aligned to Regional Vice Presidents and work at all levels of accounts, from our strategic “POD” accounts to the enterprise and the mid-market. From the Engagement Manager role, there is an opportunity to become a Senior Engagement Manager and eventually a Principal Engagement Manager. We offer career paths for those who want to remain individual contributors and those who are interested in managerial roles leading a team. MongoDB is also very committed to internal mobility, and there is an opportunity to transfer to other roles such as Customer Success or Practice Leads, both of which are global teams. JD: What is the team culture like? LP: Our EMEA team currently consists of six Engagement Managers who report to the Director of Engagement Management, and we’re growing rapidly. We have regular team catch-ups where we discuss weekly forecasts, what’s working and what’s not within our accounts, and share best practices with one another. There is a true open door policy across the entire team -- everyone is just a ping away! We also have a very defined onboarding program for Engagement Managers. Onboarding is spread over five weeks, and new hires will participate in our Sales Bootcamp, new hire technical training, and a services-specific onboarding program where you’ll be assigned to a buddy who is responsible for helping you get settled in. JD: The Professional Services function at MongoDB is still taking shape. What has the Engagement Management team’s journey been like so far? LP: I joined MongoDB a year ago, and we’re always looking for Engagement Managers to change the way MongoDB sells professional services. When I started, we were doing volume-based selling with small deal sizes and packages or “off the shelf” offerings for customers. Now, it’s much more strategic and we’re selling bespoke offerings with project or program-based delivery. Instead of merely advising on how to set up our data platform, we now engage in developing the complete application and working with customer contacts such as C-levels and VPs instead of just architects. We are working on end-to-end projects that innovate on top of MongoDB, showing customers how to deliver faster and better thanks to our technology. All of this results in MongoDB’s reputation as a strategic partner. JD: Why did you join MongoDB, and what makes you stay? LP: What really got me excited initially was MongoDB’s well-structured hiring process that helped me understand the culture, people, and products. It was the culture at MongoDB that made the difference. The people here are truly fantastic, and the hiring process allowed me to interact with a lot of individuals. The second thing is the product. MongoDB’s products are amazing, and there’s nothing else like it on the market (at least nothing that’s competitive). You also receive a lot of autonomy here in general, but in the Engagement Manager role specifically, you’re given the freedom to reach out to customers directly, run your own pipeline generation plan for accounts in line with account strategy, and many times speak to customers one-on-one without an Account Executive present. Employee recognition is an important part of our culture as well. If you are good at what you do, MongoDB will applaud you at all levels. I saw that I could really contribute and add value here, and I still feel that to this day. Interested in pursuing a career in Professional 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!
MongoDB is One of Battery Ventures' 25 Highest-Rated Public Cloud Computing Companies to Work For
Crain's recently recognized MongoDB as one of the best places to work in New York City. Today, Battery Ventures announced that MongoDB is also one of the best places to work in the cloud; specifically, Battery named us one of the " 25 Highest-Rated Public Cloud Computing Companies to Work For ." Battery compiles the list based on Glassdoor ratings and reviews left by employees. In other words, MongoDB's inclusion in the recognition depends upon current and past employees rating MongoDB highly. This makes sense to me, as I fit into both camps. I worked for MongoDB from 2013 to 2014, and loved it. I recently returned, and continue to find it the best place I've ever worked. Apparently I'm not alone in loving MongoDB. Indeed, in addition to this most recent honor from Battery, MongoDB also ranks high on Inc.'s " best led" and "best workplaces " lists, not to mention BuiltIn's " 100 Best Large Companies to Work For ." Why do people love working for MongoDB? For me, it's a combination of great people and great products. When I joined MongoDB back in 2013, it was because of its fresh, open approach to data. MongoDB was so approachable, so easy to use. Developers adored it and quickly became productive with it, making MongoDB one of the most popular databases on the planet. Since that time, MongoDB has added things like full-text search, data visualization, and more, making it the industry's leading application data platform. Which is cool, but incomplete. As much as I love to work for a market leader, it's the people of MongoDB that make it a near-perfect employer. Many of the people I loved to work with back in 2013 are still here, and they've been joined by other outstanding, humble people. MongoDB really is the perfect confluence of great technology and great people. Here is what a few of my MongoDB colleagues shared as to their reasons for working here. Annie Dane, Strategic Account Marketing MongoDB is an incredible place to build your career with a tremendous amount of support to do so, including a Learning and Development team that provides a multitude of training opportunities. Additionally, people at MongoDB really care about each other: we encourage a healthy work/life balance and new parents (and their babies) are very welcome at MongoDB, as evidenced during Covid. Mat Keep, Product Marketing Every organization’s success is now defined by software, and that software’s success is defined by data. MongoDB eliminates many constraints developers have faced working with data, which makes it such an exciting place to work as I get to help customers build new applications and modernize existing ones. At MongoDB we get to help address some of today's toughest challenges and most interesting initiatives shaping our world. Angie Byron, Community Management MongoDB is filled with humble, wicked-smart people who make a concerted effort to lift each other up. These traits hold true across departments, across org chart levels, and across levels of technical depth. Additionally, as a queer person, I've never been part of a company that takes diversity and inclusion so seriously and backs it up with real action. Just in the last few months, we've had a panel to talk together about our coming out experiences, trans-specific programming with amazing guest speakers, and more. At MongoDB, we are passionate about our mission of freeing the genius within everyone by making data stunningly easy to work with. We'd love to have you be part of our team. 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!
From Software Developer to Product Manager: Meet Maria van Keulen
Maria joined MongoDB a bit over five years ago and recently transitioned from Software Engineering to Product Management. I had the opportunity to learn about what Maria’s transition was like and how her experiences as a Senior Software Engineer have helped her succeed as a Product Manager. Maria was featured in a previous blog post that gives insight into her first three years at MongoDB and her experience as a woman in tech. Check it out here ! Hannah Friedfeld: Hi, Maria! Thanks for sharing your story with me. You’ve been at MongoDB for five years now; what encouraged you to transition to a Product Manager role? Maria van Keulen: A couple pieces of context are necessary here. A couple years ago, I gave a presentation to my team, Storage Execution, to walk through the components of our code base. At the time, I was mentoring a new engineer rotating on our team, and I volunteered to give this presentation to provide some more holistic context on the work that we do and the tickets this engineer was working on. This was the first time I had given a presentation like this in my professional journey at MongoDB, and I greatly enjoyed the task of taking complex topics and distilling them into a story. Shortly after, my manager informed me that we would be hiring for a dedicated Product Manager role; he encouraged me to apply if I was interested, particularly given my demonstrated knack for communicating complex topics to a wide audience. Although I enjoyed my Software Engineer role, I was interested in pushing my boundaries and undertaking a new challenge, especially given my positive experience preparing the presentation. The more I learned about Product Management, whether from colleagues or from literature, the more excited I was about making the shift. In the words of Marty Cagan in his book Inspired , "...behind every great product, there is someone—usually someone behind the scenes, working tirelessly—who led the product team to combine technology and design to solve real customer problems in a way that met the needs of the business". The crux of Product Management, in my view, is taking in various sources of data and using them to tell a powerful story. Great teams will design and build cool products no matter what, but when inspired by stories, they build solutions. In the end, I decided to apply for the open Product Management position on my team. Although the position ended up going to another candidate, I had the opportunity to instead join as the first Product Manager in our company's Developer Productivity organization. I would be working with the Evergreen team, who develops our internal CI/CD system. In order to ensure that the role was a good fit, I'd have a three month trial period where I'd continue to report to my Software Engineering manager, but focus exclusively on Product Management. I was ecstatic at this opportunity - I'd be working on a product that I knew and loved from my prior experience, be able to work with a team of talented engineers and product designers, and begin to build out Product Management representation in a new area for the company. Now, having been with the team for one and a half years, I'm so grateful to have made this shift, and am looking forward to continuing to shape the future of Product Management on Developer Productivity. HF: How did your experience as a Software Engineer prepare you for your new role as a Product Manager? MVK: I feel very fortunate to have begun my Product Management career with the Evergreen CI/CD system, since Evergreen had been one of my most-used products in my previous role. As a Software Engineer, I would run and analyze tests on Evergreen multiple times a day in order to ensure robustness of my code changes. With this experience under my belt, I was able to make an impact on the Evergreen team soon after I joined. At the time, we were in the midst of releasing two critical projects. The first was a full redesign and implementation of a portion of Evergreen's web UI, in collaboration with our Product Design team. The other project was to create a pre-built virtual development environment for engineers to use to help accelerate onboarding by simplifying workflow setup. Given my prior experience as a developer of the MongoDB database, I was able to offer unique insights on this developer workflow and help do some final QA testing before we released the projects more widely. More generally, my experience as a Software Engineer has been helpful in my ability to liaise between my team and our end users, relaying both user feedback as well as proposed solutions to their feedback. In order to offer guidance in a project, not only during definition but also during execution, I need to be able to understand where a solution is going in order to make sure it's in line with our original goals. In a similar vein, when it's time to advertise completion of a project, I need to be able to synthesize our end-to-end story based on the problems we set out to solve, and the way we tackled those problems. Finally, one of the aspects of the role that I'm most grateful for, and is unique to internal-facing Product Management, is our proximity to our users. Even with my experience as a developer, I knew that I had only scratched the surface of what Evergreen the product could do, and the kinds of workflows that exist across the company. Thanks to my experience as a Software Engineer and my collaboration with engineers across the organization, I had a great starting point for users to connect with. In my first few months, I was able to enrich my perspective by learning from these users (and others whom I hadn't met previously) to build a more holistic understanding of the product and its user base. HF: What new skills have you gained as a Product Manager? MVK: Product Management has given me a new appreciation for the art of learning to manage my tasks. As a Software Engineer, I'd have a fairly structured workflow where I'd generally have a small number of large tasks I could focus most, if not all, of my energy on, and switch between them if any of them were blocked on something. As a Product Manager though, my task list has ballooned, and the tasks are of various different complexities, ranging from answering a quick question to giving a presentation. Additionally, I need to consider time spent in meetings when planning my day, and any context switching between those meetings and my other tasks. One takeaway that's come in very handy is something I learned from the book The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman. Kaufman uses a "3-10-20 method" to describe task bandwidth in a given day: in this time frame, he has the capacity to do three major tasks, and ten minor tasks, where a major task is one which requires more than twenty minutes of continuous concentration. He combines this with Paul Graham's "Maker's Schedule vs. Manager Schedule", where the Maker's schedule involves large chunks of time for continuous concentration, and the Manager's schedule involves small chunks for meetings. Nowadays, I strive to keep all of my meetings in contiguous blocks where possible, and answer emails/messages at specific intervals to minimize interruptions. Product Managers are constant learners - in order to make sure our stories are up to date, we need to keep a regular pulse on everything that's going on with our products. One invaluable skill to building an understanding of one's users as well as one's team is knowing the right questions to ask. I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to speak with many users in my experience, and I've come to learn what questions bring the most insight. It's something of an art to be able to craft a question that's sufficiently open-ended to get people talking, but specific enough that they have somewhere to start with. Asking the right questions is also invaluable for more quantitative forums, for example surveys and software analytics. I'm happy to say I have been able to hone these skills - and will continue to do so - while on the job. HF: Why should a Software Engineer consider a role in Product Management at MongoDB? MVK: Software Engineering and Product Management are both enjoyable disciplines for their own reasons. The dichotomy that was explained to me, and that I now explain to others, is that Product Managers focus on problems, and Engineers focus on solutions. Of course, this boundary is not clear cut, and there is some overlap, but it serves as a basic guide for what each role will spend the bulk of their time doing. In general, Product Managers are responsible for gathering quantitative and qualitative data from users, assessing costs and benefits, and making a case for what we should and shouldn't build. As a result, Product Managers end up building a large breadth of data points across different areas of their products and their business. Engineers, in contrast, take project specifications and build robust, elegant, and innovative solutions to the problems at hand. They'll build a much deeper understanding of the functionality, and be resident experts on each feature they're involved with. If you're interested in getting involved with other areas of the business, and helping guide the strategic direction of a product, Product Management is the discipline for you. Additionally, since Product Management provides a window into various other disciplines across the business, it gives a great jumping point into any of those other areas. HF: How were you supported in your transition to Product Manager? MVK: As I mentioned previously, I was fortunate to begin Product Management for a product that I had already had ample experience with. The larger transitions had to do with acclimating myself to the new discipline and learning what working styles were most effective for that discipline. Fortunately, I had (and continue to have) the support of MongoDB's Product Organization, composed of individuals ready to offer advice and perspectives from their own various experiences. Whether it was understanding strategy for conducting research projects, brainstorming ideas for task management software, or building success metrics for a product, I could always count on the Product team to offer honest and open opinions. In particular, I'd like to thank my colleague Rachelle, for offering to mentor me over the course of my first year in Product Management, as well as my manager Chirag. Their input has been invaluable. I'm also very grateful to my former colleague Oz, who I got to know at MongoDB and now works as a VP of Product at a rapidly growing technology start-up, for giving me my initial window into Product Management, and pointing me to great resources to learn more about the discipline. Another valuable piece of my onboarding to Product Management was the opportunity to get hands-on in product research early on. I'm grateful to the Evergreen team's director, Brian, and the Developer Productivity team's VP, Cris, for all of their guidance and feedback on my research and contributions. Further, I appreciate all of the input that the Evergreen team as a whole has provided, including engineering context for feature complexity and additional considerations I hadn't anticipated. Finally, I'm grateful to Ben and Lara from the Product Design team for allowing me to sit in on their research for redesigning elements of the Evergreen workflow starting early on in my role, and sharing with me all of the user context they had obtained thus far. These were great learning materials for me to review as I onboarded myself to Evergreen's user base. HF: Tell me about your current team and its culture. MVK: I'm currently working with two teams under the Developer Productivity organization: the first is Evergreen, and the second is our Performance Solutions team TIPS ( T ooling and I nfrastructure for P erformance S olutions). I am very grateful for the opportunity to work with both of these teams, as well as the Developer Productivity organization at large. Developer Productivity is in a unique position at the company, in that it is a team whose customers are also its peers. As a result, we are in many ways a small startup within the company. Rather than having dedicated contacts in Sales, Marketing, Technical Support, and so on, we end up providing similar services ourselves in-house. Although we're not making an official sale with our users, we do need to market and "sell" our products and features to users who may initially be skeptical or hadn't previously heard of the features. It's also up to us to take a pulse on our market, conduct user research, and do competitive analysis where appropriate. Additionally, if a service is down or our users are blocked, the team provides technical support and troubleshooting assistance. Finally, part of the "small startup" culture includes getting hands-on and helping out in areas outside of one's immediate to-do list, whenever an extra hand is needed. It's a great inspiration to be part of such a driven and multifaceted organization. I started working with Evergreen last year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, when offices were largely closed. Having previously worked mostly in the office, I relied heavily on happenstance encounters and lunch breaks with fellow coworkers to make connections. The fully remote setting, combined with the uncertain times of the pandemic, posed new challenges to fostering relationships. I'm very grateful to the Evergreen team for welcoming me into their circle, and for organizing various (virtual) happy hours and game nights to allow the team to bond. Earlier this year, I agreed to help spread Product Management bandwidth across multiple areas in the Dev Prod organization in order to help build strategy in those areas. Around the same time, we formed TIPS, consolidating individuals from multiple teams working on various types of performance tooling into one group, in order to build a unified performance solution. We have a lot of powerful performance tools at our disposal, and a wide array of possibilities for where we can take them, so it's a very exciting time to be able to help shape the team's future. The Developer Productivity organization is an amalgam of many individuals from many different disciplines, across Engineering, Program Management, Product Design, and now Product Management. It's been a great privilege to work with and learn from each of these individuals, and build exciting products together. HF: What do you like most about your role as a Product Manager? MVK: One unique aspect of my role on Developer Productivity that I greatly appreciate is the opportunity to help shape the future of Product Management on the team. I joined as Developer Productivity's first Product Manager, and in my first year I was able to bring back our monthly release notes newsletter, successfully experiment with a new means of feedback collection from our users, and share learnings from Product Management best practices not just to my immediate teams, but also to the organization at large. An exciting bit of news is that we recently hired our second Product Manager on Developer Productivity, who will help us continue to expand our product reach across the organization. This new Product Manager will ramp up to take over Evergreen product responsibilities as I transition more of my bandwidth to TIPS. HF: What advice would you give to a Software Engineer who is interested in transitioning to a Product Manager role? MVK: I recommend reading up on the role and talking to current Product Managers to better understand the shift and the responsibilities that go with it. The following resources were recommended to me by fellow Product Managers and have been particularly illustrative: The Art of Innovation by Tom Kelley and Jonathan Littman Inspired by Marty Cagan (mentioned earlier) The Mind the Product blog Talking to Product Managers in your own company is a great starting point as well, and they'll be able to provide transparency on the different kinds of documents and processes they encounter day-to-day. I'd also suggest asking if it'd be possible to have a trial period as a Product Manager within your company - if so, that'd be a great opportunity to get hands-on product experience and make sure the role is a good fit. References Cagan, Marty. “Behind Every Great Product.” Inspired: How the Best Companies Create Technology-Powered Products and Services, Wiley, Hoboken, NJ, 2018, pp. 5. Kaufman, Josh. “Cognitive Switching Penalty.” The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business, Portfolio/Penguin, 2019, pp. 266–267. Interested in pursuing a career as a Product Manager at MongoDB? We have several open roles on our teams across the globe and would love for you to transform your career with us!
Sales Development Series: Meet the EMEA Account Development Team
Sales Development is a crucial part of the Sales organization at MongoDB. Our Sales Development function is broken down into Sales Development Representatives (SDRs), who qualify and validate inbound opportunities from both existing and prospective customers, and Account Development Representatives (ADRs), who support outbound opportunities by planning and executing pipeline generation strategies. Both of these roles offer an excellent path to kickstarting your career in sales at MongoDB. In this blog post, you’ll learn more about our EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) outbound ADR team, which is divided into territories covering the UK & Ireland, the Nordics & Benelux, Central Europe, and Southern Europe. Hear from Manager David Sinnott and a few Account Development Representatives about the ADR role, team culture, and how MongoDB is enabling ADRs to grow their career. Check out the first blog in our Sales Development series here . An overview of Account Development in EMEA David Sinnot , Sales Development Manager for the UK & Ireland The Account Development team works very closely with our Enterprise Sales organization, supporting some of our largest customers across all industries. ADRs partner with Enterprise Account Executives to identify and uncover some of the biggest challenges facing their customers and through further discovery, position MongoDB as the solution to help solve whatever these challenges are. I started my own career in tech sales as a Sales Development Representative 11 years ago. In tech sales, reps will have lots of successes and challenges and personally, I have always used these experiences as a way to try and better myself. My advice to reps just starting out is when things are not going to plan, take a step back to analyze the reason why, learn from it, and implement some new methods to avoid it happening again. The opportunity to learn never stops at MongoDB. My team and I learn something new every day! Our products are always evolving and we continue to release added features and functionality, so we continually provide training around all of this. ADRs also spend a great deal of time learning about and implementing the sales methodology frameworks that MongoDB uses across the entire Sales organization. There are promotion paths available to all of the ADRs, whether that be staying in Sales or exploring other parts of the business, such as Marketing or Customer Success. All of the knowledge and skills picked up during their time as ADRs ensure that they hit the ground running once they are promoted to their next role within the business, whatever that may be. Some of the most successful Corporate and Enterprise reps in MongoDB started their own careers here as part of the ADR program. We do our absolute best to support all team members in deciding what is the best career path for them in the long term. MongoDB is disrupting an industry that largely hasn’t changed in over 40 years. We currently have around a 1% market share of the database market, which IDC predicts will be close to $119B by 2025, so the potential for MongoDB is still massive. With data being at the core of every modern-day business, organizations are having to modernize their legacy technology stacks and are starting to move more of their business functions to the cloud. MongoDB has an opportunity to play a big part in all of these initiatives and transformations. It’s still an incredibly exciting time for any sales rep out there who may be considering MongoDB for their next move. Hear from some team members Johanna Sterneck , Sr. Account Development Representative for Central Europe I joined MongoDB because I wanted to be part of a fast-growing, successful company that would help me grow professionally and personally. Over the past 10 months, every day has been a new experience and I feel that I’ve become part of something bigger. My onboarding experience was completely remote, but my team, manager, and everyone else at MongoDB have been very welcoming and supportive. The entire onboarding process was very well structured which allowed me to ramp up quickly. As an ADR, persistence in getting things done and positivity are definitely key factors in my role. What’s exciting is learning from the people around me and the great feedback culture we have. My team is very supportive, caring, and fun, and we are all happy to go the extra mile to achieve our goals. Federica Ramondino , Sr. Account Development Representative for Southern Europe I joined MongoDB because I believed it was a company where I could develop my skills and grow professionally. I’ve stayed because it lived up to my expectations! I see a clear career path for myself here, and I am excited to progress into my next role and get closer to my final objective of becoming a manager. To excel in an ADR role, you need dedication, good time and stakeholder management skills, and a positive attitude! My team is an amazing bunch of people that are always positive and keen on helping each other, even in a constantly evolving environment. What’s exciting about this role is all the other teams that you get to work with and learn from, from Sales to Customer Success and Marketing. Ruhan Jay Bora , Sr. Account Development Representative for the UK & Ireland I joined MongoDB because I was keen to work for a company creating experiences for the future, and I wanted to be a key player in helping companies digitally transform. I see myself staying at MongoDB for a while because of the heavy emphasis that leadership places on development. I have monthly catch-up sessions with the VP of Sales for EMEA, VP of Cloud Partners, and regular 1:1’s with my managers. Not a day goes by where I feel like I’m stagnating, and between learning about the latest in tech and sharpening my client-facing skills, there is plenty more room to grow! If you want to be successful as an ADR, the first thing you need to have is a tremendous work ethic. I believe sales is ultimately a game of grit, perseverance, and resilience. It’s not easy to learn so many technical concepts in the span of a few weeks, but our Sales Enablement team has compiled a bevy of excellent and readily digestible content that makes upskilling on MongoDB much easier. I will be moving into a new organization formed by our Sales team called the Associate Account Executive program. I harbor an ambition to become an Enterprise Account Executive, and this program will help me to develop the skills needed to work regularly with some of our most exciting clients! The feeling of seeing a client's satisfaction and astonishment at how MongoDB can solve some of their technical and business challenges truly amazes you. Hearing how great MongoDB is directly from clients makes you realize we really have a great product. I also find that the opportunity to accelerate your career here is extremely tangible. The company is young enough for you to shape your own path and no goal is too ambitious. The ability to engage with senior leadership up to the C-level is great too. Interested in joining the Sales team at MongoDB? We have several open roles on our team and would love for you to transform your career with us!
Moving Across the World and Changing Roles: Meet Jake McInteer
At MongoDB, our employees are empowered to transform their careers and grow in the direction they want to. Jake McInteer is a perfect example of that — after building his career in London at MongoDB on our Solutions Architecture team, he is relocating to Sydney while transitioning to the Enterprise Sales team in the region. Take a look at this interview and learn more about his career path and what he’s most excited for in his new role. Jess Katz: Tell us a bit about how you wound up working at MongoDB Jake McInteer: I’m a Kiwi (New Zealander) who has always had a passion for technology - I think it’s probably in my blood as my parents met at the Government Computing Centre back in the ‘80s and just about everyone on my dad’s side of the family works in technology as well! I tried to be different from my family and study Accounting at university but quickly got bored and switched to an Information Systems degree. After that, I moved into a Consulting role with IBM, but I always felt myself gravitating more toward go-to-market functions. Eventually, I had the opportunity to move to a Presales role in a smaller company specialising in data and analytics and lept at the chance. My time in my first Presales role really confirmed for me how great of a space it is - an intersection between technology and business that gave me an opportunity to work on a wide variety of different things. In 2019, I made the call to move over to London with my partner for some overseas experience and started looking for a new role. MongoDB’s reputation of a high performance culture that was disrupting a market dominated by stodgy legacy vendors really excited me and put them at the top of my list. On landing in London in July 2019, I met with the Solutions Architecture Manager for Northern Europe and together we pushed through a handful of interviews within two weeks. The rest, as they say, is history. JK: What was your onboarding experience like? JM: In one word, incredible. From MongoDB University, through coaching sessions with people across the Solutions Architecture team and trips to HQ in New York City attending Sales Bootcamp and New Hire Technical training - I was left in awe at the resources MongoDB invests to give new hires everything they need to launch their careers at MongoDB. JK: What does a Solutions Architect (SA) at MongoDB actually do? JM: An SA at MongoDB is a technical expert that helps customers understand and evaluate MongoDB. We work closely with the Sales team to help potential customers understand the value of MongoDB as well as when and why to use it. In practice, this means we work closely with our customers’ development teams, with various people spanning software engineers, database administrators, product owners, security specialists, architects and more! We also support our marketing team by running various workshops and webinars. From time to time we also work on our own projects, building out various demos and applications. JK: Tell us a bit about what you’ve been working on as an SA JM: Being an SA at MongoDB has given me the opportunity to work on some of the biggest transformation initiatives of some of the largest companies in the world. I’ve been privileged to work with leading organisations across Financial Services, eCommerce, and even the Air Transport industries while in the role, and on projects that affect millions of customers and billions of passengers - it’s been incredibly rewarding. As we went virtual due to COVID-19, I also ran some of our first virtual-only workshops and webinars, including building out demos and hands-on workshops for developers to complete. JK: So what’s next for you in terms of your career? JM: I’m actually right in the middle of making a big move! My manager and I have always had regular development conversations since I started, and last year I expressed an interest to continue my growth and development into a full-time sales role, as well as my personal desire to move back down under and be a little closer to family in NZ. While I absolutely love the MongoDB team in the UK and have developed friendships here that will last for a lifetime, I am looking forward to further building my career with the team in Sydney. This move is also a career change! With huge amounts of support from my manager and others across the business, I’m making the transition from Solutions Architect to Enterprise Account Executive in Sales. I start my new role at the beginning of September and I’m excited to get started. It’s been awesome being a part of our UK team as it has gone from strength to strength, and I’m excited to get started with our Australian Sales team next. The Australian team is firing on all cylinders and is led by the impressive Jeremy Powers. In my view, it’s a great place, team, and environment for me to make the shift into a full-time Sales role and to continue developing my career all while being closer to family back home. JK: What are you most excited for in your new role? JM: Two things have got me super excited to get started. Firstly, the opportunity to make the transition into an Enterprise Account Executive role and join our formidable sales organisation is an opportunity too good to pass up. Secondly, I’m particularly looking forward to the opportunity to work with businesses in New Zealand and introducing new customers to the incredible technology we offer here at MongoDB. New Zealand has a burgeoning tech sector and some incredibly interesting companies and opportunities - one great example is THL Digital who we’ve done a lot of work with recently. I can’t wait to help them solve some of their biggest challenges and give developers down under a better way to work with data. Interested in pursuing a career at MongoDB? We have several open roles on our teams across the globe , and would love for you to build your career with us!
Intern Series: Making an Impact Across Two Summers - Meet Talía Ayala-Feliciangeli
Talía Ayala-Feliciangeli is a rising senior at Georgia Tech who has spent this summer working remotely as a Product Design Intern. As a returning intern with two summers of remote work on the same team under her belt, Talía is leaving her internship with a unique set of experiences and lessons about #LifeatMongoDB. From the transparency about future visa sponsorship to one-on-one professional development that she’s received, Talía has spent these two summers impressed with the supportiveness of MongoDB’s program and her peers. In this interview, you’ll hear more about what’s made MongoDB a lasting fit. Alex Wilson: Hey Talía! It’s so good to meet you! I want to start this final interview of the Intern Series with one of the questions that I’ve been asking everyone: what brought you to MongoDB? Talía Ayala-Feliciangeli: During my first round of interviews with MongoDB, my recruiter asked me how I would feel about living in New York long term. I remember being super shocked that a recruiter was being so open about what an internship could turn into, especially when she started describing how MongoDB approaches the sponsorship process with employees who are from outside of the U.S. As an international student, it can be challenging to navigate the process of applying to jobs or internships. Unfortunately, not all companies are open to hiring individuals who may require sponsorship at any point in the future. The call with my recruiter was the first time I experienced a company being so open and honest regarding the immigration logistics that international students have to constantly think about, and it made me realize how supportive of a company MongoDB is. Both MongoDB and the specific position I had applied for seemed super interesting, but ultimately what made me decide to intern at MongoDB was the professional support, encouragement, and excitement I felt from the recruiter, the researchers I spoke to, and everyone else I had the chance to meet throughout the interview process! AW: Awesome! It’s so meaningful to see these experiences of openness and encouragement echoed so strongly. What sort of work have you been doing? TA: I work in the UX research team, which is a part of the larger Product Design team at MongoDB. The research team is currently growing, and it's exciting to get to learn different approaches to research through conversations with the new team members! My favorite project so far has been the Atlas Billing Alerts project I'm currently working on. It’s my favorite because due to the nature of the project I’ve gotten the chance to understand how different teams across MongoDB collaborate to build the billing experience, and the participants I’ve spoken to have had very different needs than the user groups I’ve worked with in the past. The stakeholders for the project are closely involved and have provided me with valuable feedback at every step of the project,which has helped me hone my approach to research and have a better understanding of how to translate stakeholder needs into research goals! Plus, I got to meet people throughout different teams at MongoDB which I hadn’t spoken to previously,such as Technical Account Managers and Cloud Support Associates. AW: I think it’s so interesting that besides being a return intern, you’ve also been able to return to the same team. How was your professional experience different the second time around? TA: As a return intern, I had the unique experience of starting the summer already understanding how different teams and processes work at MongoDB. I felt that this knowledge translated into me feeling more confident about my work: onboarding was much quicker, I had context for the projects I was working on, and it was much easier for me to connect with stakeholders for my projects. At times, I felt like a full-time researcher rather than an intern! Plus, having the same mentor both summers meant I got to meet her for coffee and hang out before the internship started this summer,which meant a lot. AW: That’s so great. Having worked remotely both summers, I was wondering if you could speak to the extent that your team supported you virtually? TA: At the start of the summer, my mentor and I had conversations about what I find harder to accomplish when working remotely. After identifying what those things were, we brainstormed ideas of how I could address them and how my mentor could support me with them. For example, I have a harder time staying focused when I’m working remotely from my apartment. My mentor and I decided I would create a detailed timeline breaking down what I needed to do for each of my projects, and we scheduled regular check-ins twice a week so I could share my progress and get her feedback. In general, my team provided a lot of support within this remote work model by creating spaces for me to consistently ask for feedback on my projects or just chat about our approaches to research. In the past I was almost shy about asking for feedback, but my team setting aside time for us to chat about these things despite being remote really helped me grow! AW: That’s definitely an enormous upside of such a collaborative company culture! Have you found that culture to be a positive fit? TA: The culture at MongoDB is incredibly supportive, encouraging, and collaborative. My background is in psychology and research, and I was concerned with how a lack of a technical background could impact my work at MongoDB. Everyone I’ve reached out to has been super friendly and more than happy to share their knowledge (or just have a coffee)! I’ve also really appreciated how encouraging my team members are when it comes to me learning and exploring different interests, be it a side project with another intern, implementing new tools for research, or chatting about the research goals I have. AW: As someone with a political science background, I can definitely understand the fear of coming into the tech industry without a very technical background, so it’s great to hear that you’ve also had such a positive experience tackling that learning curve—thank you for your willingness to share. Finally, I’d love to hear what your favorite thing about MongoDB has been! TA: My favorite part is that I get to have ownership over my work: while my mentor has provided me with constant guidance and support, I’ve always felt that I am given the freedom and trust to decide how to go about my work, from structuring actionable research plans to conducting user studies. While it was intimidating at first, it has been an incredible learning opportunity to understand how to conduct UX research in an industry context! Interested in interning at MongoDB? Our 2021/2022 Software Engineering Summer Internship for the US is now live and accepting applications for students