How to Land Your Next Customer Success Role at MongoDB
Katie Palmer As director of customer success at MongoDB, I am thrilled to participate in growing our organization. Personally, I had two primary reasons for joining MongoDB. The first was the incredible market opportunity. The second reason was the opportunity to work alongside world-class go-to-market and customer success leaders. When I spoke with various MongoDB leaders during the interview process, I was impressed by their servant leadership approach, their genuine passion for what they’d been building at MongoDB, and their vision for customer success at MongoDB. The biggest highlight of working at MongoDB so far has been the deeply ingrained commitment to talent development in the culture here. At every level, there’s a feeling that no success is more important than helping employees build meaningful skills to achieve their full potential. One leader shared with me that the way they’ll measure their success at MongoDB is not by the number of quarters in which they hit their goals, or the revenue growth their work helped to achieve, but rather, how they were able to impact the pursuit of their employees’ goals and career aspirations. That approach has pushed me to new places both as a leader and an employee. Read on to learn more about our recruiting process for customer success and what we look for in candidates. Our approach to resumes The job-related people skills I look for when reviewing resumes include relationship building, communication, and business acumen. In terms of character-related skills, I look for signs of resourcefulness, grit, determination, and teamwork. MongoDB’s approach to hiring is similar to how we run our business. We have a data-driven, methodical approach, but we apply a human touch and creativity to supplement the science. Overall, I look for potential. I’m looking for individuals with a high ceiling, people who are going to up-level the team and make a massive impact on the business. Part of that is ensuring we bring in people with proven skills, but it also involves identifying those intangibles often seen in high achievers. Three things I look for when scanning a resume are: Relevant SaaS and/or customer success experience at an organization with a B2B sales motion A combination of technical skills and business acumen Career progression within a company The most important aspect of this role is the ability to connect business challenges and desired outcomes with the products and solutions that MongoDB offers. When I review a candidate's experience, I look for evidence of high aptitude and business skills combined with a passion for technology. In the absence of proven experience, your ability to articulate why you’re so excited to develop those skills will get me excited about having you join the team. The recruiting process Once a candidate has passed the recruiter screen, they move to the next step in the process and meet with the hiring manager. When meeting with the hiring manager, the goal is to engage in a conversational interview, where we will provide more insight into the position while discussing motivators, people skills, and experience managing customer relationships, as well as gauging technical interest and general knowledge of our products. If all goes well, we’ll schedule a call with one of our customer success team members. This step is a great opportunity to learn more about the day-to-day expectations of the role, our team culture, and how we work with our customers from someone actively performing a similar position with MongoDB. This interview will involve a case study, which is intended to be discussion based, to understand your approach to a customer use case. If the peer interview goes well, the candidate is invited to our “challenge” interview. In our case, this means that the candidate will prepare a mock onboarding meeting with a new MongoDB Atlas customer. We provide the materials, ranging from presentation slides to a basic script with expectations and platform demo instructions. At any stage throughout the process, we strongly encourage you to engage with our team and recruiters as a resource for additional information and to answer any questions you may have throughout your preparation. We’re here to help set you up for success. The three main things I look for during the challenge presentation are: A passion for technology. A strategic mindset. Are you able to balance the big picture objectives alongside the tactical outcomes throughout the conversation? Adaptability, coachability, and the ability to accept feedback. Finally, my top three tips for succeeding in the challenge are: Let your personality shine. Show us why customers will love working with you. Be curious. Think about great questions you can ask during the onboarding call and demo that will uncover details, help the customer adopt MongoDB, and make your call conversational. Take advantage of the prep call with your interviewer. Ask for feedback and apply it ahead of the challenge presentation. Hear from senior customer success manager Christina Chao on why she joined MongoDB's customer success team Christina Chao When looking for my next workplace, I knew I wanted to find a place where I could continually challenge myself and grow my career year over year. This requires a combined focus on customer success and professional development. Many companies say that they see customer success as the future, but few actually have programs or policies in place that support that notion. MongoDB, on the other hand, has put significant investment into its customer success organization. They have invested heavily in promoting customer success both within and outside of MongoDB, providing growth opportunities for customer success managers (CSMs) and ensuring that they feel heard. Most importantly, MongoDB has created a culture that genuinely encourages growth. This culture is embodied at all levels of the organization, and we are continually challenged to be intentional about our growth, step out of our comfort zone, make mistakes (and learn from them), and own what we do. Interested in joining our customer success team? We have open roles across the globe and would love for you to transform your career with us!
Growth and Opportunity: Why Now Is a Great Time to Join Our Sales Ecosystem in Korea
Read in Korean As MongoDB continues to scale, we are expanding our presence in the Asia-Pacific region. The South Korea market, in particular, is an important and strategic focus because we anticipate high growth in the region. Below, hear from members of our sales team in South Korea to learn how they work cross-functionally to make an impact — and how the opportunity to help build MongoDB Korea translates to extraordinary career growth. Joe Shin , Regional Director Over the past few years, MongoDB has grown rapidly because it addresses the emerging requirements of new applications and can modernize existing workloads which are struggling with traditional relational databases (RDBMSes). I've always thought that open source would become the next market trend, especially when new technologies such as NoSQL replace the limitations of RDBMSes and dominate the database market. We knew the market opportunity would be enormous for the MongoDB Korea branch because we know that our Korean customers would love to receive more active support locally. MongoDB’s organizational culture is horizontal. People of various positions in various jobs freely communicate and share opinions. In this horizontal organizational culture, each team has a clear role and works efficiently through organic relationships. As a regional director, my role is to drive local sales strategy, guide and develop our sales team on how to solve complex issues, and communicate effectively with partners — especially by escalating things when necessary to help solve problems. As a local leader, I hold myself accountable for embracing a collaborative environment where everyone cares about each other, one that encourages effective teamwork and empowers all team members to follow MongoDB’s corporate values of Build Together, Embrace the Power of Differences, Make It Matter, Be Intellectually Honest, Own What You Do, and Think Big, Go Far. MongoDB is at a great spot within the market. We already have hundreds of customers in the country, including many familiar brands such as KBS , Kakao Pay , Woowa Brothers , and many others across both traditional organizations and digital natives. In fact, Woowa Brothers have been users of MongoDB in Korea for some time and have now gone all in on our developer data platform for their international expansion into Southeast Asia. Our customer Nod Games is using MongoDB to transform the gaming industry by leading the move to pay-to-earn games using blockchain technology. Even with this success, we're still at the very early stages of a massive shift in technology, and we need to keep finding and researching our customers’ pain points to deliver them value. The Korean database market is getting bigger and bigger, and it shows enormous possibilities. MongoDB Korea is growing so fast that sales reps will have the opportunity to learn quickly and see the direct impact of their work. Hae Sung Kim , Strategic Account Director I joined MongoDB as an enterprise account executive and have been promoted to strategic account director. As an EAE, I benefited from the detailed and clear MongoDB sales methodology and enablement. MongoDB has a very passionate and strategic sales culture. There is a focus on finding the right person who can effectively deliver MongoDB’s value for the customer’s business. In addition, there is a culture of knowledge sharing across the entire sales ecosystem, so that you can take best practices from teammates and apply it within your own accounts. This culture helps strengthen sales capabilities by making it possible to establish strategies from a customer's business perspective. I also gathered enormously helpful tips from team sharing, delivered MongoDB’s value to numerous accounts, successfully completed various cases (including on premises, cloud, and ISV/OEM). I gained valuable experiences and recognition. At MongoDB, sales is not only about revenue. You work with various customer contacts within your accounts, such as developers, operations, and C-level stakeholders, with dedicated support from all internal functional departments. At MongoDB, you will have the opportunity to strengthen your sales capabilities and help a wide range of customers and industries. But more important and exciting is the communication and collaboration you will have with passionate global team members. White Moon , Field Marketing Manager I was first introduced to MongoDB about four years ago. At the time, it was still relatively new in Korea, but developers were very interested, and it was a promising and proven solution in the marketplace. When I joined, I was impressed by the diverse and inclusive organizational culture and how all employees supported one another. I joined as the first and only female employee, but I always felt that I was able to speak freely with other members of the team and that I would receive support whenever it was needed. As a company, MongoDB actively supports women through initiatives such as the MDBWomen affinity group, coaching and development for professional and career development, and holding celebrations for events like International Women’s Day. The global marketing team has also supported me by helping to ensure my region has everything it needs to strengthen MongoDB brand awareness and generate strong demand. I often connect with marketers in other regions to share best practices and learn from their experiences. Not only has this made me much more strategic, but it also gives me the opportunity to meet and become friends with people outside of my direct team. When working with the sales team, I want to be a representative partner of the Korean region and be a leader who oversees marketing in Korea. I'm not just an event planner; I'm trying to be the CMO of my region and a business partner to my regional sales team. Through local programs and account-based marketing activities, I can support driving new leads and accelerating deals. I’ve always seen myself as responsible for understanding when and why to do these programs, and how to ensure the leads make it through the sales funnel and become new customers. The MongoDB office space in Seoul. Jun Kim , Manager, Solutions Architecture I joined MongoDB when the Korea branch had just been started. To me, MongoDB’s document model and sharding capability were really attractive compared to other databases, and I was impressed by all of the technical features. I had worked for Oracle as a master sales consultant, and coming to MongoDB allowed me to gain exciting experiences in many different capacities, from meeting with developers and DBAs to C-levels. I started as a senior solutions architect and have since been promoted to a people management role. MongoDB is a very fast growing company, and I’ve seen my direct impact on the organization. It is exciting to be a part of scaling our team and MongoDB’s presence in Korea. I also feel that I’ve been developed and continue to develop through the support I receive from my peers and leadership. Our team in Korea is growing quickly, and we have a strong culture of collaborating with one another and benefiting from each other’s experiences. I am proud of what we have accomplished so far and look forward to our next phase of growth. Read about local customers BAEMIN and Nod Games, and find out what the media is saying about MongoDB in Digital Daily and TechM DataNet . Interested in making an impact and helping us scale MongoDB Korea? We have several open roles and would love for you to transform your career with us!
Development, Enablement, and Career Transformation With MongoDB’s Corporate Sales Team
MongoDB continues to grow our corporate sales team in Europe and the Middle East (EMEA). MongoDB corporate account executives sell into some of the world's highest growth and IT-focused companies, with a goal of securing net new accounts in organizations of up to 1,500 employees. Often working directly with CTOs, Engineering/IT leaders, and technical end users, our corporate sales team drives and builds solutions that serve the best interests of our customers to help them innovate faster than ever before. Hear from two corporate account executives on our EMEA team to learn more about how they’ve experienced development, enablement, and career progression during their tenure, and why now is a perfect time to join our expanding team. Career progression Sophie Gruber , Regional Director, Corporate Sales I joined MongoDB in 2019 and was looking for two things: First, the possibility of merit-based career progression and second, an uncapped product-market fit. From my initial research and what I learned throughout the interview process, it became apparent that MongoDB was a place where I would be guaranteed both of those things and more. I’ve held multiple roles within MongoDB since I began. I joined the corporate sales organization after being part of our cloud team. When I joined the corporate team, I had already been working closely with corporate account executives and understood their objectives. I received support from all levels, including peers and top-line management. I’ve recently been promoted to regional director for corporate sales in DACH (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland). It has been a steep learning curve, but I’ve received incredible support from all around. Our BDR to CRO program offers loads of different career progression opportunities, and management supported me along the way in identifying development areas. MongoDB offers so many different routes for development and progression; they’re yours to take and make the most of. For me, the success and excitement I get from my role is working with companies, being part of their missions, and watching them come to life in their industries. The moments I’m most proud of are being part of the MongoDB Excellence Club, an initiative that rewards top sales performers, for the past two years. This year’s event in Mexico was an incredible week full of celebrations and learning from top performers around the globe. I believe that everyone has different motivations throughout their career, but one constant is the environment they thrive working in. At MongoDB, we truly live our values and celebrate thinking big and going far. Our culture is the foundation of everything we do, and even though we work in a competitive field, collaboration and teamwork are always at the forefront. I’ve met so many amazing people during my time here and am very proud to be living and building upon MongoDB’s culture with them. Development and enablement Tyconor Chan , Corporate Account Executive I joined MongoDB in November 2021 as a corporate Account Executive, and there were a few key factors that influenced my decision. MongoDB invests a tremendous amount of effort in your personal and professional development. It sounds cheesy, but before taking the role I read that MongoDB is where you come to get your “Masters in Sales.” Having just gone through the bulk of the COVID-19 pandemic, I was excited to get back to learning. The first time I met my manager he asked, “So what's next for you?” The constant development mentality is what really excites me about MongoDB. Then there’s the actual product. MongoDB is a best-in-class product and the leading NoSQL database that supports mission-critical applications for some of the world's largest companies. It satisfies a tremendous variety of use cases in every industry. I came from a hardware background, so moving to software-based selling was initially very daunting. However, between team sessions, one-to-one sessions with my buddy (an experienced rep), and our sales enablement program, my concerns were quickly put to rest. New hires are enrolled in a two-week upskill bootcamp that gets you prepped for the role. A few months later, you can refine your skills in Advanced Sales Training. I’ve had a dream start in terms of achieving immediate success at MongoDB, getting to work with new and established companies in the UK and Ireland, and playing a key role in their journey. What I am most proud of are the relationships I’ve made in the short amount of time I’ve been here. Hands down, what I enjoy most about working at MongoDB are the people and the culture. Being able to bounce ideas off of colleagues and leadership knowing they have your best interests in mind is really encouraging, especially to someone new to the business, and that’s why I can’t recommend coming to the corporate sales team enough. Like anything of worth, it’s by no means an easy role, but if you are willing to set your ego aside, ask for support, and work hard, you will be a great fit at MongoDB. Do you want to make an impact and transform your career? Join us at MongoDB — we have several open roles on our teams across the globe.
Meet Gabriella Cohen: Expanding MongoDB’s Presence in Israel as the Newest Regional Vice President
Gabriella Cohen recently joined MongoDB’s sales leadership team as Regional Vice President for Israel. We sat down to discuss her career move from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to MongoDB and the opportunities for sellers in the Israeli market. Jackie Denner: How did you come to join MongoDB, and what made you interested in the company? Gabriella Cohen: I have been privileged to work with some of the most tech-savvy and innovative startups in Israel, and many of them use MongoDB as part of their core products. Developers love the solution. This drove me to learn more about MongoDB’s technology and the potential market in Israel. The total addressable market for databases in Israel is growing rapidly, and MongoDB is only scratching the surface of this market. The extreme potential for MongoDB in this emerging market excited me and drove me to join. JD: Tell us about your experience prior to joining MongoDB. GC: For the last six years I’ve been working for AWS Israel. I joined the team in 2016 when Cloud was a new concept and the market was in its early stages of adoption. I started as an ISV Account Manager and grew to managerial positions as Startup Team Lead and Digital Native Businesses Team Lead. In my last role, I established and led the SMB Segment in AWS Israel and was part of the AWS Israel Leadership team. JD: Why do you believe that Israel is such a strategic and important market for MongoDB? GC: Israel is one of the most prominent innovation and technology hubs in the world, with an economy dominated by industrial high-tech and entrepreneurship. Israel ranks 15th among the 132 economies featured in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2021. This innovation is reflected in the large number of startups active in Israel, over 7,000 — 14 times more concentration of startups per capita than in Europe. It also attracts the highest rate of venture capital funding per capita in the world. Companies in Israel are tech savvy and early adopters of innovative technologies — such as MongoDB. Many of them are “born in the cloud,” while the more traditional companies are trying to close the gap and are rapidly adopting different solutions that enable a true digital transformation. Most of the Israel technology companies target and sell globally, resulting in a growing market opportunity for MongoDB. I view Israel as a strategic market from three perspectives. First, there is a large business opportunity in the Israeli market that isn’t correlated to the size of the country. All the leading cloud vendors are opening data centers here, which indicates the high potential of the market. Second, given that the Israeli market has early adopters of innovative technologies, this could be a great learning opportunity for other regions on how to work with digital-native and startup businesses. Last, it provides a platform for the MongoDB Product team to gather feedback from tech-savvy users, which can improve our product and shape MongoDB’s future roadmap. JD: What are you most excited about in expanding the Israeli market for MongoDB and continuing to build our sales organization in the country? GC: MongoDB’s technology has a strong reputation in Israel, however I believe it is yet to meet its business potential. The challenge of crafting a go-to-market strategy for Israel, which suits the specific and unique market conditions, excites me. Together with the existing sales teams, I’m looking forward to expanding and growing the sales organization to expedite our ability to cover the market. Finally, I’m really looking forward to evolving the MongoDB Israel office atmosphere, bringing together the MongoDB culture and the warm and friendly Israeli approach. JD: How would you describe your leadership style? GC: My leadership skills, style, and approach have evolved over the years. I believe in having a clear and inspiring vision, empowering the individual, generating value to my team, and leading by example. I tend to challenge the status quo and encourage creativity to explore new ways of doing things. The pandemic has added new challenges to leaders: on the one hand, having to lead remotely with minimal in-person interaction; on the other hand, having difficulty drawing the line between personal and professional as our home and family have been the background scenery of our business meetings. As a leader, I view this change as an opportunity to bring my authentic self and encourage my team to the same. I believe this builds trust, creates a fun environment, and strengthens connections. JD: What opportunities do you see at MongoDB? GC: Careers aren’t linear, and MongoDB offers endless career opportunities in both professional and managerial positions. MongoDB’s global presence offers an exciting addition to these opportunities. While the above might be relevant to other leading tech companies, I think what is unique about MongoDB is the hypergrowth we are experiencing. Working for exponential growth companies requires constant creativity, bias for action, and ownership. Each individual has the opportunity to shine, be successful, and develop new skills daily. The MongoDB Israel office in Tel Aviv was established in 2019. We currently have over 30 employees in customer-facing roles. We have a MongoDB customer support team based in Tel Aviv as well, and they provide support to over 900 customers across all industries and sectors. JD: What has your experience been as a woman in sales, and do you have advice for other women who are looking to build their sales careers and become leaders? GC: I believe in being successful, generating value to my team and business, and the rest follows. The three tips I would give are: Be the best version of yourself and insist on high standards. This positions you as a role model and drives success. Avoid having two versions of yourself—your personal/home version and your work version—because we are the same individual and our power is in the total package. It’s all about people. Leverage your interpersonal skills to drive business — to read into situations, connect to people, and understand the subtext. Our sales team is growing in Israel and across the globe. We have several open roles and would love for you to transform your career with us!
D’Enterprise Account Executive à Regional Director : comment Lucile Tournier a accéléré sa carrière en France
Lucile Tournier a rejoint MongoDB France en tant qu'Entreprise Account Executive en 2020. De l'apprentissage de nouvelles technologies à son nouveau rôle de maman tout en assumant des fonctions de leader, Lucile a eu un parcours incroyable au cours des deux dernières années. Apprenez-en plus sur son expérience au sein de notre équipe commerciale en France et sur la façon dont elle a su développer sa carrière pour devenir Regional Director chez MongoDB. Jackie Denner: Bonjour, Lucile. Merci de partager ton histoire ! Comment as-tu rejoint MongoDB et pourquoi étais-tu intéressée par l'entreprise ? Lucile Tournier: MongoDB est ma première expérience dans le monde de l’édition logiciel. En effet, mes expériences précédentes étaient des ESN françaises.Rien à voir en termes de cycles de vente, de culture d’entreprise (MongoDB étant une société américaine) ou encore de technicité (les bases de données - la seule stack que je n’avais jamais abordée !). Ayant l’impression d’avoir fait le tour de mon précédent poste, je me suis dit “Si je cherche un nouveau challenge, pourquoi pas le monde des éditeurs ? Est-ce fait pour moi ? Est-ce possible de passer d’une ESN à un ISV?” J’ai alors pris contact avec Alexandre Esculier , VP France MongoDB, à l’époque Regional Director, qui lui-même avait réussi un tel virage. Qui de mieux placé pour répondre à mes questions? Au fur et à mesure de mes échanges avec lui, mais aussi avec l’équipe MongoDB France, j’ai été conquise et j’ai décidé de me jeter dans le grand bain ! On pourrait se demander pourquoi MongoDB en particulier ? 3 ans auparavant, j’ai co-fondé une start up en Finance de marché au sein d’une ESN. Une expérience exaltante, à 1000 à l’heure, pleine de challenges, de difficultés et de belles réussites. J’aimais le côté “speed boat” (rapide et adaptable) à l’intérieur d’un grand groupe. Aussi, pour mon prochain challenge, je ne voulais pas rentrer dans une compagnie “paquebot”, où tout est long et fastidieux. J’ai vraiment retrouvé le meilleur des deux mondes chez MongoDB : à la fois grand groupe, avec des process clairs, une technologie disruptive, tout en ayant un esprit start up avec une croissance forte et de l’agilité. Et j’ai bien fait ! JD: Raconte-moi en davantage sur ton rôle d’Enterprise Account Executive. LT: Un vrai rollercoaster ! En parallèle de 6 mois d’onboarding poussés, j’ai pu rapidement aller sur le terrain, accompagnée bien sûr d’équipes à très grande valeur : mon manager, des architectes, les équipes post-sales etc. J’ai commencé à monter en compétences, à signer mes premiers contrats sur de grands comptes qui m’ont fait confiance (tout comme mon management), à ouvrir de nouveaux périmètres, à faire grossir les existants. J’ai énormément appris sur la technologie, sur le processus de vente ( basé sur le MEDDIC, dont John McMahon, co-inventeur de celui-ci, est au board de MongoDB ! ) et surtout sur moi-même grâce à une culture du feedback qui est la base chez MongoDB. Apprendre sur soi n’est pas si facile… Cela demande de savoir et de pouvoir se remettre en question quotidiennement. Mais quelle superbe opportunité pour grandir ! JD: Qu’est ce qui rend une carrière chez MongoDB unique ? LT: Elle est unique à plusieurs niveaux: la technologie, les process, le côté 1000 à l’heure, les résultats de la société …LES PEOPLE. Tout est fou.Ce que je retiens particulièrement c’est la bienveillance. Durant cette première année, j’ai eu l’immense joie de devenir maman, d’un petit garçon - Dorian. Commencer un nouveau job, tomber enceinte dans la foulée, ce n’est pas tout à fait ce que j’avais prévu. J’ai eu la chance d’avoir un management à l’écoute et ravi pour moi. Et j’ai pu réussir à mener de front mes deux belles aventures: réussir chez MongoDB et devenir Maman. Je ne pense pas que cela aurait pu aussi bien se passer ailleurs. JD: Tu as été promue d’Enterprise Account Executive à Regional Director. Comment as-tu réussi à atteindre cet objectif, et comment tes managers t'ont-ils soutenu dans cette démarche ? LT: Si je n’avais pas eu la confiance de toute ma ligne managériale, ce passage aurait été difficile, voire impossible. J’avais déjà un rôle de Manager dans mon “ancienne vie”. Cependant, il était important pour moi, comme pour MongoDB, de repasser par le terrain avant de revenir sur un poste de manager. Comment bien orienter ses équipes sans être passé par le terrain, en venant d’un monde complètement différent ? J’ai donc fait mes armes, j’ai prouvé, je me suis donnée à 100%, j’ai essayé d’être au maximum à l’écoute des feedbacks qu’on me donnait, j’ai testé, j’ai perdu, j’ai gagné, j’ai revu, j’ai recommencé et encore recommencé... Bref, j’avais confiance en mon environnement, et j’ai pu tout donner, tout en étant bien encadrée. J’avais des sessions régulières de développement, des formations, et surtout une oreille attentive de la part d’Alexandre et de Jérôme Delozière, VP Europe Continentale, qui m’aidaient à me poser les bonnes questions. JD: Qu’est ce qui est le plus passionnant au sein de MongoDB ? LT: Tout ! Déjà, la technologie est folle. C’est important de le souligner, car impossible pour moi d’aller dans une société où les clients ne sont pas satisfaits du produits une fois mis en place. Je veux pouvoir croire en ce que je vends. Et j’y crois ! Les équipes R&D sont toujours à la recherche des dernières évolutions qui nous permettent de garder nos 5 ans d’avance sur le marché ! Le fait de vendre à travers la méthodologie MEDDIC m’a énormément appris. J’avais l’art et MongoDB m’a apporté la science. Même après une dizaine d'années de vente, j’ai continué d’apprendre ! Et le plus important: les People ! Tout le monde cherche à se dépasser, à être un des constructeurs de cette belle aventure - et c’est vraiment agréable de travailler avec autant d’émulation. JD: Comment tu définirais la culture de vente chez MongoDB ? LT: Transparence ! En transparence on peut progresser, il faut se dire les choses, s’entraider, annoncer ses faiblesses, être à l’écoute. Comme avec les clients ! La transparence est la clef. On peut tout dire, avec les formes et au bon moment. JD: Quelles seraient - selon toi - les qualités pour réussir en tant que commercial au sein de MongoDB ? LT: Le travail. Rien n’arrive tout cuit. Il n’y a pas de périmètre facile, il n’y a pas de “chance” dans ce milieu. Il faut travailler, apprendre, se remettre en question, faire avancer les sujets. La chance arrive après. JD: Autre chose que nos candidats doivent savoir ? LT: Je recrute, alors n’hésitez pas à m'écrire sur LinkedIn ! Si vous souhaitez rejoindre l’équipe MongoDB, nous avons plusieurs rôles disponibles partout dans le monde et nous serions ravis que vous transformiez votre carrière avec nous !
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!
Building on Atlas to Accelerate Sales Efficiency at MongoDB
When it comes to customers and prospects, there is no such thing as having too much data. But it can sometimes seem that way. With so much data on prospects, the challenge is in sorting through it to truly understand which have the highest potential. As a result, companies are often left with disparate and disorganized spreadsheets, making Salesforce that much harder to use. Soon, sales leaders find themselves preoccupied with simply trying to access and understand data, rather than implementing strategy. MongoDB’s own sales organization found itself in such a position in the summer of 2020 and decided that there had to be a better way to utilize the customer data they received from vendor Scalestack . “There were hundreds of customized documents that each needed to be updated from multiple different data sources — repeatedly,” said Matt Highland, account strategy manager at MongoDB. “The documents would often become outdated very quickly. We needed a current view of the data.” First, the sales team conducted an in-house study of the process its sales leaders use to analyze accounts and territories in order to gain an idea of all the data points and workflows that optimize account allocation. Next, sales leaders evaluated vendor solutions, but couldn’t find any tool or service that met every need. From there, the decision was made to build a tool internally using MongoDB’s own engineering resources and technology. With an assist from its Product Design department, the sales leaders translated the requirements and previous tools used into high-fidelity wireframes for the engineering team. The solution, named Argos, is a web application built on top of MongoDB Atlas . Launched in early 2021, it is now being used by more than 600 people in MongoDB’s sales teams. Argos helps employees to understand the potential spend for each of their accounts, which in turn informs account and territory planning at the regional, team, and rep level. “The main benefits have been transparency and access to timely data,” Highland said. “The relevant data is in one place, and it’s up to date. Argos has also helped with speed, and how quickly we can get a new sales rep going, how quickly we can grow our teams, and how quickly we can adjust our strategy when situations change. It also gives us more clarity about how equitable the territories are.” MongoDB’s sales group is now far more agile in building and adjusting territories because it became far easier to find those key data points about customers and prospects. Additionally, it freed up analytical bandwidth for more strategic projects that were previously spent wrangling data. Thanks to its intuitive document data model, MongoDB Atlas made it easy for developers to build Argos — as well as for sales teams to spin up and use the web application. In addition, the flexibility of the document model made it easy for teams to alter the application as its requirements evolved. Because of how simple Atlas is to use, engineers could focus solely on the Argos implementation and not worry about database deployment, availability, or performance. The analytics available in Atlas also made fine-tuning queries and indexes straightforward, which translated into a better user experience through faster application performance. And the flexibility of the document data model made ingesting data quick and easy, which decreased the time between the start of the Argos project to its working prototype. “With Argos, the sales team has a shared single view of their accounts with the decision making data points available and up to date,” Highland said. Next, Highland said, is to explore expanding Argos to other teams inside MongoDB to continue to streamline its go-to-market efforts. The MongoDB SalesOps team is hiring! Check out our job postings to see if you would be a good fit!
Sales Development Series: Meet the North America Sales Development Team
Sales Development Series: Meet the North America 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 North American outbound team, which is divided into territories covering North America West, North America Central, New York City and the Mid-Atlantic, and New England, East Canada, and the South East. Hear from Regional Manager Jordan Gregory and a few Account Development Representatives about the ADR role and how MongoDB’s sales culture enables employees to grow and succeed in their career. An overview of Account Development in North America Jordan Gregory , Regional Manager of Sales Development for New England, East Canada, and the South East Account Development at MongoDB is crucial to the success of our sales organization, being the first point of contact with all of our prospective customers. We partner with our incredibly talented Enterprise Account Executives to find new business opportunities within some of the largest and most complex organizations in the world across a broad range of industries (financial institutions, video games, telecommunications, insurance - you name it!). The Account Development team culture is one of extreme ownership. It’s about controlling what we can control, building off of each other’s strengths, enjoying working together, and holding ourselves and each other accountable for growing and failing forward every day. If you work hard, you play hard, and that culminates in a lot of fun with this incredible group! MongoDB has a growth-focused culture. Our management and Sales leadership team take learning and development seriously, and the most successful individuals on the Sales team are those who are committed to growing and learning in their role. MongoDB is an open-source data platform company, and I firmly believe that if you can sell an open-source data platform, you can sell anything. This is one of the most challenging places to sell and because of that, and the focus on growth and development, I’ve seen countless people (including myself) take their careers to new heights. The hardest part of sales is prospecting, and it’s something we train our ADRs on extensively. You’ll learn how to identify your Ideal Customer Profile, execute deep discovery and qualification, and progress deals forward to Qualified Pipeline. You’ll also go through our Sales Bootcamp and on-the-job training. Another product of the ADR program is the massive impact we have on revenue which allows folks to build their internal brand and make lifelong connections. On top of that, we have structured upskill programs to set our ADRs up for success in the next role that they’re pursuing internally, whether that's as a Cloud Account Executive, an Associate Account Executive, or other non-direct sales roles like Customer Success and Field Marketing. We’ve also had internal promotions from the Sales Development org to Sales Enablement. At MongoDB, there is a lot of mobility to progress your career in the direction you want, and you’ll be truly valued as a person rather than an employee number or a revenue target. Hear from some team members Andrew Brownlee , Account Development Representative for New York City I joined MongoDB because it seemed like a great place to start my journey to being an Enterprise Sales Executive in the software industry. The people here have a winning mentality and operate as a team when faced with a challenge. The products are world-class and we invest heavily in R&D. MongoDB also has a process called BDR to CRO that’s geared towards developing and promoting sales talent year over year. The most exciting part about working here is the opportunity ahead. To be successful at MongoDB takes conviction, drive, and curiosity. You have to be firm in your opinion that our technology can transform an organization for the best. You must have the drive to push when it's easy, and when it's hard. The best ADRs are focused on being effective with their activity day-to-day and aren't dissuaded by how easy or hard that particular quarter is. Curiosity will help you grow in your career. It’ll also help you get the respect you need amongst your stakeholders. Maria Dorsey , Account Development Representative for North America Central I joined MongoDB because I was looking for a challenging yet rewarding start to my software sales career. It was clear to me throughout the MongoDB interview process that there is a huge emphasis on growth and development which is exactly what I was looking for. During my onboarding, I received a lot of support from my team. Although learning the MongoDB value proposition, products, and sales process can seem overwhelming, my team set aside time to ensure I was ramping up successfully. My manager also took the time to listen to my concerns, talk through tech fundamentals, walk through use cases I was unfamiliar with, and was an ally that I could depend on. What makes me stay at MongoDB is the opportunity for growth, the culture of the Sales Development organization, and the collaboration with enterprise reps and management. I’ve been extremely lucky to learn from and work alongside Enterprise Account Executives, Regional Directors, and my Regional Vice President who all truly care about my growth and success. The biggest thing that makes someone successful as an ADR is their willingness and eagerness to learn. MongoDB doesn’t necessarily care if you come from a software sales background (some of the best ADRs have not), but rather your ability and eagerness to learn the tech, sales process, and stakeholder management. These characteristics are a great foundation for building a long successful career at MongoDB. Vlad Pak , Account Development Representative for North America West I joined MongoDB because I wanted to challenge myself and gain experience working in enterprise sales. MongoDB is an incredible company that offers many opportunities for personal, professional, and financial growth, but the thing that keeps me happy here is the culture. I am surrounded by driven and intelligent teammates and leadership that cares about my success. It's great to be supported from an employee-first perspective. I think the two key traits that make someone successful on my team and in my role are proactiveness and curiosity. Many of our team members are proactively sharing insights, collaborating, and facilitating engagement with each other which benefits us all and drives us to be the best ADRs we can be. Curiosity is the bread and butter of any successful sales professional and will directly impact the quantity and quality of the meetings we set, helping us attain our quotas! I am looking forward to growing my career with MongoDB in a closing role and taking on the challenge of owning my own sales cycle. It’s exciting to work for a company that is leading the charge in digital transformation and changing the way enterprises approach technological innovation. It has been a great learning experience so far, and I can’t wait to see how the organization will grow and evolve along with my career! 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!
How to Prepare for Your Enterprise Account Executive Interview at MongoDB
At MongoDB, our Enterprise Sales team is growing rapidly as we strive to build a salesforce with a legendary reputation of excellence and integrity. Although we are eager to add new reps to our team, we are focused on ensuring we hire the right people for the job and that we’re the right company for you, too! Because of this, our interview process may not be as quick or look the same as other companies’. We feel confident that we’ve designed our interviews to uncover a mutually beneficial opportunity that will allow anyone who joins the team to look back on their time at MongoDB as a career-defining point in their lives. Our typical interview process includes three interviews, a sales profile assessment, and a final interview that we call “The Challenge”. Throughout these interviews we want you to meet as many people on our team as possible. Your interview panelists may include the Regional Director (RD) you’d directly report to along with RDs from other regions. You’ll also typically meet with a Regional Vice President or SVP depending on your location. We ultimately want you to be introduced and exposed to teams across the company so that you receive insight into our broader culture and can decide if MongoDB is the right fit for you. We recommend treating the recruitment process similar to a sales cycle including preparation, qualification, and closing. No matter the interview, you should be aware that all MongoDB Enterprise Account Executive interviews are around the three Whys: Why MongoDB? Why you? Why now? Why MongoDB We want to ensure that we can support your career growth at MongoDB. At each stage of the interview process, leaders will want to dig in on the three P’s: 1. People Our executive leadership team is made up of some of the best in the industry. To understand who is behind the success of the company and how they got here, we recommend looking into some notable MongoDB figures such as our Executive team and Board Members. Prior to each interview, you will receive a guide with the names of the managers you’ll be interviewing with. We recommend doing some research on these individuals and their team members, along with other Enterprise Account Executives at MongoDB. It’s likely that you’ll be asked about this research during your interview, so be prepared to discuss what you found. 2. Product The MongoDB data platform is complex which can make our sales process rather technical in certain use cases. While we don't expect you to come with database expertise, we do want to know why you have an interest and see the value in selling it! We recommend taking a look at our customer testimonials online to learn how MongoDB technology is applied. We also recommend researching our differentiators, which should help you understand why a C-Suite executive should buy MongoDB. Below are some resources to help you get started. MongoDB Technology Overview Why MongoDB Atlas 3. Process Come prepared to talk about your week, where you spend your time, and how you plan and prioritize your accounts. While our EAEs do handle some existing business, the main focus is on new pipeline generation as we continue to disrupt a huge market. Our Sales team follows the MEDDIC sales qualification methodology as well as our own internal sales process. This provides the team with a proven roadmap on how the most successful sellers have closed deals and promotes a common language within our teams across the globe. We recommend you speak to the sales and qualification process you follow currently and understand how they compare. Why you We’ve spent a lot of time defining our sales process and how our Enterprise Account Executives can be successful. Because of this, we’ve been able to determine what top-performing reps at MongoDB have done differently and what characteristics help them quickly develop and achieve great records of closed deals. Coachability: There’s a ton of enablement at MongoDB, and we want you to make use of it! If you enjoy coaching and development, this is a good environment for you. Drive: The database market is massive, and MongoDB owns less than 1% of it. To be successful, you’ll need grit, a competitive nature, and a drive to disrupt one of the largest addressable markets in the software industry. Street smarts: Although the MongoDB product is technical, there is still a very human element to the sales process. We look for people who have emotional intelligence, the ability to “read the room”, and are empathetic. Ability to build pipeline: It may seem obvious, but our top performers are great at generating business meetings that impact their number of deals closed. You’ll need to excel at and enjoy hunting new business! Champion building: We strongly believe in making long-lasting connections and look for individuals who can identify and build a MongoDB Champion within their customers. Why now We believe that timing is important and want you to feel confident in your decision to join MongoDB. We encourage you to think about the following: Do you feel ready to leave your current role? If so, why do you believe now is the right time for you to do so? What are you not receiving in your current role that you’re looking for in a new role? Do you feel confident in your decision to interview with MongoDB at this time? These are things that will be discussed during your interview process, and we hope that you can happily articulate why you believe MongoDB is the next step for your development and career. Learn more about the Enterprise Sales team from some of our team members Interested in pursuing a 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!
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!
Employee Spotlight: MongoDB Product Manager Talks About His Role And The Company’s Push For Inclusivity
Editor's note: This was originally published on AfroTech's Website . Having a game plan for your career can help you reach monumental milestones and attain goals that not only benefit yourself, but the greater good of the company that you work for. Just ask product manager (PM) at MongoDB, Garaudy Etienne, who has succeeded at the company by using his expertise of processing data to help fuel product growth. Thanks to his engineering and business background, Etienne helps elevate MongoDB products to a higher level of success in the industry’s competitive landscape. The product manager knows the in-and-outs of tech and advocates for inclusivity in the workplace too. Etienne spoke with AfroTech to share an inside look into his unique experience working at MongoDB as a product manager and how he’s using his impact to dismantle offensive database terminology through the master/slave removal project. AfroTech: Tell us about your background and your role as a PM with MongoDB? Etienne: I’ve been a product manager for three years and was previously an aerospace engineer. I grew up in Haiti, Belgium and New Jersey. I obtained my bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Princeton University and my MBA from the University of Chicago. I’m a product manager for the sharding team at MongoDB. Sharding is the process of splitting up a customer’s data over several smaller computers instead of one giant computer. At a certain scale, it is a cost-effective way of storing and processing more data for most companies. Our team is responsible for making sure the data is split in a way that lets websites or apps stay fast as they continue to grow. This means if an app grows to millions of users, they can still read or write information to their database without any issues. AfroTech: What experience(s) prepared you the most for this role? Etienne: My engineering background combined with my MBA have most prepared me for this role. Knowing that I wanted to be a product manager before attending business school helped me focus my learnings and efforts with that singular goal. AfroTech: How were you recruited/promoted/hired into this role? Etienne: Believe it or not, I just went to MongoDB’s website and applied for a “Product Manager, Distributed Systems” posting the company had. I received an email shortly after, asking to set up a phone interview with the recruiter. I’d like to point out that this is not a recommended approach. It’s best to connect with an employee and get some more information about the company and a referral, if possible. AfroTech: What exactly does being a Product Manager mean? Etienne: First, let’s define what a product is: a product is anything you create for other people to use. Being a PM is all about helping the company build a better product. It’s about discovering what to build (and not build) for our customers and when to build it. This means setting a strategy and vision for the product so the engineers see a maximum impact for their efforts. I do this mainly by asking lots of questions, talking to customers, and talking to other teams close to customers, such as customer success managers, technical services engineers, and solutions architects. AfroTech: What inspired you to become a Product Manager? Etienne: I knew that I was interested in business in college. When I finally decided that aerospace was no longer for me, I knew I wanted to still be involved in technology but in a business capacity. I did some research to see what career paths were at the intersection of business and technology. I also spoke to a coworker who was applying to business school at the time to get his thoughts. The more I researched, the more I believed that product management was the right path for me. Photo Credit: Garaudy Etienne, Product Manager, Server at MongoDB kicks off MongoDB's 2019 Black History Month event hosted by TUPOC/Mongodb AfroTech: What’s important to know/do once in the role, and what are the career advancement opportunities for a Product Manager at MongoDB? Etienne: Once in the role, it is important to focus and learn to say no. Requests come from all over the place. It can be customers, sales, marketing, engineers. Not only can you not please everyone, but not every request will lead to a better product. As far as PM career advancement opportunities at MongoDB, there is always plenty when a company is growing, and growing fast. For me, this means soon becoming a Senior PM, then leading a team as a Lead PM. We’ve just hired two Directors of Product on my team, which is the next step after Lead PM. If you don’t want to manage people, there’s always the opportunity to manage much bigger or more important products. AfroTech: How does your role as a Product Manager at MongoDB differ from others? Etienne: One huge difference between being a PM at MongoDB and other places I’ve worked is that I don’t have to spend time managing project timelines. At my previous role, I spent 60 percent of my time managing project timelines. The majority of my time is now focused on discovering/solving customer issues and figuring out how our team’s product fits into the overall company vision and the competitive landscape. In addition, I have been empowered to set the entire strategy for sharding. I recently had a meeting with our Chief Product Officer, where I laid out our plan for the next three to five years. I have never had that kind of autonomy before. It is pretty standard for all other product managers at the company, no matter the level. AfroTech: How do you think your company is making the working environment more inclusive? Etienne: The company has taken several steps to make working there more inclusive. Some of them predate my arrival, such as the parity pledge. The parity pledge promises to interview at least one female candidate for every job opening of director and above. The company is currently undertaking an effort to remove offensive database terminology such as “master/slave” and “whitelist/blacklist” from our code base. Senior leadership has reached out to Black employees to continually get their input and feedback. MongoDB also recently made Juneteenth a company holiday. I personally felt like I mattered a little more when our CEO spoke about the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd before it became just another PR ploy for tech companies. AfroTech: Tell us about your role as an advisor on the master/slave removal project? Etienne: The master/slave removal project started back in January. I have been involved in the discussion from the beginning. I was a staunch advocate for making the changes to older versions of MongoDB when we were debating whether or not to just do it for our latest version onwards. These changes will take close to a year of engineering effort, and it was a good opportunity to challenge the company’s commitment to Black people because this affects our bottom line. I have been in every meeting, from defining the scope of the project, to the design and implementation, and I’ve had to be involved both as a product manager and as a Black employee. AfroTech: Is there anything else you would like to add? Etienne: I wish MongoDB was a more well known company by the layperson. I think a lot of great Black employees in tech are missing out on an awesome company because we’re in the database space and our main users are developers. I’m hoping to do my part to democratize access to information about both MongoDB and product management for Black people in tech. 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! Join MongoDB in supporting organizations fighting for racial justice and equal opportunity. Donate to our fund by December 31, 2020 and MongoDB will match the donation up to a maximum aggregate amount of $250,000. Learn more here .