About three weeks ago, I became a member of Jonathan Shafer's Customer Advocacy team which includes Athena Peterson, Cara Chaffey, and Caitlin Croft. I’m working out of the San Francisco office and will be interning with his team until the end of August.
A bit of background on myself - I’m a rising junior at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. I’m pursuing a BA in English, though I hope to get a job in marketing and business after graduation. Last summer, I had an internship at Metadata.io, a startup in SF, which exposed me to the intricacies of B2B marketing and the tech world. As I was searching through internships for this summer, I knew that I wanted to work at a large company with a diversity of marketing functions. Since “marketing” is an umbrella term that covers many different roles, I wanted to delve deeper into understanding specialized positions. So far, Caitlin and Jonathan have introduced to a number of Hitachi Vantara individuals from different backgrounds and expertise. And already, this internship has given me insight into potential career paths.
When I first joined Jonathan’s customer advocacy team, I did not know what to expect. I had little prior knowledge of customer experience marketing, although now I understand that Customer Advocacy is at the center of the “marketing umbrella”. The team plays an integral role in the day-to-day functions for both the sales and the marketing departments. The team is responsible for working with customers to promote their successes from leveraging Hitachi Vantara technology. Additionally, the team organizes customer events such as User Groups, to provide a forum for users to learn from other users and Hitachi Vantara experts on how to better leverage our technology. I attended the Pentaho Bay Area Meetup (Palo Alto, CA) | Meetup which exposed me to the product from a consumer perspective and demonstrated the many ways companies rely on Hitachi Vantara’s solutions. The work the team does is extremely important because of the power and influence customers have on the image of a company and its products.
One extremely important responsibility the team has is managing the Customer Reference Center. This tool is connected to Salesforce and internal users discover valuable customer content which is instrumental to accomplish a multitude of different goals from strengthening brand awareness to providing relevant content and references during the sales process. I’m currently assisting the team by completing the account profiles and making sure all the content and assets are in the Reference Center.
Last week, I was given the opportunity to speak with Asim Zaheer, Hitachi Vantara’s Chief Marketing Officer, Debbie Braney, VP of Digital and Customer Experience Marketing, and Kendra Walsh, Senior Director Customer Experience Marketing, who all openly shared their career journeys. After listening to their stories, I was surprised to learn that at one point they were in a similar situation as myself. While they didn’t know where their careers would take them, their hard work and determination made them successful. I learned that creating a career is about the journey and how different job roles will determine your strengths and passions. Their advice to me was to keep trying new things and learning from others by having as many conversations with different people throughout the organization. My main takeaways are that I must be open to new experiences and actively seek them out.
I am definitely taking advantage of my Hitachi Vantara internship and tailoring it to meet my own interests. In addition to working with the Customer Advocacy team, I’m shadowing and assisting other teams - the field marketing and the EBC (executive briefing center) This is only the tip of the iceberg and I look forward to what’s is in-store for the next two months.