I was always told I could do anything I set my mind to. And so I did. Growing up in a small town outside of Athens, Georgia, I tried just about every extracurricular activity you can imagine. Musical theater. Class president. Playing volleyball. Showing dairy heifers.
You might say I was an overachiever. But that was not it. I just loved learning new things, meeting different people, and solving the unique challenges that came with each new activity.
That wide range of interests made it challenging when it came time to choose a career path. I craved an academic setting where I would be encouraged to think outside the box. I was ready to solve a new challenge. But what?
I decided to follow my creative side and attend Savannah College of Art and Design. I focused on interior design. I loved the idea of using interior design to improve healthcare — creating healing environments while also helping doctors and nurses be more efficient in a space designed around their workflow.
Every project brought a new client, a new problem to solve. And I was learning about many different industries by planning spaces around their unique operations and processes.
After college, I traveled for a bit before relocating to Utah. I joined Solutionreach, a growing healthcare startup, working under the CTO as a product analyst. I jumped in headfirst to learn as much as I could about software development and managing growing engineering teams.
Instead of designing spaces to solve problems in healthcare — I was designing software to help improve the patient experience. Within three years, the company grew from 80 to 350 employees and added an additional 6,000 health provider practices to our customer base.
I interviewed customers, wrote documentation, and drafted user stories. I prioritized requirements from sales and support and jumped on calls as a sales engineer. I worked with every team to help make product decisions and I loved every minute.
Clearly I was meant to be a product manager, not an interior designer. This was the career path for me, with the types of problems I wanted to help solve.
I discovered Aha! in 2013. I had just gotten back from my first Atlassian Summit and was eager to use JIRA and Confluence for product planning. So, I tried them out. However, I immediately saw how challenging it was to highlight strategy/business value in JIRA. I signed up for a trial of Aha! — and I have recommended Aha! to any product manager who is interested ever since.
After Solutionreach, I spent the next few years at innovative health-related startups managing product and directing strategy. But I soon realized I was chasing opportunities — not my dreams. I consulted for a few months but ultimately decided that it was time to find that needle-in-the-haystack job opportunity or start my own company.
I knew the kind of company I wanted to join — fast-paced, transparent, innovative, with mentors to learn from and room to grow. I also knew it was going to be very difficult (if not impossible) to find.
I thought about my experience with Aha! and how I was recommending it and then saw an opening for a Customer Success Manager. It seemed like someone was trying to tell me something. Working alongside former product managers to help other product managers build what matters? I applied immediately.
Since joining Aha! I find myself ending each day saying: “There are amazing companies out there building, doing, and offering really amazing products.” I feel like a student again involved in every extracurricular activity and loving every minute of it. Learning about our customers’ processes and helping them use and tailor Aha! to their needs gives me so much satisfaction.
Hearing product managers talk about their products with such passion reminds me why Aha! is here and why it is so needed.
I love that Aha! only hires A+ players — that was clear after my first interview. I also appreciate that, in terms of culture, no one is more important than anyone else. It is the most team-friendly environment I have ever been in. There’s a clear vision and we’re all working together to achieve it and can see how we are all contributing.
I thought I would have to start my own company one day to get that standard… but I found Aha!
That is why I joined Aha! — and why you should too.