When I turned 30, I made it a goal to summit the highest point of the 48 contiguous U.S. states within the next 10 years. I celebrated achieving that goal (plus one) at the highest point in Hawaii, Mauna Kea, on my 40th birthday. As I write this, I am packing for a trip to Alaska. And while I do not plan to attempt Denali, I will feel an extra sense of accomplishment when I can say I have been to all 50 states.
If you cannot tell — travel is a passion of mine. But it is also part of my nature to set goals and achieve them.
My first big career goal was to graduate from Georgia Institute of Technology. After achieving that, I checked off another bucket list item: becoming a flight attendant. While I knew it was not going to be a long-term career for me, it was something I wanted to experience.
After working the friendly skies for a few years, I was ready to pursue an MBA. So, I started studying for the GMAT and began working full-time at a company that coordinated and hosted large corporate events. This company not only paid for my graduate school, but it also taught me valuable planning and people skills I use to this day.
I finished my MBA with a concentration in information systems and decided it was time to move into the software industry. I joined RightNow Technologies, a small, but rapidly growing SaaS CRM, where I served a global customer base in professional services.
I loved traveling the world and working closely with customers to help implement the product.
When the CEO asked if I would be interested in joining the product management team at the company’s headquarters in Montana, I jumped at the opportunity to move there. As the company evolved over the next 10 years, so did my product management expertise. For example, when we moved from a strict waterfall approach to embracing agile methodologies, I got certified as a scrum master.
It was amazing to be part of a company that had under 400 employees when I started in 2004 and then grew to more than 1100 employees by the time it was acquired by Oracle in 2011. By then, I was managing a team that owned the contact center service solution, which generated 40 percent of the revenue for Oracle Service Cloud.
I was meeting many of my professional goals — launching and evangelizing the solution through product demos, presentations, and related collateral.
One day, I was checking my LinkedIn feed and saw a job posting from Aha! — the ad was for a remote Customer Success Senior Manager with product management experience. Intrigued, I clicked.
I started exploring the Aha! website and realized it was the solution that I had always needed but did not know existed. The more blog posts I read, the more I knew this was the type of company I wanted to work for — this was a company that was going places while doing it differently.
Researching Aha! also made me realize how much I still had to learn and grow as a product manager. I knew that joining this team would mean getting to help companies align the work they are doing back to their goals and strategy. It was a challenge that excited me.
Since joining, I have been impressed every day by the product, the team, the company culture, and the leadership at Aha!
I love that working remotely has allowed me to stay in my adoptive home state of Montana — with the added benefit of traveling to destination locations for the Aha! onsites twice a year.
Being part of a team that is making a difference in helping companies deliver successful products gives me a sense of accomplishment every day. And of course, I love that the company has big goals and many accomplishments too.
That is why I joined Aha! — and why you should too.