March 20, 2018 by texasbbacareerservices
Graduated from University of Miami 2005, Major: Marketing
Current title: Instagram Business Marketing Lead, North America.
Please tell us about your career path and how you found your way to Instagram.
I started my career at a young age by participating in internships. My first internship was when I was in high school, and I interned for a small marketing firm (Dickinson & Associates) in Fort Myers, Florida. The CEO and founder of the start up was (and still is) one of my mentors. I did everything from paint walls of his office to help balance the company checkbook – and everything in between. It really helped me see the in’s and out’s of entrepreneurship. Throughout my time at the University of Miami, I interned at many different companies – from a small PR firm in Miami to Burger King Corporate Headquarters (on their product marketing team). I was able to work with many types of people and teams – some of which I still keep in touch with today. My last internship prior to graduating was at Crispin Porter + Bogusky, an ad agency that was in Miami (now based in Boulder and a couple other cities around the world). Upon graduation, they hired me to work on the Volkswagen of America account on their account services team. I worked insane hours, developed a strong work ethic, and met life long friends along the way. After two years, I was hungry for a change to see the non-agency side of the business. I transitioned (after quite a bit of job searching & interviewing) over to the tech side of the business and landed at Google. I was there for just over 7 years across sales teams then moved over to sales marketing. I lived all over the USA with Google – and even did a short term business assignment in Singapore, which was incredible. I loved my time at Google, but after 7 years, I was eager to try out another part of tech. I landed a job as business marketer number five on the Instagram Business Marketing team at Facebook Inc. I’m going into my third year (this May), and it’s been incredible. I started in a global role – traveling the world and helping prove that Instagram “inspires action” for marketers, and as of this January, I’ve moved into a management role leading our Instagram Business North America efforts. It’s been quite a career journey since my high school and college days, but I’m proud of the journey – and I hope it inspires you to find and map out your own career journey. There are SO many opportunities the world brings, so embrace it all each day at time!
What do you like about working for Instagram?
I enjoy working at Instagram for a number of reasons. Instagram (like Facebook, our parent company) is a mission driven organization. It helps give us a north star to focus our efforts on. At Instagram, our mission is to strengthen relationships through shared experiences. Instagram has a larger onboarding program within Facebook, and then new hires (called n00bs) also get Instagram onboarding sessions with our leaders. Because we’re a part of the Facebook family, there are many career opportunities you can pursue – so often you’ll see people move from Facebook to Instagram (and vice versa) or move over to WhatsApp or Messenger. This internal career mobility is encouraged, and employees can work with their managers to help them figure out what their best next role is and what timing makes the most sense. And for the fun part, Facebook provides breakfast, lunch, and dinner (at most office locations & the cafés are SO delicious), wellness reimbursement, generous maternity and paternity leaves, and so much more. Facebook/Instagram truly want to make their employees’ lives better while they are working (and when they are not). We definitely work hard and often that means long hours or extensive travel, but Facebook’s benefits and insurance strive to take care of their employees. Our workplace is fun, open air seating (no one has closed offices) to reflect the transparency of our culture, and each office has a local touch. For example, in our local Austin office, I helped make a huge life size Instagram glyph because “everything is bigger in Texas”. We’ve also highlighted many local Austin artists on several of the walls to help make them feel a part of our community.
What does this job entail?
My current role has me wearing many hats – from managing a budget, to helping our teams work more efficiently (aka- operations), planning out a go-to-market strategy for our teams to partner with me on, to executing events for our clients around the USA & Canada. I work closely with my other regional counterparts so I’m always learning and scaling – whether it’s an initiative in Asia Pacific, Europe, or Latin America. I work with many cross functional teams (both inside and outside of marketing) to help make my projects come to life. I work closely with teams such as: designers, copywriters, legal, PR/comms, investor relations, brand marketing, etc. We’re still a relatively small company at Instagram, so we tap into many team members within the Facebook family of apps and services. No two days are the same in my role, and that keeps the job fun and challenging at the same time. My days truly fly by, and I enjoy the people I work with.
What skills make a person successful in this position?
I think communication skills are key. We are in a very fast moving tech industry – and one of our company values is “move fast”. In order to do that, you must think quickly, understand best next steps/people to loop in, and agree on best way forward to get a project done. Being able to articulate updates in person, via video conferencing, via email, and via Messenger is key. Other skills that I lean on: organization, creative brainstorming, project management, public speaking, teamwork, ability to learn on the job, management, etc. I flex so many of these skills every day, and my past experience has helped me build this toolbox of skills. Another key skill/trait that is important is having a positive, can-do attitude. No job is easy, but having the right attitude makes the job better plus makes people want to work with you more to help make projects a success. We also look for leadership. Someone that can lead but doesn’t micromanage is key within our company. Leaders empower their employees to perform to the best of their strengths (as we are a strengths-based company).
Please share your general career advice?
Network, network, network. Be open to meeting new people at all parts of your career. The world is small and professional work paths cross more often than not. Always make sure your LinkedIn is updated. Pro tip: As you progress in your career, don’t forget to write (and ask for!) recommendations on LinkedIn – you’ll have those forever. Always be fine tuning your resume, and don’t be afraid to ask more people (ex. Like your mentors) to look over your resume for their feedback. Think big. Take risks. Focus on the companies you want to work for and figure out the best path to get into those companies. Make the most of your internships – and do as many as you can while you are in school. They will really help show you want sort of role you will be happiest in post college. And follow your passions as much as you can. You want to wake up in the morning feeling like you are doing a job that matters to you – and to the world.