Meet Maya Finkelstein, our own internal mobility success story
How Maya moved from Customer Success to Marketing with WeGloat
Let’s start at the beginning. What brought you to Gloat and what were you doing?
I’ve been at Gloat for about two and half years now. I joined as an Account Manager, which meant I spent most of my day talking to customers, managing client onboarding, and reviewing and signing contracts.
I’ve always been a people person. I studied behavioral science in university, and then I moved into recruiting because I really enjoy connecting with people. I saw firsthand that HR technology can play a powerful role in shaping employees’ professional lives, and it was that experience that inspired me to join Gloat. Working as Account Manager gave me the opportunity to partner with our clients one-on-one to help them harness our technology to change the way they work.
And when did you start thinking about trying something different?
In all aspects of my life, I’m drawn to adventure and I love trying new things. I came to Gloat with previous experience as an Account Manager. While I really enjoyed what I did, I was eager to expand my horizons. I had gotten to a point where I was very comfortable and I knew my role inside and out, so I was interested in exploring something different to keep learning and growing
I once had a boss that kept a picture with a saying that really spoke to me: “You’ll never achieve success without going outside of your comfort zone.” I knew it was time for me to take on a new challenge so that I could continue to develop my career.
So did you set your sights on marketing right away?
It’s funny, I can’t pinpoint the exact moment that marketing really came onto my radar. I had always felt like it was something I might be good at and something I was always interested in.
Since I was curious about it, I decided to do some research to learn more about various marketing positions and what they might entail. I didn’t want to leave Gloat, but I wanted to get a better understanding of the landscape, so I started reviewing some job postings. Pretty much every role I saw asked for years of experience and specialized training. I realized that I would need to work hard and study a lot if I wanted to successfully transition into marketing, but I was really excited about the idea of puling it off.
What was going through your mind as you contemplated what to do next?
There was a lot I was thinking about. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to find a role in a field that was so new to me. I wasn’t even sure I would like it in the long run. I also didn’t want to leave Gloat because I really do love it here. I love the people, and I’ve been with the company since there were just 40 of us working in one office. So ideally, I wanted to find a way to stay in the same company that I had come to know and love, but to do something different that would allow me to grow.
As I was thinking all of this over, I decided to check out WeGloat, our own internal talent marketplace, to see if there were any part-time marketing projects I could take on. I knew that I would need new skills if I ever wanted to transition full-time and I also wanted to kind of dip my toe in the water before diving into marketing full force. Luckily, I found a gig on the platform that would allow me to do just that!
Can you tell me a little bit more about what working on that project was like?
So I spent about 9 months working on marketing for a part of our product that I was already really familiar with. It was a part-time role, so I was performing all of my responsibilities as an Account Manager and then working on this for a few hours every week.
When I started this project, I realized there was a lot I needed to learn to carry it out successfully. So, I began studying and putting in as many hours as I could to learn new skills. One of the first things I did was teach myself Photoshop, and I’d practice on the weekends to get comfortable with it. As I learned more, I also built up the confidence that I would need to take that next step and make the switch to a full-time marketing role.
How did you make that switch?
The timing was actually really lucky, because the marketing team has just begun looking to fill a junior role. Since I had been matched to that project on WeGloat, I had gotten to know the hiring manager really well, so I felt like I could talk to her. I was a little scared to tell her I wanted the role, but she embraced me right away and told me I was exactly what she was looking for. From there, she took ownership of getting the approvals needed so that I could switch over, and the onboarding was really seamless because I was so familiar with the team and what we were doing from my project work.
Now that we’ve recapped your journey, can you give us a preview into what’s happening now and what’s next?
It has been about six months since I made the jump and I’m now a Marketing Manager. I oversee a lot of the projects our team does, so I’m working with vendors, and managing PR events, collaborations, and campaigns. One of the first projects I worked on in this role was actually activating the new Gloat Force across our entire Linkedin community as part of our recent rebranding journey.
In a way, I think my time as an Account Manager prepared me well, because it taught me a lot about client-vendor relationships and how things actually work. I’m doing something a little bit different every day, which I love because it keeps me busy and there’s always a new challenge. And of course, I’m still checking WeGloat so I can take advantage of more growth opportunities when they come my way.
Do you have any advice you want to leave people with?
Don’t be scared! Making a change can feel intimidating because there’s so much uncertainty. For me personally, I wasn’t sure if I had what it took, and I didn’t know if I’d like working in Marketing. I had also built really close relationships with my customers and my colleagues as an Account Manager, and I couldn’t tell if I’d have a similar experience on a new team.
Now that I’m looking back, I can definitely say that the risk has been worth it! I’m learning so much from our Marketing team, and because I’m growing with Gloat internally, I still get to hold onto the connections I built as an Account Manager. I’m still part of that same community that I know and love, but I’m contributing to it in new ways that empower me to keep growing and evolving.