Below is a guide written by Matthew Whyte, 2022 Summer Marketing Intern at HubSpot. As a result of interviews with HubSpot employees, this guide provides college students with information about working in tech and tips for success in the role.
HubSpot offers Marketing, Sales, Customer Success, Engineering, Associate Product Management (APM), and People Operations roles. While these tips come from HubSpot employees, they could apply to interview processes at other tech companies.
Marketing – Chloe Washington, Ben Johnson, Margaret Kelly, Sam Cahoon, Hollis Baker, and Lisa Edwards
What is Marketing?
- Marketing is the engine that drives and grows your business. It is all about how you message what you are selling and how to create the best message for your customers.
What is the best advice you have for college students interested in Marketing?
- Explain your interests to your manager firsthand and be transparent about your career goals. Remember that your manager wants to help you.
- Be a sponge. If you have the opportunity to learn something, take that on. You will get skills that won’t limit you in one field in the future.
- Participate in meaningful internships or join an organization on campus. Think about how you can obtain the most professional experience possible.
- Find a workplace that aligns with your values. This can be a range of things like working somewhere you have flexibility. Discover what matters to you so you don’t feel stuck somewhere.
- Sometimes you won’t get the job the first time, so don’t give up on the job you want. You have to be persistent in your job search.
What is the difference between Sales and Marketing?
- Organizations tend to have strong connections between Sales & Marketing.
- Sales teams have a great ear for what customers say about your product and know the competitors. For example, if you play competitive sports, then Sales is a great field for you.
- Marketers also talk to the customers, but it is not as direct. Think about Marketing as how you influence the sale.
Sales – Andre Ragel, Dan Tyre, Robert Barnes, Ryan Lund, and Fiorella Cardenas
What is Sales?
- Sales is the door that a prospective customer walks into. People in Sales bring customers into the business and are the first crucial interaction with the customer.
What is the best advice you have for college students interested in Sales?
- You want to craft a good story about your personal experience and how it brought you to a Sales career.
- Read at least one sales book. A few book recommendations are Read “To Sell is Human” by Daniel Pink or “Inbound Organization” by Dan Tyre.
- Be coachable – do you actively want to learn what you are doing? Are you active with the learning process and able to implement feedback?
What traits have you seen in successful interns/employees at HubSpot in Sales?
- Being naturally curious about people. You can be curious by being able to ask questions.
- The ability to handle rejection is the name of the game. Rejection often happens in a sales environment.
- A lot of sales roles can be repetitive, so you have to clearly understand what you are doing and whether you need to sell to a difficult market.
- Read the room. You can be the smartest person in the room, but you can’t be the best. You need to have good Emotional Intelligence to be successful. Successful salespeople are good at determining what motivates people and what is required to change behavior.
Customer Success – Shaun Collupy, Caroline Fernandes, Priya Kapoor, Brandi Marie Wilson, and Julia Gentillo
What is Customer Success?
- Customer Success is the magnet keeping customers in the business. At HubSpot, Customer Success focuses on proactively working with customers to help them gain more value with your business.
What is the difference between Customer Support and Customer Success?
- Customer Support is more on the front line fielding customer questions, problems, and requests. Think of Support as the function that solves problems for customers in real-time when they experience them. At HubSpot, Customer Support roles are the most common open roles making it a great opportunity to get a job in Tech.
- Customer Success proactively works with customers to help them gain more value for your business through customer feedback. You can learn more about the difference between them here.
What is the best advice you have for college students interested in Customer Success?
- By creating your own path, you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing.
- You need to be curious. In Customer Success, people need to be curious and can get to the bottom of things.
- You will experience daily challenges working in Customer Success, so you need to be excited about tackling problems.
- Hone your time management and organization skills. These will make your job a lot easier throughout your career.
What specific activities will prepare college students interested in Customer Success?
- Leadership experience in college can help you learn valuable skills. Don’t spread yourself too thin; pick 1 or 2 that speak to your career and focus on them.
- Being involved in different organizations on campus that organize and do event planning will give you the chance to develop basic communication tools.
- Professional experience where you are required to communicate with others on a daily basis is very helpful. Through this experience, you can show you have the required skills for a career in Customer Success.
As someone who interviews candidates for customer success roles at HubSpot, what do you look for?
- “I look for a willingness to learn from candidates. This can be shown through a growth mindset, demonstrating how you deal with failure and uncertainty. I also like to see professional internship experiences where you learn how to talk to different people in different roles. These cross-functional communication skills are necessary for a career in Customer Success.” – Julia Gentillo
Engineering – David Itkin, Risi Ademola, Phillip Bedward, Hector Morales, Becky Lanzieri, Zachary Lozano, and Joha Kim
What is Engineering?
What is the best advice you have for college students interested in Engineering?
- Pick up projects to brush up on your coding skills and aim to be fluent in whichever language you want to specialize in.
- Those who self-start on projects and solve problems for people stand out. As an engineer, problem-solving is so important.
- Ownership is important. Not being the tech lead doesn’t mean you can’t contribute. If you ask your Team Lead something like, “Why are we using Java instead of Python?” this shows that you are thinking like an engineer.
- Make sure to get exposure to the front end and back end. It can kind of lock you in when you decide which one you want to go with.
- Engineering Co-Ops can help you discover your career interests and what type of company you want to work for. As a result, you can discover more about what you like and don’t like.
- No matter what role you play, clear communication is so important. Consulting can help develop communication skills and how to set expectations appropriately.
- You can apply your learnings in internships to the classroom. As you learn, it is great to bring others along with you. Building those soft skills and learning early on is super important as an Engineer.
What helped you out in the engineering recruiting process?
- Take the extra time to do your research. Look up the company and come up with questions. Have at least 1-2 questions for each person you interview with.
- Startups are a great way to gain exposure to a lot of teams. You can write code for many different scenarios and gain experience working cross-functionally.
- You want to learn how to operate your own code. Think about how you can set up your future self for success to figure out what has gone wrong? How can you make the experience as great as possible for the customer?
What does your day-to-day look like as an entry-level software engineer?
- “I tend to have an average of 3 meetings per day. My day tends to consist of 3 main things, including: Group team meetings discussing issues, 1:1s with managers and Team Leads to discuss issues + gain advice on tasks, and heads down time to work on our own projects.” – Joha Kim
Associate Product Management (APM) – Eric Peters, Heather Harte, Jeff Ausura, Mona Salvi, Kelly Eng, and Alex Girard
What is an Associate Product Manager?
- Associate Product Managers are entry-level Product Managers (PMs). Typically you operate as an APM for a couple of years until you transition into a full Product Manager. As an APM, you tend to work directly with a senior PM to learn the ins and outs of the role. PMs help articulate the customer’s needs, define what success looks like for a product, and turn the vision into a reality by rallying your team.
- At HubSpot, PMs work directly with engineers and designers in a triad model. As a PM, you own a piece of a product – largely dependent on the company you work for. Think about it like owning a small subset of the larger puzzle.
What is the best advice you have for college students interested in APM?
- Your first job isn’t that important. Put yourself in a situation where you can learn as much as you can. You can start off in any role like Sales or Marketing, then transition into PM.
- Don’t get hung up from not coming from a technical background. You can come from any walk of life to excel in Product Management.
- As a PM, it is crucial to understand your own personality. You need to enjoy meeting people and building relationships to be successful in your role.
- Figure out if it is something that you want to do. There is a lot of ambiguity in Product Management. The role is not very well defined because you are doing a lot of various activities.
- Life is short, and life is long as well. As you start growing in your career as a PM, you need to be adaptable as you will experience working with different teams and products.
- Get experience in identifying what types of products you want to work with. You can do this through internships or clubs in college.
What traits have allowed you to be a successful Product Manager?
- You need to learn how to prioritize the user first. As a PM, spending significant time interviewing customers enables you to contribute more to your team discussions.
- You need to be able to work on many projects and ask important questions like who your customer is, their problems, and how you can build them a good experience.
- Learn how to have conversations with multiple parties and be able to synthesize takeaways from that. Being a PM involves many interpersonal skills, with the responsibility to communicate with peers, engineers, designers, etc.
What does your day-to-day look like?
- “I start most days checking to see if any customer feedback comes in. If we get any feedback related to my product, I offer to talk to that customer to get more insight. I spend the rest of the day working with my designer and engineer, looking at how to tackle these problems.” – Alex Girard
To explore upcoming career opportunities at HubSpot, visit our careers website.
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