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“Become an Expert, Become Invaluable”

Molly MitchellWomen in Tech Interview with Molly, Business Implementation Manager at Skaled

Women in Technology WNY is here to feature the stories of women in our local community and the various technology roles they fill, traditional and non-traditional. TechBuffalo is here to highlight these women to encourage others to not only explore technology opportunities but to take advantage of them. After bonding over our shared love of travel, working remotely in COVID-19 and my kitten making consistent appearances, Molly and I delved deeper into how a Craigslist Ad led to her career as a prominent sales tech and strategy professional.

C: Molly, can you share a little bit about yourself and your background?

M: Yeah! So, I graduated from Buffalo State in 2014 with my bachelor’s degree in public communications. I started as an education major. I had always thought that I wanted to be a teacher. I ended up switching my major sophomore year because I wasn’t enjoying the curriculum, I felt like it didn’t align with me, personality-wise. I switched my major to public communication as it felt like a broader field and a better fit for me. I got my degree and moved down to Florida for a year and returned to Buffalo in 2015. I started looking for a job with no idea what type of job I was looking for, just something with a decent salary. I ended up finding this job at a local company in Buffalo starting as a sales development representative. It turns out this position kicked off my career. I had never used a CRM before and now I was using multiple platforms like Salesforce and Outreach. I was doing very well and quickly became a Customer Success Manager.

C: So how did you come into your current role?

M: Through all my previous Outreach experience had Skaled, my current company, knocking on my door. We are partners with Outreach, and we handle their implementation process. I went from being an end-user of Outreach to an admin to now implementing Outreach, all because I started from a random sales job that I found on Craigslist. Kind of ironic the whole trajectory because at the core of it has always been me being an expert in this piece of technology.

C: Your journey has been very interesting. What is your typical day like in your current role?

M: The fun thing is every day is a little different. So, the implementation process to get from point A to B follows a relatively similar path across all organizations. I spend some time interviewing our clients; I call them workflow interviews. I need to understand when they log in for the day where do they go first. Are they logging into Salesforce first? Are they logging into their inbox first? Where are they most comfortable working out oven then? All the systems are working cohesively and so making sure that we’re not duplicating work for the sales reps. Lots of conversations asking questions making sure important takeaway are included as the focus for the next step, but each implementation takes about 3-4 weeks.

Sometimes I’ll come in and work on some internal clients with their technology needs. If they need help with outreach or other technology, we will do a Tech Stack audit. One of the biggest issues we see is companies think that you buy technology and it fixes something and you never look at it again. Never check in on it and do any updates. Like a set it and forget it type of thing and you can’t! It’s a living breathing organism, your CRM is all your data! My biggest take away from this job in the last year is the implementation part of technology is the most important part, because if it’s not set up right from the beginning like it’s never going to work. 

C: So the tech industry as we know has historically been a male-dominated field. Do you feel as though your gender has affected your career? 

M:  I think that there are dynamics that get created without people really realizing it. Sometimes ideas could be potentially under minded or you know, not taken seriously. Then sometimes I think is it just because it’s me? I’ve been about 10 years younger than almost all of my coworkers and people on like the same level as me, so I think that’s you know it’s the worst combination of the two, you know, like a woman and young. But you know, there’s always that one. So, I went to a sales meeting like their sales kickoffs or whatever and it was a team of 35 salesmen that were probably 45 and up. I had to give a presentation in front of the entire organization and before I got up the one guy said that he’d listen to anything I’d say wearing those pants. Its little comments like that that people think are funny are just so unnecessary.

You know that’s one great thing about remote life. You don’t have to constantly think about what to wear and how certain clothing you wear doesn’t create that kind of environment. I will say my current boss is one of the most progressive in all the things that matter in society. We have open dialogues about black lives matters and where we should be educating ourselves. He is consistently promoting equality with gender in our leadership teams and highlighting our triumphs. I told him about this interview, and he was like “hell yeah, you’re a woman and in technology!”. He’s a hype guy for everybody in the company.

C: I love it! I’m glad your boss is so encouraging. You mentioned that you were remote working because you work for a company based in Austin, Texas. What’s that like?

M: Yeah so, I’ve been working from home for a while. When the rest of the world’s switched to remote life, I was feeling a little guilty because I was already remote, and it wasn’t a shift for me. It is kind of funny though I don’t have any coworkers in Buffalo, there are people all throughout the country that work for my consulting firm. But it’s not like hey, anyone want to go ahead grab happy hour drinks. I would travel a lot for this job too. I would go to Seattle a lot and Austin. It felt more glamorous prior to COVID.

C: So, what kept you in Buffalo?

M: Its funny everyone always asks me that and I have considered moving to Austin, but at the end of the day I have a ginormous family and they’re all in Buffalo. My mom’s one of eight kids and five out of the eight siblings are around here. They have kids and some of those kids have kids. When we have a small get together it’s like 75 people.

C: We’ve talked a bit about your journey in the technology industry. What advice would you give to people who are looking to get into the tech field?

M: So, advice that I would give to people wanting to get into tech is to not be afraid to break things. That’s one of the biggest things I see when people are struggling to adopt technology. They’re like, “Oh, I didn’t know I could click there”. Just click there and figure it out! A lot of the things that I’ve learned have been self-taught and it’s just been me testing out and like seeing what happens.

C: In your opinion, how do we get more young women and women interested in the tech field?

M: People look at tech as something that is intimidating. Technology is such a broad term and there are so many facets. The company your working at is using some type of technology. If there’s a certain platform or system that like you like working in ask the person in the operations department a little bit more about it, learn and become a product expert and that could be something that opens up a lot of doors for you. That’s kind of what I did with outreach. I started using it and immediately asked can I just have access to do everything and they’re like sure. I became an expert in it and it’s literally led me to where I am now.


Thank you Molly for your advice and your time! If you are interested in learning more about Molly check out her LinkedIn. Learn more about Skaled, here.