I was a part of CloudHealth’s story from the very beginning.
“Women coming out of business schools, looking to advance their careers, are looking elsewhere,” according to a recent study by Catalyst about the gender divide in technology-intensive industries. Anna Beninger, the report author, says women see these testosterone-fueled tech cultures, “and they run screaming.”
But not Adrienne Cochrane (’09), Hacer Demiroers (’11), and Livja Jaho (’14), UMass Boston College of Management grads who have chosen careers in the high-risk, high-reward local high tech economy. They are finding the keys to advancement, which have a lot to do with being around people they can count on, while simultaneously being someone that others can rely on.
While at UMass Boston, Livja Jaho (’14) took advantage of work done by the VDC’s first entrepreneur in residence, Dan Phillips. Phillips has strong ties to the local tech community, having launched several successful companies. He created the student entrepreneurship program (StEP) that prepared over 100 students for internships arranged at the best venture backed startups in Massachusetts.
“I met Dan through the StEP program, when I was looking for an internship my first semester of my junior year.”
She landed one at Sustainable Minds where she worked for seven months.
When Phillips decided to launch his next company, CloudHealth Technologies, Inc., he immediately recruited Livja as an intern. When she graduated, he hired her full-time as a Marketing Specialist.
“I didn’t know that I wanted to get into tech, I just wanted some marketing experience, but two internships through the StEP program made me realized that tech was the way of the future – and that’s where I want to be.”
As a Marketing Specialist at CloudHealth, Jaho’s duties stretched from supporting the sales team with lead generation, to effectively managing the Salesforce database, to creating, measuring and analyzing e-mail and social media campaigns.
With so many companies relying on the cloud for data backup, software applications and more, CloudHealth’s services let companies monitor their performance, analyze how to best maximize all the features of the cloud, and track issues that arise more quickly and affordably. The company recently raised another $12 million, and added Ariel Tseitlin, formerly the director of cloud solutions for Netflix, to its board of directors.
According to Livja, “The most rewarding part of my job is being able to say I was a part of CloudHealth’s story from the very beginning. When I was a student at UMass Boston, I became the third person to join the CloudHealth team as a part-time intern. Two years later, I am humbled to work alongside a thirty (and rapidly growing) person team of some of the brightest engineers, sales and marketing professionals in the industry.”
“The culture of CloudHealth is a big part of the reason I am excited to come to work everyday. The pay isn’t bad either! The compensation is up to par with what I was expecting for a startup (which is typically less then the average salary in a bigger company), but I received some awesome benefits that one typically wouldn’t get in a bigger company.”
What career advice does she have for students who want to follow in her foot steps?
“Grasping all there was to know about the cloud industry was my biggest challenge, because it was a completely new territory for me. The key is to not worry about messing up! Fear of failure keeps you from growing, achieving and succeeding.”
She advises her peers to take on new projects and responsibilities with excitement.
“Your boss wants you to ask for help when you are unsure or have questions. Asking questions and admitting you need more clarification shows that you are engaged and really want to understand what is going on. It’s not always easy to ask for help, because it makes you feel vulnerable. But, you aren’t supposed to know everything right off the bat and nobody expects you to – so don’t put that kind of pressure on yourself. Don’t pretend you understand everything in order to seem smart – smart people ask for help.”
When I told Livja I was also interviewing Hacer Demiroers (’11), Director of Operations at Localytics, for this series of stories, she immediately asked me to make an introduction. She told Hacer, “I have heard so many great things about you that have inspired me to meet and discuss your journey as a woman in tech – and how you arrived at your role as Director of Operations at Localytics.”
Next: Adrienne Cochrane’s new job.