Finding Your Way in a Startup

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The opportunity to make an impact. It’s all you can ask for, really, when starting a career. At GetintheLoop, I’m incredibly fortunate to have that opportunity.

My journey with GetintheLoop started in the summer of 2016, but let’s go back to late 2015. I was graduating university without a clear path forward. Stressful, to say the least. We’re supposed to have everything mapped out after spending five years in university, right? Not the case for me as a business student specializing in marketing and entrepreneurship. Do I start a business myself? Do I work in creative marketing? Is communications or sales more of a fit? I had completed a year of co-op work during school, so I knew marketing or entrepreneurship or sales or communications or public relations was the realm for me, but that’s four too many “or’s” for the clarity I wanted and needed.

Don’t get me wrong – I highly encourage anyone with the opportunity to work co-op during school to take it. Through this varied experience, the path towards impact opportunity on a daily basis, with no two days the same, became more and more of a priority for me. I was working in these organizations, taking entrepreneurship in school, and pondering the direction I wanted to take with my career.

Late 2015 I had officially finished classes and took off for Australia and Southeast Asia. My worldview was impacted, meeting and talking with backpackers from all over the world, and I started to gain some of that career clarity. How could I really, truly, make an impact (or at least try to)? Priorities started to solidify in my mind, as I returned to Canada and looked for my first job post-university. I settled on engagement over complacency, potential over security, equity over a higher salary. I wanted to work for a startup.

Enter GetintheLoop. I had heard of this unique local marketing company, but didn’t know too much more before looking into a position called “Partner Success Manager.” The company seemed high-energy and ambitious, with great potential. I applied and the rest, they say, is history.

My first role with GetintheLoop, working in the Kelowna office, was managing the success of our business partners. It included a mix of marketing consulting, communications and sales – at a startup. It ticked all of the boxes I was looking for, and as a result was incredibly valuable and meaningful work. Day-to-day included speaking with GetintheLoop businesses, researching their industry and key success factors, determining how incentive-based marketing fit into their operations and how to see success with such a strategy. Daily learning was inevitable – more than I could ever ask for in my first post-university position. When I suggested a specific set of promotions to achieve a business goal, executed with the partner, and heard how it was positively affecting their business, I truly felt I was making an impact.

These day-to-day activities were eventually complemented with the opportunity to create. Working within a startup environment, the ability to add value and take initiative is ingrained into our culture. As I got a handle on my role, becoming extremely comfortable working in a high-energy, high-achieving environment, the opportunity to create presented itself more and more often. I loved it. When something really worked talking to a partner, or an email sequence led to higher engagement, I can always think – how do we scale this? How can I share this new process with my co-workers to improve as a company? After my co-op experience, I really valued this ability to create, add value to the company daily, and see the results first-hand.

Over time, the Partner Success department continue to grow and change. Training and leading others became part of my responsibilities. Again, I loved it. The same journey I went through as a newly minted Partner Success Manager, seeing the impact our product can make for businesses, I was now seeing for other people. Success for one was success for the team. I could see this, affect this, and help grow a strong culture.

Keeping with the theme of opportunity and growth, fast forward to the summer of 2017. I had been with GetintheLoop for a year to that point, the best year I could ask for: learning, creating, and executing our company’s strategy with business partners. One day, I heard we were looking for a business development manager in Victoria. This role was a progression of the work I had already been doing. Working with existing business partners flowed to gaining new partners. Many of our sales team had worked in Partner Success in the past: hearing what worked for businesses and proper methods of communication and time management, to name a few key factors. These skills I had developed over the past year led directly to explaining GetintheLoop to prospective partners and responding to their feedback.

I thought back to my university mentor. She would always talk about taking advantage of opportunities, when presented with something worth going after. You never know what will happen unless you go for it. Moving to Vancouver Island? Exciting – I had lived there in the past. Moving to a business development role? Exciting – I had built the skills needed to be successful. Without any big doubts, I told myself to go for it.

Fast forward again to April 2018. I’ve been working in Victoria for eight months and – this is a theme – absolutely love it. The strength of our team, our processes, and embracing the challenge has led to an incredible sense of fulfillment and promise. Promise of today, tomorrow, and what’s to come. It’s incredible to truly believe in your company and see the value you create. I feel extremely fortunate for my GetintheLoop experience to date, but it all goes back to my university mentor. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky. I believed in GetintheLoop, not only for how my career could progress, but for the opportunity to make an impact.

By Daniel Andrews, Vancouver Island Business Development Manager

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