For my project work to complete my Master’s, I was fortunate enough to serendipitously fall into a role at an Italian Based, Global, eCommerce start up with clients around the world. First off, how did this all happen?
Well since I made the move to Milan and started Grad School, I was challenged to start blogging, and as I learned about finding my style and my voice in my blog, I wrote a post that exploded, ‘My Grad School Adventure: Football (American) in Italy’. I had a blast writing about my experiences and lessons, as well as educating my family, friends, and readers about my experience here. This lead to one Tommaso Finadri, President, CTO, and Co-Founder of Beast Technologies to read it as he is a player on the Parma Panthers American Football Team (the same Parma Panthers from John Grisham’s book ‘Playing for Pizza’, side bar: read it, it is a lot like the experiences I am having here).
When I first got his email I was cautious, I had made the decision to leave a good Sales Job to explore the world and get a Master’s in Milan with the thought that I was going to fall into working at a Big Luxury Fashion Brand and live the life of the Fashion Industry (think ‘Devil Wears Prada’). But I entertained it and after learning about the product, a Strength Tracker that hinges on Data Analytics and IoT or internet of things, I was very intrigued. Also the name was Beast Technologies and the quote I have had as the background of my computer since I made the move was, “Everyone wants to be a Beast, until it’s time to do what Beasts do”, coincidence?
While I was in B2B Sales and Marketing I worked in the IT industry and learned a lot about technology and start ups and paid careful attention to the start up scene in Des Moines and followed companies like Dwolla. I have always been an early adopter of Social Media and jumped on the Spotify and Snap Chat train from day 1, just like I did with Twitter and Facebook in high school. I also love the laid back culture you get inside a startup.
So I decided to jump in head first and see what I could do to help a startup that launched just 2 years ago, into a new market, grab its footing and grow the company. My role at Beast was to come in a put on many hats blending my experience in Account Management and Sales, with my passion for Content Creation and growing our Social Media footprint. I currently am the Content Marketing Manager and Head of International Partnerships. In my role I manage a small team of 5 across Marketing, Sales, and eCommerce/Customer Support.
Things I have learned and like about a startup, freedom to try out new things. I have established a Content Marketing Roadmap, something we did not have before, and have the freedom to try and do things to create buzz and generate awareness. I am getting to blend my schooling with my passion.
Working in a startup is dynamic, different, always changing, and you have to be able to handle multiple roles and have the ability to pivot as needed, a skill I learned in Sales and honing here. I was able to spend some time with a professor in Barcelona who has founded 2 startups and after talking to him about the future of startups, I couldn’t be more excited about my role here and all the lessons that lie before me.
I love to compete, I love being the new kid on the block, the underdog, and I love to surprise people, so what better opportunity to drive this and work in a startup. To end with an often overused quote, “I didn’t choose the startup life, the startup life chose me.”