Progrexion Senior Director, Marketing Technology
University of Utah Masters of Science, Information Systems
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How did you get to where you are today? What is your story? What incidents and experiences shaped your career path?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Feb 11 2020
say, um, you know, the things that I would highlight are obviously kind of starting with the education that I was able to get. That was obviously he. So I started out by just going to dig the state. So I'm a girl. I'm a golfer. So I went down there to play playing the golf team there and just do my kind of general education. Um, and always. My goal was to go to the University of Utah Thio, um, my bachelor's and then graduate. So after I completed the yeah, my general that Dixie I came up to the University of Utah and went to get the business administration program through, Ah, the business school there and then was able to get into the masters of information systems program, which was fairly new at that time. I think I was maybe 1/3 or fourth year that they were offering it, so I was able to get in. I think there was, like, 32 35 students in it at that point. So it was It was a new thing, But, um, that was that was very key for me in that it gave me kind of tangible skills and specific ways to go search the job market for what I was looking for. So I really I really liked ah, project management type stuff and business analyst work. And so it gave me the opportunity to go start searching for those jobs. And so, um, not only were like the skills that I got there really important, but the relationships I build there were really important as well. So John sold in who I think still teaches up there at the U. He was actually running the program at the time, and he was just a key relationship that I was able to develop, and he taught me a lot, was a really good mentor, and that kind of led to future things in my career as well. So I think I would highlight the skills that I was able to develop, kind of focusing in and narrowing what I wanted to look for in the job market and then the networking and relationships I was able to build in the program. We're super valuable and important. Um, And then while I was in the program, I started an internship at Discover card, so I was able thio do a project management and internship with them. So they have Ah, satellite I t office here in Salt Lake City. Out it. Ah, there, Allen West Valley at their call center location. And so I was able Thio to do, ah, technology based project management internship with them. Um learned a lot in that process, and then they hired me on full time, Um, after the internship. So once I finish the program at the you, then I started full time with Discover And what I would say about discoveries there, obviously Ah, very successful company. They're very large. They have a lot of process and system within the organization. And so I was able to learn Ah, lot of those a lot of those things while working there and And obviously there's There's a lot of really smart, really good people there. And so I learned a lot from just working with them every day. Um, the one thing that I was missing, though, was really feeling like I was having an impact. Obviously, when you're in that type of organization, it's so big that you don't feel like you're necessarily moving the needle, and so That's when I started lurk looking elsewhere. And that's when actually, John sold in, um was working at progression, which is where I'm at today currently. And he, ah reached out to me about an opportunity within their project management office that he was actually chartering and starting with with the company here. And so I moved over in and and went to work with him here, a progression. And now I'm I'm still with progression today, so that's kind of, um, how things went for me at that point, so

What are the responsibilities and decisions that you handle at work? Discuss weekly hours you spend in the office, for work travel, and working from home.

Based on experience at: Senior Director, Marketing Technology, Progrexion
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Feb 11 2020
Fisher s. Oh, my role of progression is my manage. Um, well, we call our marketing technology as well as our digital marketing. Um, responsibilities. So what that means is, I really have responsibility for kind of a full end to end digital flow within the business. So both on the ad buying side and the media side all the way through the Web experience, too. The digital conversion that takes place. And so my team spans. Ah, skill set of media buyers. So people that are buying advertising on Google, Facebook, um, other platforms that we that we do media on, um and then I have Web optimization and strategies. So people that are are responsible for developing conversion rate optimization on our website. So we do a lot of baby testing, and we do a lot of things like Aso managing those processes. And then I have Web development, um, and Web analysts skill sets as well. So people that are actually building our marketing sites and our Web experiences, um, and people that are measuring the outcomes and what's happening. And so really, that's that's kind of where my responsibility lies, so it covers kind of that full and and digital fun on, which is which is super fun. And, um, you know, it's kind of a unique, a unique role that I actually helped create within the organization from the marketing technology side. So we do have a night, the organization an I T department. Um, but I saw kind of a gap within the York where we didn't really have platforms and systems that enabled rapid development and rapid adoration and testing. And so we we were able to put a team together that could support that. And we leverage adobes technology to do that. So we use Adobes Content Management system, which is called Adobe Experienced Manager. So that's where we do all of our Web development. We use Adobe Target to run over a be testing, and then we use a dopey analytics to do all the measurement of what's happening within our Web experiences. And so my team has is responsible for all those tools and then all the work that happens within those tools. SoI would say it's probably it's typically, you know, maybe 50 to 55 hours a week. Um, that I'm working. Um, I am in the office every day, So we're based here in Salt Lake City downtown. So our offices second south and Second East, Um, and I just live close here in the valley. So I come into the office every day. Um and then I do work from home on occasion with, if they're certain projects that were working on our certain initiatives that require, um, we're a call centre business. And so sometimes we have to make changes and do things outside of call center hours. So that will require us to be out later at night for deploying different code or making these changes t the systems that we we make those changes off hours and validate those things at those times. So that happens. It's not very frequent. It's, you know, at most once a month, nothing. Nothing too crazy. Um, but at most times, spank her in the office, so

What tools (software programs, frameworks, models, algorithms, languages) do you use at work? Do you prefer certain tools more than the others? Why?

Based on experience at: Senior Director, Marketing Technology, Progrexion
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Feb 11 2020
Yes, I I kind of mentioned this previously, but we use a lot of the adobe software. So a M has been a big they're experienced manager, a form we've spent. We've invested a lot there and really building out a web platform that can enable rapid adoration and testing like I talked about. So, um, you know, I've learned a lot about that software, and we leverage that every single day. Um, Adobe Target, like I mentioned, that that's a tool that gives us the ability to run a be testing on the website. So if we wanna serve ex experience 50% of the time versus why were ableto use that tool to do that, um, we use the dough. I used Adobe analytics every day. So, you know, using that to measure our wet performance on what's happening on our website and what's working, what's not where the opportunities are? Um, honestly, we use Excel a lot, so doing a lot of just manual kind of custom reporting or analysis that we want to do well, leverage excel to do all that. So whether that's just, you know, doing correlation analysis within Excel or doing just basic pivot tables and just basic reporting toe. Understand what's happening. We do that. We do use SQL a lot, though. Um, that's a language that we that I use in my team uses on a daily basis. So queer in the database and understanding trends, actually what's happening within the business and then also building out reporting via tableau. On top of that, so tableaus another tool that we use. And that's really a visual visualization software for reporting. So you know, any time we want to put like a report, but to our executives or senior leadership, whatever may be well used use tableaux to do that. Um, and then we do. We do have a date. A science team here is well, and so I I'm not responsible for that for that group. But we do work with them, and so they're using our and Python and those frameworks to do, ah, you know, machine learning, modeling and and leveraging that within our business. So those were those were kind of the main ones. And from a preference standpoint, I mean, I'm a big fan of what Adobe offers. Obviously, that's that's so I prefer, prefer their tooling I'm very familiar with it, very familiar how to use it. That's obviously a nice thing to have, but other than that, I think everything's pretty much pretty straightforward, and I don't really have preferences one way or the other, so

What things do you like about your job? Were there any pleasant surprises?

Based on experience at: Senior Director, Marketing Technology, Progrexion
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Feb 11 2020
I like most is, um I really like the people that I work with and like developing a team. So I really like, uh, kind of team building and being ableto put an effective team together and have that responsibility and see people succeed. That's Ah, that's really going to be a part of on. The other thing that I really like about here in particular is that I feel like we're pretty innovative. Um, you know, we're trying to push the limits and, like our leadership, supports that we wantto have creative ideas and unique ideas and then be able t o be empowered to go test and learn and understand what we're somewhat doesn't. And so being in that environment, Superfund more very analytics driven. We're very data science driven eso Just being a part of a new organization that's that's focused on those things is is really fun to be a part of on. And I've also been enabled to, um, kind of half ideas on how the structure teams or kind of Borg different groups and what would make the most sense. And I've been empowered to be able to do that. And so that's been That's a lot of that's fun to be a part of and fun tohave that trust, right? So it z been good from that standpoint, I've learned a lot. So obviously I'm you know, I graduated back in 2012. So, like, eight years into my career, and I'm still on Michael Learning mode, and so there's a lot of great people in a lot of things that I'm learning each day. So that's that's fun to be a part of his. Well, um I guess from, ah, like, pleasant, surprise standpoint, I think one of the things that I was surprised about is just you can have a pretty big impact in an organization like early on, even if you feel like you're kind of early in your career. But you're motivated, you're motivated. You have You know you're capable. You have the ability to think analytically. Um, you you you follow up. You do what you say you're gonna do. You prove that out, like you can gain trust really quick, and you can then really have a nim packed more immediate than what you may have thought you could. And so that's That's something that was pleasant kind of a surprise to me that I learned as I, um, got into my career and kind of figured out Hey, you know what? I don't I don't need toe take a back seat. Necessarily. Like, if I can prove all these things out, then I can I can go have an impact, so

What are the job titles of people you routinely work with inside and outside of your organization? What approaches do you find to be effective in working with them?

Based on experience at: Senior Director, Marketing Technology, Progrexion
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Feb 11 2020
titles of people within inside the company. So my boss is the VP of marketing operations, So I was working with him a lot. So he he's responsible for technology analytics on data science within the marketing department. So, um, that's kind of the group that they he manages and runs, and so I'm a part of that. So I work a lot with, obviously with him and then my peers within that. So I worked with our our our head of data science are ahead of an Alex, worked with those those teams quite a bit on and then other areas of market, and we work with our marketing channels. We have, like, different channels within marketing that that that get our message out there and then get people to us. Eso well, I work with our partnerships group a lot. I work with RS CEO teams a lot. I work with kind of other groups within the marketing department, creative or creative teams that are doing like our ad creative and all that. Then I work with our compliance and legal departments as well, so we have those departments to make sure what we're doing both like within our advertising as well as how we manage our websites are following the compliance and legal regulations of the industry. Um, I work with our call center team, so there were a big call center business. And so just understanding what the needs of exercise and how we can better collaborate and work together. So I worked with those groups a lot. My work with our I t department a lot as well, So any any ah functional changes that were trying to make to the website or any AP eyes that we need to support different functionality. I work with all righty group in developing what we needed air and go a process. So, um, that's that's kind of inside I work with, you know, finance or guitar Finance department to it kind of worked with ah lot of different groups within the organization. Um and honestly, like the approaches that I've I've found to be most effective is just kind of what I was talking about previously, right? So, making sure you do what you're gonna say you're gonna do, you're gonna d'oh building those relationships, building even personal relationships as well. So kind of building your internal network of people that that that you work well with internally and making sure that you value those relationships and foster those relationships and take care of those and care more about just come on the job but actually carrying up? No, the individual and their lives are important to them. And so I think that's that's something that's going to be most effective. Is is really just focusing on those things and being a good partner. Um, with with other areas, um, so outside of the organization I work a lot with, like digital marketing agencies. Um, but we have agency support with some of the advertising that we do. So we work with them to execute on advertising and display a native channels, for example, or some of our social channels. And then I also work with technology partners. A cz Well, so we leverage some technology partners for the adobe tools that we use, and so we work with them. Thio execute on different initiatives there for their support with whatever the projects or whatever we're trying to accomplish. So

What major challenges do you face in your job and how do you handle them? Can you discuss a few accomplishments?

Based on experience at: Senior Director, Marketing Technology, Progrexion
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Feb 11 2020
that we face is just, um you know, on the advertising side is just figuring out, like, the best platforms and and creative and messaging and everything that's gonna work from, ah, marketing perspective and then being a doing a really good job of doing the analysis and using analytics, too. Determine what's working and what's not in what direction We should go so kind of this, like that whole system. Just making sure that we're really bummed up there. We make good decisions and how we're spending dollars. I mean, we met. I manage Ah ah, budget of 10 to $15 million marketing spending. So we've just got to be responsible with that and make sure we're making the proper decisions. And so that's that's one challenge. Another challenge is just on the technology side. We're trying to push kind of the limits of, you know, we've been a call center based business for forever. Um, you know, since progressions been been doing business with in the credit repair space, and I really want to figure out a way how to transform us into more of a digital business on. And so how do we take what has traditionally been kind of a high touch call, center based business and transition that into more of a online digital from his business. So that's that's one challenge. Um, and I think the way I handle him is, um, you know, just building really great teams, um, building kind of the proper analytics systems and the proper measurement systems and then making sure that we're leveraging the data to make decisions versus amino emotions or, um, you know, different things like that. So just just kind of making sure that we manage that way and then the relationship building super important as well. So making sure that we have good relationships across your organization so that we can work together to accomplish some of these goals. So ah, a few accomplishments. I think I would just highlight, you know, being able to put this team together, being able to build a technology, infrastructure and system that allows for rapid oration testing. Um, and the ability to, uh, push progression into more of a digital business has been a great accomplishment. And we're just kind of in, you know, we've been doing it for about two years of this point and we're just continuing to grow and make big change and and drive great results. And so that has been a fun, fun thing to be a part of.

What was the hiring process like for your job? What were the roles of people who interviewed you? What kind of questions were asked?

Based on experience at: Senior Director, Marketing Technology, Progrexion
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Feb 11 2020
So So my hiring process, like I mentioned was was unique here. Um, so I have relationships with people that were able to bring me on board. And then, as I've been in the organization, I've been able to develop really good relationships, and that's allowed me to move into the role that I'm currently in today. Um, I would say that if you were the interview, like for my team, for example, you would interview, obviously with me in my role, you'd interview with our VP level, and sometimes you do even interview with our sea level, Um, in certain cases. So the person the executive that's responsible for marketing and revenue, um and I would say like, Well, what I'm looking for and the kind of questions that you know, I asked him that are important or things that I've mentioned, right? So are you analytical? Do you Do you think, um, you know, from a data perspective, are able to make decisions, are able to set up tests and understand what's want? What's better? What's not, Um, how to build strategy off of that. How to execute on strategy, how to think in those strategic ways. Um you know what? What's, you know, different experience. If I'm interviewing for a technical person, You know what? What type of technical background and tools and systems and languages do you have experience with from interviewing for an ad buying roll? I'm gonna want to know what platforms we have experienced there. You experience with Google and Facebook and other platforms and house. How successful have you been executing on marketing campaigns there, So just kind of, ah, you know, focused on those type of things. And and obviously, we want to find, you know, good, solid people that are committed and are engaged. We're gonna add to the culture as well, so

What qualities does your team look for while hiring? How does your team interview candidates?

Based on experience at: Senior Director, Marketing Technology, Progrexion
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Feb 11 2020
Yeah. So the qualities that kind of hit on right already, some of that's technical of somebody that's had political, um, somebody that has, you know, can has either proven experience of successfully executing on different marketing strategy and marketing campaigns. Um, it But somebody technical. Then what's their technical experience been? I'm actually okay. Hiring very junior development positions just because I feel like we have a good training process here, Um, So we're able to get people up to speed on kind of how we do Web development versus maybe what they've done previously, or what they've learned in a boot camp for a school or whatever it may be. And then the way we interview him is we just go through typically, like the hiring manager on dhe. Then senior leadership will interview them as well. Um, we typically keep it, you know, toe one on one interviews and verily, very rarely do like any panel based interviewing or anything like that. Um, and, you know, we just we just kind of event I usually have. If it's if I'm the hiring manager than you know, Ivette out. More details, more specifics on the role. If I'm responsible for the hiring manager than I allow them to go through that. And then my my position in the interview is really just thio to make that get them excited about what we're doing a progression and, like the, you know, get excited about the role and then make sure that they're gonna be adding to the culture on, and they're going to be a good fit within the team, so

What are some future career path(s) for you? What skills, certificates, or experiences do you plan on acquiring?

Based on experience at: Senior Director, Marketing Technology, Progrexion
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Feb 11 2020
Yeah, so for me, I really like, you know, more of a technical person. That's more of my background and experience. But I've really enjoyed getting into more of the revenue side of the business and being responsible for, like, the budget that I mentioned, uh, understanding the finance processes, understanding howto had a successfully execute on revenue based initiatives. And so I just want to continue to grow in that area. And so future career pass for me could be, um, you know, there's there's different roles you'll see, like marketing CEO roles. You know, I'm really my My objective is to get to that senior kind of leadership role. I'm I'm a leader right now, but I'd really like to be, you know, get to that sea level position at some point. And so I think the way the things that I'm doing now having a technical brat background learning the revenue generating skills, um, focusing on kind of the finance side, making sure that I understand measurement, profit and loss, um, all those different aspects of the business will be just beneficial. As I try to grow into, um, ultimate ultimate path that I'm looking for. So

What are different entry-level jobs and subsequent job pathways that can lead students to a position such as yours?

Based on experience at: Senior Director, Marketing Technology, Progrexion
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Feb 11 2020
Yes, I think anything within, like the project management or business analyst area are good entry level jobs. Um, you know, getting in and really what those positions allow you to do is you can't learn different areas of the organization. So if you're managing projects that have multiple stakeholders in different departments than you learn those different areas as a part of that, if your business analyst, then you focus on not only the technical side, so you kind of learn the development and technical side. But then you work very closely with the business to understand what they're trying to do in the requirements and making sure that you fully kind of have that full and to end it knowledge on. And so those were really good places to start, in my opinion, just because you'll you'll learn those different things. And then you can understand what you like and what you like to be a part of and what's interesting to you. And then you can start directing your career that way, just based off kind of the broad learning that you do with in both of those positions. And so that's that's at least, obviously that was the path and I took. And so I'm somewhat biased. But I felt like it added a lot of value for me. Just thio be ableto learn those different things. You also build a lot of good relationships. They're too throughout the organization. And so I think just that that was very effective for me. So is somebody, um you know, looking Thio. Get in. I think those were those were really good places to start. So even I won't even mention like, even analyst positions, like a marketing at list or, you know, a B I analyst. You'll see a lot of positions for, like, that type of role, those air really good places to start to. It's kind of similar, right? You learn the underpinnings of the data, you learn how the data systems work. But you also have tohave like the business context. I understand how you answer the questions that that you're getting right. If ah, business person is coming to you, say I want to understand this, you've got to, like, be able to fully take that in and understand what they're asking, and then you've got to know how to go pull that information out. So I think those were good. Any time you can get kind of the technical with the business perspective, that's super power powerful for my person. The position Because anybody, anybody that's technical, can be successful. Um, and a lot of business functions as well, because really, like marketing today. Marketing is all technical and analytics. Its scientific. It's you know, there's you still have the creative aspect and kind of the art to it, but the majority of it to be successful is you've gotta have those hard skills, those technical, those technical skills, soOh, absolutely.

What were the responsibilities and decisions that you handled at work? Discuss weekly hours you spent in the office, for work travel, and working from home.

Based on experience at: Senior Project Manager, Discover Financial Services
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Feb 11 2020
Yeah. So this is real. I did obviously project management work, and we supported our collections area of the business. And so I helped manage a lot of the projects that the business was wanting to accomplish from a technology standpoint for that area of the business. And so really, I wasn't making decisions per se, but I was responsible in successful execution. Brought X power being requested from our business partners. No. Yeah. Similar no.

What was the hiring process like for your job? What were the roles of people who interviewed you? What kind of questions were asked?

Based on experience at: Senior Project Manager, Discover Financial Services
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Feb 11 2020
So I was an intern with them. So I applied for the internship, interviewed with, um, some of the manager project, that the team, the managers of the project management groups there, Um, And once I got the internship than they hired me on full time for this role, um, the kind of questions I mean, at that point, it was mainly like, what was the process that I like Thio manage projects with, um How did I think about managing state boulders? How did I think about managing results? How do you How do you negotiate with business partners? To say, you know, really, project management comes down to three things. It's time scope, um, and and quality on. And so how do you manage kind of those three points of a project on negotiate that with the business. Those are Those are important things to understand. As a project manager, just that you can you can increase scope, but that's gonna increase timeline and possibly decreased quality. You can reduce cope, and that's going to reduce time and possibly increase quality. You know, there's all these different levers that you can pull within that, And so, um, kind of being able to understand how to manage that was was an important thing

How did the program prepare you for your career? Think about faculty, resources, alumni, exposure & networking. What were the best parts?

Based on experience at: Masters of Science, Information Systems, University of Utah
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Feb 11 2020
So I think, uh, I've mentioned this throughout. This was obviously critical, Um, in what I would and what I've been able to accomplish up to this point, it prepared me from a standpoint of giving me some of the tangible skills. So learning about databases, learning about data analytics, learning about project management, learning about business analysts learning about, you know, systems analysis and design, learning about basic Java programming like you get a good understanding of those technical skill sets that then help kind of navigate youto where you want to be in your career, like it gives you a flavor of each of those things. And you kind of understand what what you like and what you feel like. It's gonna be a good fit. And then, obviously that I talked about the faculty. I've talked about the networking, the relationships and how that's led to, um, you know, the position that I'm in today, so obviously it's super important and super valuable, and it's something that I actually miss being a part of. I miss kind of that that environment and ah, kind of the learning and just the the energy that exists. And, um, you know kind of just that whole process, Like I miss being a part of that. And it's something that, you know, I I hope to either, you know, get back into it some point or, you know, be able t to continue to learn in that type of way or whatever. Maybe it's something that I think about and try to figure out how, at some point in the future, I can kind of navigate my way back into that environment.