In our previous post, we interviewed Fiona Wang, fellow UNSW alumni and CX Project Manager at Innocean Worldwide about her role. If you haven't seen it yet, make sure you click the button down below for valuable insights!
Today, we've invited Monika Aphai, UNSW alumni and Solution Engineer to talk to us about her role at Salesforce, the world’s #1 customer relationship management (CRM) platform. With a revenue growth rate of 29.1% in 2020, Salesforce jumped up 50+ spots on the Fortune 500 list in 2021, highlighting its continuous growth potential in the next few years.
1. Could you tell us a little about yourself?
My name's Monika, and I studied at UNSW with a Bachelor of Commerce, double majoring in Accounting and Information Systems. Currently, I'm working at Salesforce as a Solution Engineer specialising in eCommerce.
2. Why are you interested in marketing?
Marketing to me is about building relationships and engaging people. I find it interesting how creative, yet also data-driven marketing can be in the attempt to connect with one another.
3. How did you land your current role?
I was part of the Co-NNECTIONs program (a bit like Co-Op) and they had organised a site visit to Salesforce. As part of their networking session on the day, I met someone who referred me into an intern position. Networking works! After going through the internship, I returned for the grad program and converted into a permanent/full-time employee after that.
There were many ‘near miss’ moments, where one event happening wouldn’t have happened without the previous event. So it’s worth it to give things a go even though sometimes you don’t know where you’ll end up.
4. What does your typical 9-5 day look like?
At a high level, my role as a Solution Engineer is to understand the challenges that businesses face in being able to engage with their customers especially in an eComm environment. We do this in what we call a ‘Discovery’ where we discover business pain points through deep dive questions. After that comes the ‘Solutioning’, where based on their needs I would work with my team to define a solution. We’d then build a pitch and demo of the solution to show how Salesforce can help to address their business challenges.
This works over a series of weeks, even months so not necessarily a day!
5. Do you have any tips for university students who are interested in entering the Marketing Industry?
Fewer experiences with many learnings, is better than many experiences with fewer learnings.
Focus on the learnings you take from your experiences. Regardless of if they are group projects, work experience, volunteering. Even if it’s not related to marketing, there are always going to be transferable skills (e.g. communication, creativity, strategic thinking, etc) and learnings that you can pick up. Write it down as soon as you learn it if you need to.
Technically you don’t have to have a marketing degree or major if you can think about what you can transfer. Of course it’s a bonus if you do have one!
Interviewed by: Allyana Trajano
Written by: Jessica Au-Yeung