By Mark V. Ponce
Marketing Coordinator at Visier Solutions
BBA 2017 at Simon Fraser University
Hey Vancouver Startup Week fans! My name is Mark Ponce, a graphic designer behind this year’s creatives, and I have a confession to make – I work in Tech, but I’m not a Techie. The only thing I knew about Techies when considering startup careers, is Vancouver has lots of them.
If you asked me 3 months ago whether I saw myself working in the tech industry – the answer would have been “no”. I was ready to take on the corporate world, hoping to land a marketing role in the consumer goods industry. But tech got to it fast, and I couldn’t deny the opportunity. I am so glad I did, and now I work at one of Vancouver’s fastest growing startups.
I graduated from Simon Fraser University with a degree in Bachelor of Business Administration, major in Marketing, and complemented this with graphic design self-study. I was heavily involved with a youth leadership organization, AIESEC; was the Editor-in-Chief at Executive Magazine (now Push); assisted the rebranding of Douglas College Business Association, and interned for the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association. These experiences solidified my passion for brand marketing, and led to my current position as Marketing Coordinator at Visier – a SaaS company providing workforce analytics and workforce planning for large organizations.
Side Note: I’m not just all about work, I like to play too – literally. In my spare time, I like to bike along the Stanley Park Seawall, go on hiking adventures (when I can), and roam around Downtown Vancouver with my camera. I am also an avid fan of fried chicken, which I can eat for days!
My new job was completely unexpected, but everything I hoped for – a good work environment and plenty of room for professional growth. At Visier, my responsibilities include managing the logistics for field marketing and sponsored events, data cleaning of contact lists, creating and fixing webinar registrations, building landing pages for new resources, drafting press releases and events on Visier’s website, supporting the collection of social media and analyzing their performance metrics, and assisting in marketing campaign operations.
Although my role as a marketing coordinator is entry-level, it’s still a great opportunity for me to diversify my marketing experience and develop useful skills for future positions. I’m fortunate that Visier has provided me a platform to explore my interests in marketing, where I can pave my career path within the company more so. Event planning, marketing operations, branding and product marketing are just a few of the functions I help support at work; but without taking business analytics and product/branding management courses my daily tasks would have been very challenging to execute.
The startup world is a roller coaster journey – meeting a lot of influential people, working at a very fast-paced environment, and at the same time you are constantly acquiring new knowledge. Earlier, I mentioned that I know nothing about the Vancouver tech startups, but working for Visier has given me a profound appreciation for the industry.
If you’re starting your career in Vancouver, I highly recommend taking a chance on a tech startup. Some would say it’s a steep learning curve and an unsustainable industry, but I assure you that within your first month, you’ll acquire more skills and knowledge to put on your resumé. But my most important piece of advice is to be open to possibilities. You may be uncertain of your career choice after university, but never deprive yourself when an opportunity knocks at your door. For me, working at a tech startup is definitely my big break; it may not be have been my first career choice, but I am fortunate to have ended up here, and I hope that to develop myself further within the industry.
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