Hi everyone. I am Jennifer from EntryLevel. Entry Level helps you learn and get experience so that you can get hired. So today I'm joined by Ati, one of EntryLevel's previous students. Ati actually received a Growth Marketing Certificate with us a few months ago and used the framework she learned in our program in her job interviews. So, Ati, do you want to introduce yourself?
Sure. Thanks, Jennifer. My name is Ati. I am normally based in Perth, Western Australia, but I'm currently in Malaysia. Our company offers 100% remote working opportunities, so I'm working from here for a month. I'm currently a growth marketer at ClearCalcs. Clearcuts provide a software for structural engineering, design and analysis for residential building. I just joined this school in January this year. Prior to this, I was with hardware training, automation startups, and my background is sort of a mix of marketing and communications in the last eight or so years before moving into growth marketing.
That's awesome. Thank you for that wonderful introduction. I'm so excited to have you share your story with our audience and hopefully inspire other people who want to be just like you. So my first question for you is to tell us some more of your story. What was your learning journey like in the very beginning?
Yes. Is this question related to growth Marketing? With EntryLevel?
It can be just like, from the start of your career until, like, how you found Growth Marketing as awesome.
This is going to be a long story. So actually my first degree is in biotechnology. I did my first degree in Malaysia, and then during my third year, I realized that I don't want to spend my time in the lab for the rest of my career studying genetics or studying bacteria and then realize I like writing more than running experiments. So I decided to do my first grade to understand more. How can I connect the two world science. I was doing environmental biotechnology at the time, so basically the world of environment, the world of climate change and technology and science and how do I connect them with writing stories. So I decided to pursue my master's at New South Wales University in Sydney. It was a multidisciplinary program where I get to pick different electives. And I remember my first subject was on media advocacy and public education. So basically in the unit we were learning how the top not for profit environment not for profit like GreenPeace, WWF, how did it run the environmental campaigns and how did they design them? So that brought me to the world of communications. So after graduating from that course, my first job is a research analyst and communications officer for a funded project by the European Union in Malaysia. So this was ten years ago. We don't have a term of what we call now a climate tech accelerator, but that's essentially what it was. We work with 40 companies that we select in Malaysia that runs a project that converts waste to energy and then we help them get funding, increase the capacity to export overseas and any other sort of trainings that they need to improve as a company. So my job basically is to sort of from if we look at the growth from acquisition, sort of promoting the initiative to SMEs in Malaysia, reaching out to about 1000 of them and then getting them to apply to be a part of the project and then sort of activating them and then running the project for two years with them. That exposes me to the world of digital marketing and communications. I'm doing a lot of website maintenance, putting information like creating newsletters, monthly newsletters that goes out to the project, stakeholders, running social media to sort of push up the content of the projects. And that got me interested in digital marketing. And I also started doing some freelancing. At the time I work with a marketing consultant that works with the US company and my role then was sold to help with social media marketing. And this was back in 2013 and at the start of Canberra. So we started using Canva, running landing pages and everything, look at conversions. After that I worked briefly in communications and public relations for a port industry. And then I moved first where I got my first role as marketing and business development manager at Roborigger. This is the hardware set up that I mentioned earlier. Basically Roborigger is a cleantech startup. It's currently backed by BlackBird Ventures. And then during that role I sort of had some reflections that I want to be improving in my role, what I want to be learning, and decided that growth marketing is one area that I want to look at. And then EntryLevel being part of BlackBird came up on my radar and I thought this is easy for the two months program that I can join and if I completed they will refund my money. So that was a no brainer. So I decided to do growth marketing with EntryLevel. And I think I completed the program in about September, October last year, started to actively look for a new role and landed this job by November last year.
Yeah, I would love to hear more about what you did after EntryLevel. But first I wanted to make an interesting observation because you said you had a background on science, like very experiment focused and we also wanted to connect that with writing, communication, things like that. Do you find that those are connected in growth because there's some experimentation but there's also marketing?
Yes, definitely. I think what interested me in growth is that I'm going to be looking at data and using that data to inform your marketing initiatives. I like the idea of looking at different funnels like acquisition, activation and knowing what's the rate there and what can we do to improve. It's not just some blind initiatives that you do, as you know, with traditional marketing or public relations, where it's more of a long term and you can't really attribute what you're doing to the company's revenue or profit.
That's amazing. When I first got into Growth, I didn't realize how much data there was and experimentation and it's definitely really challenging, but I love a challenge. Now I'm wondering what you did after EntryLevel. So you said you completed the program and then like a month later you got a job. So what was the process there?
Yeah, so when I was doing EntryLevel, I already knew that I wanted to look for a new role and especially in growth marketing. So what I decided to do then is just after completing the EntryLevel course is the next step I did was actually apply to and join Startmate's Women's Fellowship. I don't know if you've heard of them. So essentially it's sort of a two month program targeted to women in all kinds of industries and get them the front row seat in the startup in Australia and New Zealand. So I got a coach to work with and I decided that I want to talk to at least 10 to 15 companies that I'm interested in and find out what marketing opportunities do they have and apply to that opportunities. So that's what I did in the Startmate from September to about mid November, just probably two to 3 hours away from talking to people every day. And then every time I go into the call with the company, I try to go back to the framework that I've learned at EntryLevel and use that framework to ask questions about their product.
How are you getting these calls with the companies?
So with the Startmate Women Fellowship, because it's a network of startups and founders, essentially what you do is either you get an introduction by someone you know who knows them or you just reach out to them by either cold email or call LinkedIn messages. And because I was already in that Startmate Women's Fellowship cohorts is also like an opportunity for anyone who's looking for talent. That's kind of their first point of contact. They look at the profile and if this is relevant, then they reach out to you as well.
That's amazing. So for the job that you landed, how did that whole process go from the meeting, what you talked about like the frameworks and things like that?
Yeah. So with Clearcalcs, I was actually reached out by the head of talent at ABC, that's the VC company that bank Clearcalcs. So we just had a conversation about what kind of rules that interest me and Fred from ABC suggested me a few companies and rules that he thinks that I'm suited with and set me up to have a chat with Chris, the founder of Vehicles. And then I went in knowing already, what's the requirement for the role as a growth marketer? And then trying to understand. Like in the call trying to understand what's the problem. Like. How many people are they getting per month. How many website visitors. How many of them are they converting to try this. How many of them are converting to subscribers and using that information to propose like a quick solution or your thoughts on it based on what I learned at EntryLevel during the interview. So after the first that I had with Chris, I just sent like two page documents about what I think their problems is in growth marketing and how I would try to solve it.
That's amazing. So you basically kind of did a project for them and went through it in the interview?
Yeah, it's just a short one. It's not like I spend a few days on it, it's probably like a couple of hours. And then using the framework that I learned from EntryLevel
Did they ask for that project or did you just do it to exceed expectations?
Not for this company specifically. We didn't have any specific project to work on. So it's just something that I wanted to send because I love the company. After I spoke to them and I wanted to show that this is what I can do, this is what I'm planning to do if I joined the company.
That's awesome. Do you have any tips on whether people should, like what kind of people should target like, startups versus big companies? Because I noticed I think you're working at a startup now, right?
Correct, just finished their seed round last year.
Wow, that's amazing. What do people look for if they want to work in a startup versus a big company?
I think it depends on what you are after. I was moving from a very generalist role and unrelated to growth marketing, so I know I want to be sort of learning very quickly, getting my hands on everything as much as possible. So early stage startups is where I want to be at and then also because I know if I apply for a bigger company, I will be sort of set in a specific area of marketing, so that's not where I want to be at the moment. So it really depends on everyone's objectives. And then the other thing is that while you might look at an early stage startups, you also want to know whether there's an alignment of values, you know, that they are working as they have a system and operations in place. So those are sort of different areas that I would be looking at when I'm reviewing for different roles.
Yeah, I really agree with that, especially aligning with the values. To me that's a lot more important and it's what I look for because sometimes I get super excited while we're facing a company and it's like now I can go into the interviews with that energy and it's less nerve wracking.
Yeah, totally. And I think values first means that you can be flexible with what the company is, who they are and how big the team is. Even if you might think that you want to offer a big company but if their value alignment with early stage startup, I would say why not?
Yeah, I completely agree. Hopefully this is an insight that can be very useful to our audience and whoever is listening. Now, I just have one last question for you and it's kind of general. So what advice do you have for students who are also taking EntryLevel programs and looking to get a job?
Yeah, I think I would say in the spirit of good marketing, keep testing and try to get sort of the results or outcome to your experiment path. If you're out in the market looking for a job, don't rely too much on sending online application to big companies where you might not get feedback only after two months. Reach out to people so you can talk to them, understand what they're looking for and find out if you can meet those requirements. So instead of waiting for two months, if you can find that out in one call, why don't you do that? So that's my advice. And then another thing is that instead of doing, let's say, six months to one year digital marketing course, why don't you talk to a company or talk to a start up, run a project for them for one to three months and then you can learn all that you need and you have a portfolio that you can choose to prospective companies when you're interviewing for. So be smart about what you're doing so that you get your results faster.
Those are really good tips and I'm wondering do you have any tips on how to reach out and get that meeting to talk to companies?
I would say in that first email so firstly, warm intros are always best. So if you know someone who knows someone, try to get your final colleague to introduce you. Secondly, if you have to do cold outreach, try to make it as easy as possible for the other person to say yes or no to you. Generally what I would say is hey, my name is Ati - um - sort of highlight the points of similarity like we currently work in the same industry and I am interested in knowing more about this role at the company. I would like to set up a call with you. Would you be available in the next two weeks to chat with me? If yes I will send you some options for time, that way they can just reply to that email no, I'm not available to chat or yes, I'm available to chat and just send an option for time.
So do you also use Calendly, because we use Calendly to set it up or do you find that are you available within the next two weeks works better.
I personally find are you available for the next two weeks better. Because the first email is just the first objective to get whether they're interested in chatting with you or not. And just keep the call to action one at a time and try not to overwhelm the other person. It could be different if you already know that person or is a warm intro.
Okay, so the main call to action there is just reply yes or no whether they're available.
Yeah. And then that might be different with the warm interest because that person already said yes to your friend or your colleague. That, yes, we're happy to chat. Then you can put that option in that first email.
That sounds awesome. Thank you so much for the tips and for sharing your story with us Ati. So for everybody listening or watching, if you'd like to follow Ati on her journey, please check out the links to her Twitter and LinkedIn profiles. I'll link them somewhere in the description, but if you can find the description, do you want to share the handle?
Yes. Let me just get this right. Don't remember. It’s Ati Aziz.
Okay, that's pretty straightforward. So hopefully people will be able to find you if they have any questions. I think you said you also had one other thing to promote. Would you like to talk about that now?
Yeah, of course. So at Clearcalcs, our team is going very rapidly. So when I first joined in January, there were about eight or nine of us, and now we are about 22. And obviously marketing team is going as well. And we are currently on the lookout for a marketing content lead who will be working with me very closely to set up our content distribution across different channels. So if anyone is interested, feel free to reach out to me via my LinkedIn.
Okay, perfect. Yeah. So if you're interested in this job opportunities, feel free to reach out to Ati. You can also visit entrylevel.net if you're more interested in just learning, because we do have a program on marketing. So if you want to brush up on your marketing skills or just learn what it's about so that you feel more confident applying for jobs, check out EntryLevel.net. I believe the marketing course was the one that you took, right, Ati?
Okay, perfect. So thank you everyone for listening and best of luck in your learning. Bye.
Ati used frameworks she learned at EntryLevel in job interviews, and eventually landed a job.
In this interview, she shares her story alongside some job-hunting tips.
Job posting: https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/3171632565