My Name Is Laurel — This Is Why I Joined Aha!
Patterns fascinate me. Decisions, data sets, and behaviors — I approach them all like a detective looking for clues. As a Product Success Manager, I apply my affinity for reason-making to every conversation I have with customers. Each call is a chance to examine a problem, understand what is happening and why, and then identify solutions together.
I love interpreting patterns and watching for trends — uncovering insights to help people reach their goals.
In college I studied accounting. This is when my fascination with numbers and patterns really took root. After graduation, I accepted a job with Thomson Reuters as a support representative helping customers use their tax and accounting software. It was the ideal combination of working with systems and programs while also collaborating with people to help them solve their problems.
About a year into my role, I attended a trade show that would change the course of my career. My curiosity was piqued during a conversation with one of our product managers. I asked him question after question — about researching the market landscape, interviewing customers, and crafting customer journey maps to understand the customer experience.
I realized that product management was not all that different from my training in accounting. It was about looking at patterns and trying to uncover their meaning. I could see myself compiling data about customer behavior and needs and then translating those findings into a vision of where the product could go.
I was hooked and eager to switch to the product side of our business. It did not happen overnight, but I eventually joined the product team as a business analyst. I spent a lot of time running product prototypes by some of our largest customers and getting their feedback. From there, I moved into a product owner role and later into a product manager role.
Working directly on our product was deeply satisfying. I was helping our customers manage the complex details of their work and ultimately better serve their own customers.
As a product manager I focused on making our product experience even better for our customers. I led the initiative to get an analytics tool in place so we could track customer behavior — examining where people hit stumbling blocks or abandoned their efforts in the product.
I stayed at Thomson Reuters for 15 years — even managing to get an MBA while I was there. But I was ready for a new challenge. I discovered the Product Success Manager at Aha! and found myself reading all I could — learning about the company's history, approach to customer success, and values. I applied right away.
As I moved through the hiring process I could tell that each person I met was really trying to understand me. The interviews never felt like a test. And most importantly, I was struck by the transparency of the Aha! team. I was honest and open and that respect was returned in the form of honest answers and feedback.
The environment here kindles my curiosity. We are encouraged to empathize deeply with our customers and ask lots of questions before we start exploring solutions. Getting to talk with customers directly, lead product demos, and collaborate so closely with folks — all this energizes me.
Working at Aha! there is a ripple effect. The work I do helps people build better products and this, in turn, helps their customers.
Accounting numbers or user behavior — so much comes back to spotting patterns and then making sense of them. Working in Product Success I get to apply that analytical exploration to making the lives of our customers easier. And every time I hop on a call with a customer I know I am making an impact.
That is why I joined Aha! — and why you should too.