A Face In The Cloud - Meghan Walsh, Cloud Account Executive
Fresh from tackling re:Invent 2018, AWS's headline event, we caught up NYC based Cloud Account Executive Meghan Walsh. Here, Meghan shares her best event-survival tips and explains why more young women should take the "leap of faith" and seek a career in the tech industry.
In this series of posts, we are meeting Cloudreachers of our North American sales team, to highlight the opportunities in this exciting, growing team
What is your role and how did you end up at Cloudreach?
I am a Business Development Consultant at Cloudreach, following 2.5 years on the cloud sales team at Relus. I came over with the Relus acquisition earlier this year.
So you just got back from re:Invent 2018, what are your key takeaways from the event?
Re:Invent can be so exhausting, but it’s worth it. The energy there is indescribable. It’s exciting to be around so many of your peers in the technology world, sharing ideas, and making connections. Here are some of my key takeaways:
- AWS is doing a great job staying competitive in the market and are really taking the feedback from their customers and partners to further improve their services (and create new ones)
- There is so much passion fueling public cloud. Innovation is made possible and AWS has really leveled the playing field. Startups are everywhere looking to disrupt the market, and enterprises are being forced to move faster and think differently
- Machine Learning was a focal point of the keynotes and new releases, and I believe we’ll start to see ML get integrated into business strategy, especially as it’s easier to do now than ever before
What makes re:Invent such an important event for you?
As a seller and account manager, re:Invent is a critical week for me. This year I had eight customers attend re:Invent, and it’s an awesome way to build relationships, connect them with our thought leaders and plan for next year. Of course, there’s so much opportunity to meet new prospective customers and start to think through what my account plan is for the following year.
We know this wasn't your first re:Invent, do you have any tips and tricks for making the best out of an event of this size?
Hustle and heart. All the chapstick and energy drinks in the world aren’t enough to keep you going 18+ hours a day. You have to really want to make the most of your time there, and realize it’s worth it. At re:Invent I have formed stronger bonds with my colleagues and customers, started new relationships, and talked to so many interesting people in the tech space. Every conversation teaches me something new, and they’re all a part in shaping my perspective and passion.
As a female in a male-dominated industry, do you feel that events like re:Invent are helping encourage a more diverse and inclusive industry?
I always joke that technology events are the only times you’ll see a men’s restroom line out the door and none at all for the women. There’s still a long way to go, but even over the past three years I’ve seen more acknowledgment of the gender gap and dialogue about how to get women and girls interested in IT careers, and that’s an awesome place to start.
What advice do you have for young women considering a career in the tech industry?
Absolutely do it. Take the leap of faith - you don’t need the background you think you need, you don’t need to be "technical", and you really don’t have to have it all figured out. It’s so exciting to be a part of an industry that is ever-changing and rapidly growing. There’s so much opportunity in tech, and we could really use the support and influence of bright and motivated women.
Who has inspired you during your career?
My sister is an engineer at Amazon Music, and she’s my inspiration for learning something new every day. I talk about her all the time… she’s also my support system and my biggest fan. It’s really fun to be able to share this with her and grow together.
As for biggest influence, I would have to say Michael Campbell (Head of NA Cloudreach). Michael has been there for me since the day I started at Relus with no idea what I was there to do and no background in technology. He has always believed in me, pushed me to believe in myself, and has given me the opportunity to exceed past even my own expectations.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
I love my customers. I really have the best customers.
Now let’s switch the pace a little!, What’s the top thing on your bucket list?
Top thing on my bucket list right now is to do a marathon. I’ve done several halfs but watching the NYC Marathon this year got me really excited about accomplishing something so physically and mentally challenging.