Bachelor in Information Systems Management alum Daniel Ricardo graduated from IE University in 2021 and has since launched his career in Ireland as Senior Enterprise Growth Development Representative at MongoDB, a database for modern application developers. He sat down with us to reflect on his experience at IE University and how it prepared him for the work he does now.
I’m Daniel Ricardo, and I studied at IE University from 2017 to 2021. As a student, I completed internships in Costa Rica and Madrid related to AI and financial risk consulting, respectively. As I’ve gained professional experience, I’ve learned to prioritize my interests and passions in the type of work I do so that my day-to-day life and professional achievements are fulfilling and meaningful.
Can you tell us about your current role?
My current role is Growth Development Consultant within MongoDB’s sales development organization. My day-to-day life can be broken down into three parts: research, prospecting, and alignment.
MongoDB is a very technical type of sale. A distributed, non-relational cloud database can be implemented in numerous use cases throughout any industry. Therefore, I need to understand what companies are doing and where they are in their digitization strategy to determine if what we offer could be a right fit for them.
I then find the right people to talk to and draft personalized messages that could appeal to their particular role and responsibilities within their organization with the hopes of securing what we call a “discovery meeting.” This is a call in which we understand a prospect’s current state within any digital projects they might be involved with and identify a clear point of friction that we could potentially solve for them.
Finally, I need to align with my senior stakeholders to continuously review both my strategy and results.
How did you learn about the opportunity and why were you interested in applying?
Sales caught my attention because I’ve always appreciated the face-to-face characteristics of business. Presentations, networking, conversations and negotiations all sounded like they could appeal more to my expressive and social side. Working for one of the largest technology companies in the world and relocating to one of Europe’s principal tech hubs also sounded like a great next step.
In this industry, you often hear “sales are sales, it doesn’t matter what you’re selling.” I disagree. The product you sell will define the type of conversations you’ll be having, the profile of the people you’ll reach out to, and the type of research you’ll be carrying out. Therefore, make a smart move and join a sales organization where you’ll be selling a product that interests you. I studied the Bachelor in Information Systems Management at IE University because data and application development truly interest me. This interest has allowed me to go the extra mile in MongoDB and really enjoy every article I read and every conversation I have with my prospects.
How do you feel your IE University experience and IE Talent & Careers helped you secure these opportunities?
I believe IE University is truly one of a kind because of the vast amounts of resources at our disposal for personal and professional development, as well as the numerous opportunities we have to develop a high-quality network of contacts. The amazing people at IE Talent & Careers play a critical role as they guide you throughout your time at IE University and present you with a strategy that will allow you to work on the necessary skills you need to eventually land the job you’re aiming for after graduation.
Thanks to IE Talent & Careers, I developed my CV early on, attended professional networking events, accessed IE University tools for role preparation, completed mock interviews and so much more. Their guidance truly helped me stand out from the competition once the time came to apply and interview for roles.
In parallel, I built a resumé of experiences that could shape my professional profile. For example, I served as the undergraduate coordinator for IE Big Data & AI Club for two consecutive years. This allowed me to test my management skills and meet some outstanding individuals.
Be curious, explore what IE University has to offer, talk to people and ask questions!
What would you highlight about working in sales after one year in the role?
Sales is an extremely well-rounded role. I’ve become a more efficient person, more cautious in planning and very results-oriented. I’ve become increasingly confident in presenting and communicating my ideas as well as in asking the right questions at the right time to effectively drive conversations toward a clear, mutually beneficial goal. Moreover, ever since I started sales, I’m very rarely bored because I always have something to do and before I even notice, the day has flown by.
I would also highlight the “continuous learning” aspect of sales. Tech sales have forced me to stay up-to-date with the latest innovation and development tools. My experience in this particular company has allowed me to understand what is going on behind the scenes of some of the world’s largest companies from a technology perspective.
What would you say to current students interested in securing similar positions after graduation?
Gain client-facing experience as soon as you can. Any experience where you are speaking directly with clients or pitching an idea will be useful during your application process.
Before you apply, think with your head, not your ego! It’s normal to want to go for the biggest and fanciest names out there, but from my experience, this sometimes might not be the best route. There are many things to consider within sales, not just a title. For example, how much coaching will you receive? Will this company build your skills and shape you into a more well-rounded professional, or will you just be a number filling up a position? What kind of conversations do you want to have, and about what industry? Are you looking to sell technology, and if so, what kind of technology?
The great thing about sales is that our jobs literally revolve around reaching out to people and having conversations. So do some research, find people who are working for the company you’re thinking of applying to and send them a message! I’m sure many will reply and share information with you that can help you shape your decision.