Seth Mazow | History
From: Dallas, TX
Pomona Days: Class of 2003 | History
- Sales @ Mode Analytics
- School Support Lead @ Remind
- Cofounder of AlwaysHired
- Sales @ Zenefits
- Sales @ Salesforce
- Head of marketing and ops @ InstantCab
- Founder of Live Local Card
- Legislative Aide for State Rep. Alma Allen (TX)
- Finance Assistant for Michael Skelly for Congress Campaign
- Tech coordinator for ReSurge International (NGO)
When I graduated from Pomona, I viewed the world in black and white: nonprofits are good, corporations are bad. So I spent the next few years volunteering in India and working in nonprofits in the US.
What I found is that many nonprofits aren't very effective at translating donor dollars into action. Change happens slowly, especially for an impatient 20 something or is easily obscured by websites, chaperoned visits, newsletters, etc. So then I found myself working in politics as a means of creating change. First of all, working for Democrats in Texas was tough. Secondly, I found that politics is pretty reactive, and what's happening in the real world sets the agenda more than the politicians.
Then I ended up starting a company that encouraged people to shop locally. That failed, but it led me to a Lyft / Uber competitor (short story: we lost) and from that point I've found myself at tech companies, primarily in sales roles. I got into it because I was terrified that I was aging out of the time when I could easily hop around the bottom rungs of lots of career ladders. I didn't see lots of 30 year old generalists in San Francisco and certainly didn't see any 40 year old generalists. I needed to pick something and develop an expertise, and I figured sales was always in demand and perhaps I needed to get over my qualms about it.
When I was at Pomona, I viewed sales with disdain and as something crass and beneath me. I was going to have an impact on the world, not sell shit. A couple things changed along the way. First, I tried impacting the world through my job and found myself not very good at it. Second, I realized how unrealistic it is to have your passions, financial necessities and work / life balance all achieved by the same job.
I have found tech sales a nice career (for now) for a few reasons: I like solving problems, I like being able to measure my contribution, great work / life balance, I work with really smart people, it's lucrative (this used to not matter much to me, but does now that I'm a dad) and it's evergreen.
Also, I've found a way to give back via sales. I started a tech sales bootcamp that primarily helped underpriveleged folks break into tech sales. While I'm no longer doing the bootcamp thing, I really enjoy mentoring my ex-students, and would love to mentor others as they start and navigate their careers. For recent grads with a mountain of debt staring them in the face and no idea what they want to do in life, tech sales is an easy way to start a career (lots of entry level roles, and I can refer you to lots of places), figure things out and pay down some debt while having time outside of work for your passions.
Feel free to reach out to me, I'm happy to help folks with their next steps. And pro-tip: most tech companies have referral bonuses, so reaching out to low level employees of tech companies with a "I'm looking can you refer me in" goes farther than you'd think :)