Birdwatching, popcorn and math…surprisingly, all of these things have one person in common: our VP of Revenue Operations, Lauren Zion. While those may be some of her favorite things (especially popcorn), we all know LZ as one of our go-to problem solvers and one of the most helpful individuals in the office. If she’s not practicing ornithology, she’s probably fixing a bug (on the computer) behind the scenes.
In this edition of Meet a LiveIntenter, we learn more about Lauren and how she went from getting a degree in biology, to becoming a Rev-Ops superstar.
1. What led you to LiveIntent?
I joined LiveIntent as my first job right out of college. I studied mathematics and biology, interned in research labs and doctor’s offices, but decided that before committing to medicine or research, I wanted to broaden my horizons in the startup/technology world. At the time, two of my fellow graduates worked at LiveIntent, and they helped me land an interview for a Business Operations role. After meeting with various members of the LiveIntent team, I knew this was a special place and was elated to join the team. So, I packed my bags, moved to New York, and started work a week later!
2. Has your perception about email changed since working for LiveIntent?
Before working at LiveIntent, I didn’t really consider the power of the email address… I guess I never really thought about it. I obviously used the channel a lot to communicate with friends, family, etc., but I didn’t yet associate my gmail account with marketing and advertising. Today, I have changed my tune. I use email to interact with not only my favorite people, but also to connect to my favorite companies and brands and stay up to date on current events. While there is always more to learn, I have become a true believer in the email address, especially in the digital advertising world filled with fraud, bots, and a growing list of competitors.
3. What’s the best advice you’ve received during your career?
Some of the best advice I have received is that more often than not, moving forward with small imperfections is better than waiting for every last detail to be perfect. It boils down to the fact that in order to know if you’ve succeeded or failed, you have to first do something.
4. From Business Operations Analyst to VP of Revenue Operations – do you have any advice for people just starting out in their careers on what it takes to move up the ladder?
My advice would be to take ownership over every aspect of the projects or tasks you are given no matter how large or small. I think it is much easier to say, “I thought someone else was doing that” or “I didn’t know that was in my job description”, than it is to take responsibility and make sure deadlines are met and all boxes are checked. In my experience, it’s a lot more rewarding to answer the hard questions, take on additional responsibility, and own strategic initiatives, and in order to do that, your peers must believe you are reliable, responsible, and invested in the success of each project.
5. What’s one of your proudest moments at LiveIntent?
One of my proudest moments over the past 4 years was the first time I presented our Business Operations Roadmap at a Senior Team Offsite. Last minute, my manager at the time was not able to make the meeting and sent me to cover the business operations portion of her presentation. In the end, I not only got through the power point smoothly, but added in a quick activity that showcased how many teams the operations group touches across the organization (which was basically everyone). Some may say it was a little corny (okay, everyone would probably say that), but I was proud to put my own spin on the presentation and do something different.
6. You do a lot of work behind the scenes, what’s your favorite kind of project to work on?
Its pretty simple, I really enjoy solving problems and making the jobs of my teammates and peers more enjoyable. It could be anything from rolling out a new sales dashboard to troubleshooting an issue or bug in real time. While many of the projects we work on are, like you said, behind the scenes, the best ones are those that have a positive impact on someone’s day-to-day.
7. What do you enjoy most when you’re not working?
When I’m not working, I look forward to spending time in a good yoga class, going out to the movies, and exploring new places with friends and family (and birding, but I have been advised to leave that out).
8. Where is your favorite place to travel?
Maine, no question! I try to go back at least once a summer for a long weekend to get my fill of lobster, rocky coastline, and Maine air.