Meltwater: Emilia’s Career Story – How an introvert found a successful career in B2B-sales

Emilia Eräste, Account Executive, Meltwater Finland


How long have you been working at Meltwater for?
I graduated from Aalto in the summer of 2018 but I had already started working at Meltwater in the spring of 2016, so now the three-year milestone is approaching!

What made you decide to accept an offer from Meltwater?
Meltwater as a work environment was an interesting option for me, but there were only sales roles available and the one thing I knew I didn’t want to do, was sales. For a moment, I was thinking about another option but I began to question myself on why sales seemed so uncomfortable to me. I’m by nature quite cautious, and I don’t like to take risks. Not necessarily the best starting point for a sales career.

In addition, I’m also a bit shy especially in the company of new people, and therefore I like to observe people before I give my point of view to a discussion. On the other hand, these were also traits I wanted to develop in myself and I was sure that a career in sales would force me out of my comfort zone (this also happened!). Furthermore, later I also learned that these traits I have are quite valuable when doing sales.
In fact, they turned into strengths for me that have made me successful at Meltwater in sales.

How has your career developed during your 3 years at Meltwater?
Meltwater is a rewarding organization, since whenever you have a feeling that you already know what you are doing, new responsibilities are given. I started as a Sales Consultant where I was responsible for my own sales. In less than a year, I was promoted to Senior Sales Consultant. Seniority doesn’t really change your job responsibilities much, but it’s a way of acknowledging a person for the good work they’ve done and showing that the employee is heading in the right direction.

Almost immediately afterwards I got my second promotion – I was promoted to Team Leader. In addition to my own results, I was now also responsible for my team’s performance (both on an individual level and team level). I also took part in the recruitment process, training of team members and ensuring my team members progressed towards their own career goals. The most rewarding experience for me was, when one of my team members took my place as a Team Leader when I was promoted to my current position – Account Executive.

This promotion to Account Executive took place early this year. In less than 3 years, I’ve held 4 positions at Meltwater. In
this new role, I’m responsible for the growth of our most important customers and the most potential new customers. Besides being a new role for me, this is also a new role for the entire company. I’m excited to be able to develop the role and learn the best practices through my own experiments. Another thing which I’m particularly excited about is the international aspect of my role. My team is all over Europe and we all have our own market which we are responsible for. Through weekly calls, we exchange ideas and best practices with each other.

What advice do you have for newly graduated people who want to advance their career?
Rather than only thinking about what your own interests are, you should think about the skills you want to learn and
develop for the future. Few people know what they really want to do “when they grow up”, so instead of trying to figure
that out, focus on making sure that your own toolbox contains the most diverse skills for the future. Especially things you
might first think you don’t want to do, master them. This will advance your career the most.


What do you feel your career at Meltwater has given you so far, that you might not have received somewhere else at this point in your life?
I don’t want to say that it’s impossible to find these things elsewhere, but the reasons why Meltwater has felt as the right place for me until now are:1) A fast-track for growth – as soon as you feel comfortable in your position, you will get new responsibilities and challenges.

2) The community – while there is a lot of expectations on you, we work together in good harmony. There is no room for big egos or sharp elbows here.

3) Equality – it’s disappointing to have to raise such a thing, but unfortunately this is not yet the norm everywhere. At Meltwater, no matter who you are, new responsibilities are earned through your own development; not by gender, age or friendship.

4) Self-knowledge – our work environment is very fast-paced, you get used to it (or you don’t). The pace makes you experience so many different feelings each day, it is interesting to recognize, how you react to new situations and the things you learn about yourself from these situations.

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