Tell us a bit about yourself and what you’re up to now
My name is Valentina Buitron and I am originally from Quito, Ecuador. I moved to Europe almost 10 years ago now. I studied a Bachelor in Economics and Management at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy and a Masters in Management at Cass Business School in London, UK. I have been working at Stripe for 2.5 yrs, currently as an Account Executive UK. Some of my hobbies include: painting, hiking, wellness, exercise, languages and travelling!
What was your journey into a career in tech sales?
Before working in Tech I worked at GLG (expert network) for 2.5 years. I started as an Associate in the Credit Market, where my main responsibility was to onboard experts to the network (very similar to that of a BDR). I then got promoted to Senior Associate where I managed a book of clients including EMEA leading banks, hedge funds, asset managers, private lenders - I was responsible for the research projects.
My sister at the time got a job at Google and that brought my attention to work in tech. I decided to apply to Stripe as I was always interested in payments (I applied many times in the past to the likes of Visa, Mastercard). I kept an eye on their job openings and applied for the AE Existing Business role for Iberia - I didn't know anyone at the company so reached out to a few people on LinkedIn to know more!
What would you say are the best things about working in Tech Sales?
After working in tech, I think there is no way back for me! I truly enjoy working for a tech company. I really appreciate how companies such as Stripe, Google, LinkedIn, etc have such a defined culture (they know how to keep employees happy and motivated), there are many opportunities to grow and the skills you learn are transferable.
I like that these companies care about talent and not fancy degrees, they are flexible and understanding (ie. WFH, work attire), and are led by great leaders. Earning potential is good while still having a decent work life balance - a must for me!
What advice would you give to someone who is just about to start their career in sales?
To own their career and work hard for the jobs they aspire to have. Treat finding a job as a job itself 1) Build a list of your top companies, 2) contact people at those companies and get information about how it is to work there, how is the culture, role, etc, 3) take the time to build a great and concise CV, 4) try to get referrals (key in tech), 5) prepare, prepare, prepare for your interviews
Why did you decide to join Tangent as a Mentor and why should others join as Mentors too?
When I moved to the UK, I realised first hand how hard it is to apply to jobs without having a network and being a foreigner. For my first job straight out of Uni, I applied to more than 100 jobs. I remember I had an excel at the time where I kept track of my applications (and mostly my rejections). I wish at the time I had a mentor that would guide me through this process. Being on the other side now, I would love to help others that are going through the same struggle I went through. I also personally love coaching others, brings me joy to see others succeed.
If you also struggled like me in the past, or had an amazing mentor (and want to give back), or simply are looking for ways to improve your skills, join Tangent! Let's give others a chance to succeed as well (we all deserve a chance!).
Ready to make a difference?
Tangent connects you with aspiring Business Development Reps from socially diverse backgrounds for short-term mentoring and an employee referral.
Sign up to be a Tangent Mentor today 👇