Can't believe summer's over, can't believe I'm on my way to the airport after about 3 months working with the CareerBlitz team (Murtaza & Mayhul). It's been a wild ride.
Started on May 20 -- Did a test run the day before, but still turned down the wrong Peachtree Street (thanks Atlanta!). Get in and meet Murtaza & Mayhul. Have a few moments at my desk, where a CareerBlitz sweatshirt and welcome note are waiting for me. Also, ramen and gum, since Murtaza lived off ramen and Mayhul off gum.
Murtaza runs me through onboarding -- shows me a sales funnel & explains the market. Learn to prospect, get the process down, then focus on speeding up (at my best I personalized emails for 80+ people in 2.5 hours). Also getting replies to those emails -- recruiters really appreciated the personal touch (someone even took a demo just because of the personalization!)
At some point, Murtaza starts traveling to meet up with key stakeholders. Mayhul leaves too. Something about accelerators/TechStars/YC. Have a few weeks working out of a 4-person office with Shobhit, who really helped get me up to speed and could answer any questions I have.
Wanted to verify my emails and ran out of Hunter credits -- learned about LinkedIn sales navigator for Gmail. Chatted with Murtaza, which inspired me to analyze the extension and find the API call it uses (network inspector came in clutch). Built out a Selenium + Excel script to go through and check emails.
Mayhul and I hop on a call -- he asks my opinion on doing some customer success work. I came here to learn as much as I can about startup processes, so I'm totally game. Begin to work with & learn the platform. Start selecting candidates and sending them to disengaged users to drive up usage.
Taking the next step with my email verifier: guessing at emails given a domain name, first name, and last name. Cover all common combinations and recover around 10-15% of emails that would've bounced otherwise.
Start learning the ropes of customer success -- my goal is to increase CareerBlitz usage. Mayhul gives me a list of roles to fill and send to recruiters.
While I'm prospecting in the office (Shobhit wasn't in that day), I'm surprised when Murtaza gets back -- two days earlier than I expected. He asks if I want to eat, and I say that I brought lunch, so he could go ahead and grab something and we can find somewhere to eat. He accounted for this, having already picked up Chick-fil-a on his way there. Asks me for my thoughts on moving to SF for an accelerator. My response was somewhere between jaw-droppingly amazed and saying "that's really cool."
Nothing set in stone yet, but about a week later we're set on working with Contrary Capital. Murtaza flies out in a week and Mayhul & I fly out in two. Flew Southwest, boarding was really seamless since they give everyone a boarding order number. Wasn't surprised to see that aisle & window seats fill from front to back, followed by middle seats. We land at midnight SF time, Murtaza picks us up and we drive to our AirBNB in Oakland.
Adjust the 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom home into a 3-person living space.
Move into the office -- awesome, there's even a really nice Contrary notebook & water bottle waiting for me! Weekly meetings with Eric are really insightful and the weekly accelerator group updates are amazing. Our cohort is doing some pretty amazing work.
Getting acquainted with San Francisco -- we commute on BART every morning. Shift our wakeup times to be in the office by 8am every day. Also stop by Costco for food. Murtaza panics when I grab 2 bags of pistachios.
Weekly meeting with Murtaza, his feedback is to think about scaling processes. Taking this into account, I learn the GSheets API and integrate my email verifier with GSheets. Nice. Also implement a double-check on people's names (since jared at careerblitz.io works for small companies, but less so for large ones).
Eventually decide that the 2-hour commute's a bit long & confining. Pick up our monitors from the office & call an Uber to get home. 30 mins till Ikea closes, so we hop in the car and go to grab desks. Get back & turn our 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom home into a 3-person living & working space. This requires moving a couch and TV into the already cramped kitchen. Also involves 30 mins of screwdriving with butter knives.
Murtaza decides that I can have as many pistachios as I want, as long as we buy them with shells. I grab 2 more bags. Also get Murtaza hooked on pistachios at some point.
Continue doing customer success work -- formalize it a bit more so that recruiters aren't getting random emails from this guy Jared who says he has candidates for them. Also get better at picking candidates.
Murtaza & I drive to Branch's office in Redwood City to conduct an onboarding. Grab Boba tea on the way -- I've learned that food is the best way to make people like you. Also start playing Codenames following weekly group meetings. Lose a game since gol "isn't an English word" (Eric) and "isn't related to the word log" (Mayhul) -- I tried my greatest.
Walk Branch's team through the new product -- really cool sequences page & easy candidate outreach. Received a lot of feedback, which helped us improve the next batch immensely. Drive home.
Keep filling roles. Get way faster (75% reduction in time to prepare candidates for each role). Also get way better (fewer people are totally unqualified & we hit ~70-80% passthrough rates).
Mayhul gives me an amazing rundown of how to think about and build software.
Finish offboarding -- Python scripts are fully commented & transportable. Also move all of my tasks to Murtaza & Mayhul. Write a doc to get the next people up to speed.
It's honestly been an amazing time. Never would've imagined I'd be in San Francisco for half a summer after taking a job in Atlanta. I've learned so much (about startups, working, and cooking) and had an amazing time working with Murtaza & Mayhul. Also met some amazing people at Contrary (Eric, Will, the Sparrow, Hallow, Sympto Health, and Vise teams, and many others).
I've learned a ton:
- Starting is the most important part (So far! I'm really happy with how this post came out and how easy it was to write -- biggest step towards writing articles that I've taken)
- I can deliver -- I've fallen into the trap of starting things and then moving on to something else. Really proved to myself that I can actually execute and finish things.
- Focus on the big picture, be concise -- people don't care about every minute detail. They care what's happened and why it matters on a large scale. The more you can distill it, the more likely someone will listen.
- Teams are really important -- I won't lie, customer success got boring sometimes. Working alongside Mayhul & Murtaza always kept me going.
Never going to forget it. Excited to see the team continue selling, building, and working hard. Also excited to go back to Tech and keep hustling there.
Shoutout to Hannah for proofreading & helping with flow.
Shoutout to Shobhit for the first half of summer, hope things are awesome at PatientCo!!
To recruiters (or people with recruiter friends) -- CareerBlitz is amazing. Use it for the utility and stay for the team :)