3 Questions with Jimmy Chen, A13, Head of Sales Development at HackerOne

Welcome to “3 Questions with …”, a new feature on the Career Center blog. We’re asking alumni of all graduation years and career interests to share a bit of their experiences and advice. 

Jimmy Chen, A13, Head of Sales Development at HackerOne

1. In just a few sentences, please tell us about your current job/graduate program/vocational endeavor.

I work for a cybersecurity software company called HackerOne that works to make the internet a safer place. We do this by creating a marketplace for white hat (ethical) hackers to practice their skills and help enterprise companies become more secure. My specific role, as the head of sales development, allows me to work with aspiring sales talent as they take their first positions in technology (SAAS) sales as Sales Development Representatives (SDRs).

SDRs evangelize the work of our company by directly reaching out to key stakeholders at prospective client organizations through various channels. They are responsible for uncovering areas of pain where our product could potentially solve and bridge the prospect to an account executive where a formal discovery call is held. SDRs often take on such a position for a year to develop the core skill sets before moving onto an account executive / other role.

2. How did your time at Tufts influence your career journey?

The bar for excellence that resonates across the Tufts campus helped shape the perspective around how I approach my role. I saw a lot of my friends going into the traditional roles post-college: graduate schools, legal studies, medical studies, consulting, banks, etc. I realized that I did not want to do that and looked for other options. The paradox of choice was at play; I eliminated many options based on my discussions with peers and my own interests. When I found out about sales it was a perfect fit.

3. What advice would you offer to a student who wants to pursue a career path like yours?

There are a lot of misconceptions about what sales is and is not. This has not been helped by the various movies (e.g., The Wolf of Wall Street or Boiler Room) that spurred a less-than-positive image of the profession. The best sales people (at least in tech sales) are the ones who are extremely curious, disciplined, gritty, and have a strong desire to be successful. It’s not always the person who is extremely outgoing (though that helps at times).

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By Susannah Krenn
Susannah Krenn Career Advisor / Multimedia & Communications Specialist Susannah Krenn