Managing artificial intelligence software? It’s just another day in the life for management alum Neil Vaid ’15, who found a job in Boston’s burgeoning tech bubble after graduating.
Timing + Persistence
When Neil Vaid ’15 decided to major in management, he had no idea what he wanted to do with his life. But, he did know that he enjoyed building relationships, connecting with people, and pursuing more than one talent.
“I was always good with people-to-people interactions,” said Neil, a native of Amherst, MA. “That’s why I went into management. It teaches you all the intangible skills.”
Neil’s focus on people paid off. His desire to join a fast-growing and innovative industry led him to Boston’s tech bubble, where he found an entry-level sales job at Turbonomic, a redhot startup that develops software powered by artificial intelligence.
Getting his foot in the door required networking of epic proportions.
“I saw a longtime friend’s Snapchat story about working in the city, messaged her, and then brokered an introduction to one of her friends, who got me an interview,” he said. “It’s not just timing — it’s also about being persistent.”
Speaking the Same Language
Neil’s social intelligence helped him not only get his job, but be successful at it. After being promoted twice in four years, he is now a customer experience manager, where building community is at the core of everything he does.
Since Neil doesn’t have a background in IT, he constantly researches new developments in the industry so he can speak the same language as his clients. His efforts have resonated positively, as he currently manages over 70 clients, some of which have seven-figure contracts.
“Business management is the perfect degree to get into an entry-level position and gain experience,” said Neil. “I learned the ins and outs of a business in two months here.”
A Seat at the Table
Moving to Boston reinforced Neil’s connection to the tech world. Going out of his comfort zone was “a good first risk to take,” he said, as it gave him the opportunity to gain more independence, and experience the rush of city life.
“You feel that sense of accomplishment,” he said. “I was able to move out of my hometown and be successful in the city. I’ve built lifelong relationships that I otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to.”
Every semester, Neil makes it a priority to return to Elms and speak with undergraduate business classes.
“Don’t feel tied down to opportunities presented to you,” he said. “Sometimes, it’s important to go out and look for them. Ask for help, build your network, build your brand, and it will go a long way in taking a calculated risk.”
Neil’s time at Elms was pivotal in helping him build this mindset.
“Doing business management at Elms College helped me learn how to learn,” he said. “I was able to benefit from my degree and get a seat at the table.”
Do you see yourself making a career in the business world? Check out the business program at Elms to learn more about our majors in accounting, management, marketing, sport management, and creative technologies.