mParticle Women in Leadership: Jillian Burnett
For the second installment of mParticle's Women in Leadership series, I spoke with Jillian Burnett, SVP of Customer Success at mParticle. Jillian shares how she manages her time across competing priorities, tips on setting yourself up for new opportunities, and more.
The caliber of mParticle’s customers, as well as the impressive rate at which customers renew with mParticle, is one of the significant differentiators of our business.
It was an honor, therefore, to speak with Jillian Burnett, mParticle’s SVP of Customer Success, for the second installment of our mParticle Women in Leadership series.
Since joining the team, Jillian has managed customer relationships with brands such as Airbnb, NBC Universal, and Burger King, and has built out a customer-centric, innovative, and highly-collaborative Customer Success organization.
With experience at both BlueKai and Google before joining mParticle, Jillian possesses a wealth of knowledge on how to maximize customer value, how to develop a successful team, and how to excel as a woman in the male-dominated tech industry.
See notes from our conversation below:
Question: Hello Jillian! So how long have you worked at mParticle?
Jillian: I just hit my 6 year anniversary this month. It feels like it has been 6 different lifetimes!
Question: From where do you draw inspiration?
Jillian: Throughout my life, I’ve been most influenced by my grandmother, Betty. She was a practicing physician until she passed away at age 85. Early in her career, it was an especially challenging time for a woman to break into the medical field. I’m always trying to channel her dedication, her independent spirit, and her unconditional love for her family.
At mParticle, I draw inspiration from members of my team. Every day, I get to see someone try something new, be creative in the face of challenge, and push boundaries as they grow their own careers.
Nina joined mParticle early in our company’s trajectory and helped build our Customer Success organization from the ground up. I’m motivated by her grit, her accountability to our customers, and her professional development along the way.
Maulana inspires me with her conviction and commitment to drive change. She came to mParticle with a passion for diversity and improving culture, and within the first few months of being here she had already taken the lead within one of our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs).
Karen, mParticle’s Chief Revenue Officer, inspires me with her people-first approach to leadership, and her drive to support our employees who commit so much of their time to help make mParticle successful.
It’s humbling to work among a team of such motivated individuals, and a gift to learn from them along the way.
Question: One of our core values at mParticle is to "find your flow." What are the things that you do to set yourself up for success in doing your best work?
Jillian: Personally, I “find my flow” through mindfulness.
As a Customer Success leader, you have to accept that things will consistently come out of left field, and that you can’t be everywhere at once. So when competing priorities inevitably arise, it’s really important to take a step back and ask yourself, “where am I most needed now?” and “what’s in my control?”
As I tackle those priorities, I schedule my work based on when and where I can be most productive.
For instance, I know that morning is my best time for being creative, before the noise of the day kicks in and I’m pulled in a number of different directions. I’ve read that morning is when the creative connections in our brain are most active, particularly after a night’s sleep, and that is definitely true for me. So if something that I’m working on will require a certain degree of creativity and big-picture thinking, I’ll carve out time in the morning to focus on that type of work.
Later in the day is a better time for me to take on analytical tasks.
It’s all about assessing what’s on your table, knowing how you can be most effective, and being deliberate about your schedule.
Question: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received and who gave you that advice?
Jillian: If you have your sights set on a new opportunity—maybe you're hoping for a promotion, a role change or even new ownership within your current role—just start learning and start practicing the job you want. Be the master of your own education, and don’t wait for someone to teach you or hand it to you. If you’re able to build yourself into that role and walk the walk, it'll be a no-brainer for someone to put you in that role when the opportunity arises.
This advice was given to me very early in my career (while in my first job, actually!) by Sarah Personette. Sarah was the first person to demonstrate to me what can happen when you make it a priority to own your personal growth and your trajectory. I continue to be inspired by her!
Question: What guidance would you give to women just starting out in their careers?
Jillian: You come to the table with a unique set of experiences and strengths. Your strengths may not mirror those of everyone else sitting at the table…in fact, they may look quite different. But that doesn’t make your perspective any less valuable. It makes it more valuable.
Question: You have your own late night talk show, who do you invite as your first guest?
Jillian: Larry David, and I’d fully expect him to decline!