When Briana Kane speaks about the type of person who would fit in at Meltwater, ambitious is a word that seems to best sum it up. With the support given to her by the company, Briana has been able to realise some of her own ambitions, including being offered the opportunity to help launch Meltwater News in Canada as part of her career progression. As of May 1st, she took on a new opportunity, this time as a Senior Product Specialist in London.
Name: Briana Kane
Birthplace: New York
Joined Meltwater: August 2007, Boston
Current job title: Senior Product Specialist
Who inspires you: Samantha Monk, Managing Director of Buenos Aires
My three words to describe Meltwater: Ambitious, Challenging, and Fun
Prior to joining Meltwater, Briana had a clear idea of what she hoped to achieve from her career. Meltwater was able to offer Briana top-notch training in sales, the opportunity to work in and help to launch international offices and the chance to build and manage teams.
“I found Meltwater on CraigsList and the job description was focused on corporate culture but also on the actual individual. The most appealing thing was that Meltwater did not shy away from, in fact it endorsed, investing in young talent.
It didn’t take long for Briana to realise that Meltwater was offering its employees a supportive and motivated environment and that it was the right business for her. Contemplating those very early days, Kane is nostalgic for the support she received and acknowledges the opportunities she was lucky enough to have.
“At the age of 22 it was difficult to internalise the opportunity I was being offered, but with the support and direction of our managers, we always felt confident that if we worked hard, remained positive and coachable, we would achieve our goals.” She continues, “I felt that Meltwater was offering a career where individuals could quickly learn and develop their sales skills, get exposure to and help build management skills, and have a real impact on the company.”
Although Briana had gained some experience in sales prior to joining Meltwater, she felt that her previous jobs were missing something. “My first job was a summer internship “selling” pick-up/drop-off dry cleaning services in Boston. It was a door-to-door sales position; not a particularly glamorous job, but it taught me important fundamentals in communication skills, sales, and building rapport with clients.” It was these initial skills that the team at Meltwater worked with Briana to build upon.
It was joining the motivated team at Meltwater that really brought out Briana’s natural talents, as she enjoyed the exposure to management and the moral boosting that came from working closely with other successful sales consultants. She was presented with opportunities to showcase her drive and determination, both attributes key to success within the business.
“I would describe Meltwater as ambitious, challenging, and fun,” explains Briana, “We’ve had the chance to do some fantastic things here. Getting the opportunity to represent the Boston office and present in front of the entire company during mChallenge at our 2009 corporate kickoff in Jamaica was really exciting. My fellow sales manager (Samantha Monk) and I competed against each office globally (about 50 offices worldwide and more than 500 employees at the time) and won the entire challenge. We couldn’t believe it! Although I’ve celebrated and shared many cool milestones throughout my career, this is still the “coolest” thing that Meltwater have enabled me to do in my four years with the business.”
As with any business, opportunities are balanced with challenges, which is something Briana embraces with the support of her Meltwater colleagues.
“The biggest challenge I’ve faced at Meltwater – and this has been true for each role I’ve been in whilst working here – was remaining positive and fearless, even in times of adversity. One piece of advice that resonated with me was from Jonas Oppedal (Executive Director for Meltwater Reach). He told me to be fearless and allow myself to be motivated by the possibility of success, rather than afraid of the possibility of failure. I’ve been lucky to have had the support of mentors at Meltwater who have helped me through those tough times and always believed in me, which made me feel like I could overcome any obstacle.”
Briana is clearly proud of the business she works for; “I’m confident that there is no other company that would invest so highly in someone with limited (or virtually zero) business experience. At the age of 24, Meltwater offered me the chance to be part of opening up Meltwater´s first office in Vancouver. Having the belief and support from executive management was incredibly inspiring and empowering.”
When it comes to inspiration, there is one individual at Meltwater in particular who stands out for Briana. “Samantha Monk, currently the Managing Director of the Buenos Aires office, is one of the most inspirational people I’ve met at Meltwater. Her unwavering sense of positivity, hard work and determination is unparalleled. It was very clear from the beginning that she would be an incredible asset to the organisation. Samantha’s ability to create loyal and winning teams is inspiring for me every day.”
Being a very driven team at Meltwater, it is easy to see how they help inspire individuals such as Briana to find success in their careers. “The atmosphere at Meltwater is very open to friendly competition, setting new goals and consistently raising the bar. One of my favourite quotes is from Henrik Ornstedt, Area Director at Meltwater; ‘you can take this as far as you want to’ and that stuck with me. There is no glass ceiling at Meltwater which naturally makes people strive to be number one in everything they do.”
When discussing the future of Meltwater and the next generation of employees suited to the business, Briana share’s her thoughts around the ideal candidate. “For the right individual, Meltwater is the perfect place to start a career after graduation. There is constant exposure to high-level business both internally and externally. A career in sales builds a great foundation when it comes to discipline, focus, hard work, and constant personal development that prepares you for future roles in management.”
She continues, “I’m extremely proud to work for Meltwater, especially at the Vancouver office. Opening up an office from scratch is not an easy task. There were many expected and unexpected challenges that really expanded my comfort zone and confidence to tackle anything in the business world. I felt a huge sense of ownership and pride with each step of the way; finding an office space, creating recruitment sessions, hiring and training new employees, watching new consultants develop their own knowledge and confidence – the entire process was extremely rewarding.”
“While I’ve learned many invaluable lessons during my time at Meltwater, I have to say that my biggest take-away is the ability to adapt and succeed, especially when the unexpected happens.”
Briana says, “Working with the team at Meltwater has helped build and solidify my personal and professional character.”