Alumni Spotlight – Megan Pulver ’11

PDC Staff Alumni Stories

Megan PulverTell us a little about yourself.
Hi there. I’m Megan and I graduated with honors in 2011 from UofA with a major in Marketing and a minor in Film and Entertainment. I am currently the Sr. Manager, Events for VentureBeat (kinda like the Forbes of Silicon Valley/Tech), and I work to put on 7 events and 13-15 roadshow and ancillary events a year.

What have you been doing since you graduated from Eller?
I’ve had a crazy, but exciting ride since I left Eller. I began my career in Hollywood/Entertainment at a film studio working in Theatrical marketing and planning PA Tours, premieres, and film festival presence with budgets over $1.5 million.

Then I went on to take a job at the fastest growing startup in history in San Francisco building out their college program and brand ambassadors program. From there I realized my passions lay in events, so I transitioned into one of the largest for-profit event producers working with over 12,000 attendees, 500+ speakers, 100 advisors, for week long conferences and expos.

Today, I bring it all together and produce events that provide a platform for the best marketers, developers, executives, Venture Capitalists, innovators, and disrupters to talk tech, funding, startups, and the future of mobile, apps, games, and marketing.

How did you come across this opportunity?
I was actually in the final rounds of interviewing with a few other companies when a recruiter from VB reached out via LinkedIn. She had a job that wasn’t posted yet and felt I would be a good fit for. Never turning down an interview request, I went to my initial interview with the CEO thinking I had made up my mind to go with another company. I went in on a Monday, came back on Tuesday and by Friday I had an offer letter in hand. It does go to show- never turn down an opportunity to interview.

What skills do you find important in your industry?
Tech is also extremely data-driven. Growth marketers, data analysts and scientists are among the most coveted, respected, in-demand, and highest paid roles on the business side. Learn SQL, Google Analytics, master Excel (especially pivot tables), and basic coding skills like HTML/CSS are almost a must, but Ruby on Rails and Python make you stand out.

Your ‘soft skills’ are just as, if not more, important than hard skills. You may be good at your job, but if no one likes or respects you, you’re going to find it harder to actually do that job and climb the ladder. Getting people working for you (and making them think it was their idea) is an art. Study this harder than everything else.

Last but certainly not least- you’re also gonna need an interesting story. Remember: you’re going to the land where CEO’s are in their 30’s, have gone head-to-head with the United States Government (and won), all while wearing hoodies and sneakers to work. A place where it’s common to have a keg in your office (likely right next to your desk) and a drink in your hand at 11am during a company-wide meeting with over 200 countries on Google Hangout. It’s where the nerds are cool and people once deemed ‘weird’ become ‘interesting’, ‘disrupters’, and ‘tech stars’.

If you’ve got a boring resume with ‘Microsoft Office’ and ‘multi-tasking’ as your skills and ‘greek life’ as your only activities, you’ll get denied jobs because of ‘cultural fit’. You need a compelling reason for your team to want to be your friend. Do you like to build robot replicas of your favorite Star Wars characters? Or maybe you write a blog about how you’re testing the minimum number of hours you can spend studying for that ACCT 200 test and still pass. Put it on your resume.

Because out here culture is KING and in order to fit in- you have to stand out.

Photo Courtesy Megan Pulver