Meet Max, a Skillful Mentor and GM of Subscriber Experience at DoorDash.
To summarize Max's career path in one line: Johns Hopkins BA -> Market Research (worked in Los Angeles with film / media clients) -> General Assembly PM Program -> Product Marketing at GroundTruth (first tech job! Moved back home to NY. Worked in ad tech) -> Strategy & Ops at GroundTruth (internal transfer to the strategy team and helped grow the group from 2 to 10 people) -> NYU MBA (went part time and finished in 2 years) -> Subscription @ DoorDash (first hire to the DashPass team and now function as the GM of subscriber experience)
Describe yourself with three emojis
🙃 I’m generally optimistic and a happy person, but I’m also a goofball.
🚀 I’m always excited about potential and constantly look for opportunities to take things to the moon.
❤ I wear my heart on my sleeves and take pride in the fact that I’m a genuine person. Always show love for others when they deserve it.
Current role & location?
📍Subscriptions @ DoorDash. I work in NY and used to work remotely for a team based in SF, but now I can proudly say that I lead my own team in NY.
What prompted your career pivot into tech?
I was tired of working on consulting style projects where I never got to see the impact of my work. I then did some exploration and came across product (I had never heard of it before). After completing a bootcamp at General Assembly in Product Management it reinforced my thinking that switching to product would be a good idea. Interviewed, took the new job, and the rest was history.
How do you determine when it's time to pivot?
I am always thinking about what I want to do less of in my current role and trying to find ways to either a) solve the problem that’s causing me to do work I don’t like or b) find ways to maneuver internally so that I can do less of that work. If I feel boxed in I then start to consider my options elsewhere.
Where did you find the role?
LinkedIn and reading lots of job descriptions.
You've shifted roles a few times - how has your thinking around your career path changed over time?
Originally it was about finding a role where I could have a meaningful impact early on my career. I wanted to find a good manager that would focus on my development. Then it was about picking up more hard skills (trying to build a moat around my skillset and become irreplaceable). Now it is about longevity and leadership.
You've been a Skillful mentor for some time now. What makes you love mentoring here?
- Opening doors for others
- Helping folks gain confidence
- Talking about a topic I’m passionate about (BizOps)
Has there been anything unexpected that you’ve got out of mentoring with Skillful?
I’ve made a couple of connections that have helped me learn about a topic area that was previously unfamiliar to me. With their guidance I have improved my understanding drastically and that has paid dividends in my career.
Aside from mentoring, what's your favourite way to stay connected with the Skillful community?
Leave an open door and let folks book time whenever they want to chat. I still have a few mentees that I speak with on a consistent basis.
What should people who are thinking about joining Skillful know about it?
There is no other program out there like Skillful. You have a super high density of individuals with a like mindset and similar career interests (most end up getting some fairly high profile jobs that might interest you). Networking is as easy as sending a quick Slack.
Tell us more about your role at DoorDash! What team are you on?
I currently lead subscriber experience for DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription offering, which gives subscribers free delivery, reduced service fees, 5% back in credit on pick up orders, exclusive offers and more. My team and I focus on improving retention, which is fundamental to managing a subscription business and ensures we keep improving the stickiness of our product.
What has been one of your favourite projects at DoorDash?
- Project Objective: See if DashPass on two applications (Caviar and DoorDash) would drive incremental order frequency collectively
- Project Overview: Run an ops test that would give DashPass users access to their benefits on both DoorDash and Caviar to see their if their order frequency grew
- Your Role: Project lead, built the business case, came up with the concept, tested the ops test, led the product from start to finish and eventually launch
- What made it so rewarding? People believed there would be more cannibalization than we saw and eventually led the launch of membership on a brand new application. It was fun to prove people wrong and take something for start to finish.
Looking back on when you began your initial career pivot into tech, advice would you give to your former self at the beginning of your job search?
It’s a numbers game, work as many jobs as possible at the same time and build your top of funnel so you have more options down the line.
And now, a few fun tidbits about you!
📰 Where you get your daily news: My fiancée
🎨 What you're doing outside of work: Planning my wedding
*Interview has been edited for clarity & style.
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