The Importance of Persistence and Adaptability: Interview with Evgeniia Megrian, Sales Hunter

25 Jun 2024

The HackerNoon editorial team has launched this interview series with women in tech to celebrate their achievements and share their struggles. We need more women in technology, and by sharing stories, we can encourage many girls to follow their dreams. Share your story today!

Tell us about yourself!

Hey-hey! I’m Evgeniia Megrian, currently working as a Sales Hunter at Semrush, and previously at SLSBMB. My primary responsibility is searching for and hiring global sales talents for IT/Tech solutions. Over the past 3 years, I’ve successfully hired over 60 senior B2B sales professionals from tech giants like Google, Snap, and Salesforce.

My journey began with an Accelerator program at uni, where I managed an EdTech SaaS designed to simplify learning complex subjects. After a successful launch but an unsuccessful work-life balance, I shifted to business development as an employee. Eventually, I transitioned to a sales hunter role, applying the same strategic approach to recruiting top talent and forming successful partnerships.

Why did you choose this field in the first place?

Early in my career, I joined an Accelerator program that introduced me to the startup world and the IT/Tech fields. This was my first real exposure to this dynamic industry. I loved the fast-paced environment, where we could test ideas quickly, be flexible, and create new processes instead of following strict rules. This approach matched really well with my values. I appreciated the opportunity to grow rapidly, try a dozen things, and see quick results. Through these experiences, I realized this was the field I wanted to develop in, and it also helped me advance quickly in my career.

What tech are you most excited/passionate about right now and why?

Currently, I’m super excited about fully implementing outbound strategies for hiring global talent. This approach allows me to reach not only candidates who apply but also those who are potentially relevant, greatly expanding our pool of prospects. It makes the hiring process more controlled and predictable. For instance, if we know exactly how many candidates we need to reach out to in order to hire a professional within a certain timeframe, the entire process becomes much more manageable.

Additionally, I’m passionate about using automation solutions to create more effective outreach campaigns and build recruitment funnels. These technologies streamline the hiring process, making it more efficient and scalable.

What tech are you most worried about right now and why?

I'm kind of worried about social media tools that contribute to problems with concentration and potentially provoke ADHD. These days, it’s becoming even harder to focus on any task for more than 30 minutes. The constant notifications and the urge to check social media can significantly disrupt our concentration cycles, making it difficult to maintain productivity and deep focus.

What are your hobbies and interests outside of tech?

I'm a real travel nerd. In the past six months, I've been to 12 countries, including the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia. I love constantly learning and sharing knowledge with others. Recently, I became a judge for Technovation, where I provide feedback to a global community of girls in STEM.

Let's talk about breaking the glass ceiling. What were the biggest challenges you faced as a woman in tech, and how did you deal with them?

As a woman in tech, one of the biggest challenges I faced was staying consistent and true to my vision despite being doubted at every turn by others. At the beginning of my career, it was especially challenging to move forward without having strong results to build my confidence.

What really helped me was building a healthy and supportive network. This network not only offered support and assistance but also provided a space where I could make mistakes without facing harsh criticism. For me, this supportive environment was the Accelerator Hub. There, making mistakes and trying new things was part of the process, and my mentor was a tremendous support in every way possible.

So, I highly recommend ensuring you are surrounded by good people who support you. It makes a world of difference.

Any questionable misogynistic story/situation you faced/handled, and you want to share with the HackerNoon Fam?

Honestly, I was fortunate enough to work in companies where I received support from my colleagues and had ample opportunities for development. While I know that many women in tech face challenging situations, I am grateful that my experiences have been positive and supportive.

What was the biggest setback/failure that you faced, and how did you manage it?

I think one of my biggest career setbacks, which also turned into a huge push forward, was when I joined my first project as a business development manager. In the first few weeks, I brought in literally zero calls. At just 20 years old, I lacked the hardcore experience of international outbound B2B sales. Seeing my colleagues with a minimum of seven years of experience, hundreds of thousands of dollars in closed deals, and impressive backgrounds in world-class IT companies, I lost faith in my ability to keep up with them and perform at their level.

However, the patience of my manager and my acceptance that I wasn't the smartest in the room, combined with a readiness to constantly learn and work hard, paid off. I regularly had calls with experienced managers, learned about their approaches, and asked for feedback as often as possible. Within a couple of months, I started showing results and eventually switched to sales hunting.

What's your biggest achievement that you're really proud of?

I'm proud of staying consistent with my career development. I started working hard when I was 17, and after starting university, it was extremely difficult to juggle studies, a regular job, and full-time work in a startup.

For some reason, I thought it was a good idea to add regular sports into the mix, which resulted in getting only 4-5 hours of sleep for over six months. However, it was during this challenging time that my perseverance paid off, and I achieved significant milestones in my career.

In your opinion, why do we see this huge gender gap in the tech industry, and how can we reduce it?

I believe the huge gender gap in the tech industry is largely due to the lack of adequate infrastructure and opportunities for women to balance a well-established career and family life. For some reason, it often feels like a choice between the two, a choice that has predominantly been influenced by cultural norms.

To reduce this gap, it’s crucial to provide work conditions that support a healthy work-life balance for women. Additionally, fostering a culture that emphasizes the importance of women's personal and professional development is key. By creating an environment that values and supports women's growth as individuals, we can help bridge the gender gap in the tech industry.

Who is your tech idol? Why?

It's hard to highlight just one specific person, but I won't be lying when I say that any woman who works hard and also manages to have a fulfilling life and a family outside of work is a hero to me. These women truly inspire me and earn my deepest respect.

Do you have any advice for aspiring girls who want to join the field?

My advice for aspiring girls who want to join the field is: don't be afraid to try! In the startup industry, flawless CVs and a list of completed courses aren't as important as your willingness to commit and work hard. If you want to try your hand at a project but aren't sure if you have enough experience, give it a shot anyway. Your dedication and eagerness to learn can make a big difference.