Holly O'Brien, Customer Success Lead at First AML
A coffee date that led into working in an industry she never would have dreamed of, Holly O'Brien, Customer Success Lead at First AML shares some background on her career journey into tech, what the day-to-day working in Customer Success looks like as well as some insight into the key traits or values people likely to succeed at First AML must share. Thanks for sharing your story, Holly.
Firstly, how would you explain to a five year old what it is you do?
I make sure our customers are happy and making the most of our platform.
And for the adults, what does the day-to-day of a Customer Success Lead at First AML look like?
I ensure that our customers' goals are aligned with First AML’s in order to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes. This means lots of meetings with both our customers, and our product team to make sure we deliver on these outcomes. I also check in with our star analyst team on how our customers’ day-to-day interactions with end users are going.
“..in a SaaS company where it is subscription based, means you are constantly selling your value to your customers, it isn’t as ‘set and forget’”
What are some of the common misconceptions about working in customer success and how is working in CS for a SaaS company different?
Customer success in a SaaS company where it is subscription based, means you are constantly selling your value to your customers, it isn’t as ‘set and forget’ as it is in traditional companies where you have an account management team.
Therefore you have to make sure that you’re always delivering value to your customers, and helping them make the most out of their subscription fee.
Was working for a tech company something you dreamed about doing as a kid, if not what was?
No, I never really dreamed of working at a tech company. I always thought I would work in fashion or banking, a little different from what I’m up to these days.
Tell us a little bit more about your career journey and ultimately about how you ended up working at First AML?
First AML has been my first full-time role post uni studies, although I worked pretty much full time throughout my entire time at university. During my time at uni I had a few different opportunities that came my way. I started with project managing an office merger, which overlapped with becoming an assistant operations role in executive education.
Here, I had the opportunity to try my hand on the phones being a programme advisor for a summer. Then finally, a summer internship in the treasury department of a large bank.
After half a year of travelling I came back home for a week before leaving again and my friend asked if I wanted to get a coffee with her colleague who had just started a business. I reluctantly agreed to go, little did I know it would lead to where I am today.
“Exciting! Going from an environment where your tasks are set out for you daily, to a working environment where you have the opportunity to help shape the direction of the company, is really fulfilling. ”
Can you share some more insight into what that transition into First AML was like?
Exciting! Going from an environment where your tasks are set out for you daily, to a working environment where you have the opportunity to help shape the direction of the company, is really fulfilling.
What is it specifically that you like about working at First AML relative to your past jobs?
I enjoy being in the high growth environment. Watching our team grow from 5 employees to 60+ has been exciting, but it has also come with a lot of challenges such as understanding when new hires are required, and figuring out how far you can push yourself.
Do you have any advice for people considering tech as a career path and how they might get there quicker?
Recently I went to my first women in tech event and there were a few people there who weren’t currently working in tech but came along to network and chat to some people about the industry. I would say this is a great opportunity to get some insight on the industry and different roles available and what might suit.
“..it is not as much about experience and more to do with your willingness to learn and contribute to the team”
Lastly, First AML continues to evolve. What kind of candidates do you think First AML is looking for in terms of experience, attitude and character?
In terms of experience, with the analyst team it is not as much about experience and more to do with your willingness to learn and contribute to the team. We look for candidates who will also adhere to our values (innovate & blaze your own trail, execute & hustle, positive vibes, putting customers first, fiercely guard customer data) and will be a great culture fit with a can-do attitude.