Cup ramen, mac and cheese, and PB&J; are about as gourmet as it gets when it comes to dining options for most college students. But Greenhouse Product Marketing Manager Jennifer Ho refined her culinary palate early.
While earning a degree in Economics at McGill University in Montréal, she was also climbing the ranks of search engines with her frequent updates on her food blog and Instagram account, Braised and Confused. The popularity of her posts, on everything from the latest restaurant openings in Montréal to food tours in Bangkok and Istanbul, led to lots of fun opportunities, including TV appearances and invitations to exclusive events.
After spending the first few years of her career in product marketing at L’Oréal, Jennifer was hungry for experiences beyond her hometown and set her sights on the Big Apple. We caught up with her to learn about her journey to Greenhouse, her role as Product Marketing Manager, and her top picks for dining in New York City.
Greenhouse: What was your first job ever?
Jennifer Ho: The summer when I was 12, I worked at a bookstore called Babar’s. I was a huge bookworm and read everything I could get my hands on. As a frequent customer to the store, I pretty naturally became quick friends with the owners. I spent my summer days advising kids on what they should read (i.e. the hottest new teen fiction), and they repaid me in books at the end of the summer.
GH: You have a BA in Economics and Marketing from McGill—what drew you to those topics?
JH: In Québec, you end high school in grade 11 and spend 2 years exploring other subjects instead of going straight into university. During that period, I discovered economics. I liked how it gave you a framework for thinking about the world, and a toolkit to understand concepts that were totally relevant to any job you went into. By combining it with marketing, I got to explore a more creative application of many of the same concepts.
GH: During your time at McGill, you were involved in some fun extracurricular activities. Can you tell us about that?
JH: Food was always a passion for me—it’s something that I inherited from my parents. There was a point in university when I was eating out three times a day, every day—it was crazy. My boyfriend at the time (my now husband) suggested that I take a few pictures and start a blog about all the places I was going. As a student, I had a lot more free time, so I was able to post on my blog, Braised and Confused, constantly. I ended up getting to the number one position on UrbanSpoon. And this led to some really cool opportunities, like being invited to restaurant openings, tastings, and even a helicopter ride over the city! I haven’t really kept up with the blog recently, but I’m still active on Instagram.
GH: How did you find out about Greenhouse?
JH: Before Greenhouse, I worked as a product marketer for the L’Oréal Paris brand. After living in Montréal my whole life and working at a big, international beauty company for a few years, I was interested in exploring a different environment and shifting perspectives to something smaller and more intimate where I could see my impact more immediately.
As I was researching companies in New York, I noticed that the most innovative, forward-thinking companies were all using Greenhouse. After a bit of Googling, I learned how it had been named a Best Place to Work on Glassdoor and won all these awards, and I knew I had to apply.
GH: What was the application process like?
JH: What stood out to me was the level of transparency. Being able to see how long each interview was going to be, who it would be with, and what topics were on the agenda was such a differentiator. And the onsite experience was one of the nicest—and most fun—I had.
GH: Fun isn’t often a word that’s used to describe job interviews. What made the experience so fun for you?
JH: The people—it was casual but still professional, friendly, and attentive. My interviewers actually tried to connect with me on a personal level, and that made the whole experience feel incredibly sincere and genuine. I definitely got the sense that different perspectives and personalities are respected and encouraged here.
GH: You started off on the sales team as a Sales Development Representative and now you’re a Product Marketing Manager on the marketing team. What prompted that change and how did you go about making the transfer?
JH: I joined the sales team as an SDR to get a sense of what it would be like to be on the frontlines of a leading tech organization. Being able to see the results of my performance in black and white, ranked, and on a leaderboard was really motivating—as a competitive person, that was a huge driver.
After achieving a strong foundation in sales, I started thinking about getting back to my roots in marketing. I started exploring options internally—I was really interested in seeing how marketing differed in the tech industry compared to what I’d experienced before in CPG—rather than relying on traditional media like TV, radio, and print, I’d be using digital strategies, education/white papers, and events as opportunities to gain more broad, top of funnel awareness.
I started some conversations with the marketing team, and it all happened really quickly. I was lucky to have some strong advocates on the sales team who helped make introductions and really supported me throughout the process. Everyone has been great about integrating me onto the team and getting me up to speed.
GH: How would you describe your role as Product Marketing Manager?
JH: I’m working on projects that are related to launches we have coming up, like Greenhouse Predicts, which integrates AI and machine learning into the product. I’m also working on a new feature that’s precipitated a larger conversation around how we talk about reporting as an organization. Gearing up for a launch involves ensuring we have the right messaging, positioning, collateral, and support to enable the sales team.
On a typical day, I present the latest on our account based marketing strategy to our enterprise sales team and work on copy decks for the website relaunch. I also interview current customers to create compelling case studies our reps can leverage in the field. And I support the marketing team in whatever ways I can, which often involves interviewing candidates for our open roles, and occasionally writing for the Greenhouse Blog, like I did recently with this post on GDPR.
GH: What have been some of the highlights of your time at Greenhouse so far?
JH: Having the support of key sales managers and execs when I expressed the desire to move onto the marketing team. I’m a big believer that actions speak louder than words—the company showed me they valued me as an employee, and that was really powerful. This seems to be a common theme at Greenhouse—they value people’s potential. I’ve seen people from sales go into engineering, customer success, and in my case, back to marketing.
GH: With your restaurant obsession, it seems like it’d be a shame not to ask you about your favorite places in New York. What makes it to the top of your list?
JH: Uncle Boons for Thai, Raku for udon, and Sushi Nakazawa for omakase are some of my favorites.
See yourself joining a company that supports you as you grow into different roles? Check out our open positions here.