Today, we shine a spotlight on Michelle Sebek, who has been recognized for “Progress Collaboratively,” one of the ProgressPROUD core values we strive to embody every day.
For Michelle Sebek, connecting with people around the world is just another part of a day’s work. In her role as Senior Product Marketing Manager, Michelle is responsible for bringing teams together and making complex products easy to understand. Collaboration and teamwork are at the core of what she does—and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Learn more about Michelle and her time at Progress in the interview below.
I worked for a Fortune 15 telecom company for many years. My primary focus was the consumer space in and around all things marketing and sales.
I wanted a change; I wanted something outside of my comfort zone; I wanted to learn new and different things; I wanted to stay relevant and have a long career. I did a lot of competitive intelligence for a smaller private developer software boutique. One aspect of my job as a product marketing manager was to research the competition. Progress was always on the top of the list for weekly competitive research. I was always impressed with the content, launches and employees. I noticed an opening and applied.
Teamwork makes the dream work. Collaboration is the foundation of my job. To be a great product marketer, you must work with all the different teams in the organization.
No one has all the answers all the time. As a product marketing manager, I build relationships with peers from all different organizations, teams and customers. Together we build great messaging and narratives, as a collective. I work with our product teams to better understand what we are delivering and why we are creating it, and together we uncover the benefits and solutions our products provide.
Each team thinks about products very differently. Product teams usually think of features, and what a product does, whereas I take that information and flip it to understand what benefits we are providing and problems we are solving. Although all the information is true, both teams are explaining the same thing in very different ways. That is the beauty of collaboration: Working together to be better.
For me, it’s all about storytelling. How can we create a narrative that makes the most complex product digestible and easy to understand, while also addressing customers’ pain points? That’s my job: To elevate our users, optimize the customer journey and deliver solutions that help empower organizations.
We make enterprises even more successful with our products. What’s not to like about that? Plus, I love people; I love building relationships and working with humans around the globe. In this job, I’m a connector—I bring teams together and become the catalyst for action.
My first day—this is 100% a true story, you can fact check me—my first day at Progress, the first person I met was Yogesh (Gupta, CEO). Who does that? He was and is incredible, super approachable, empathic, authentic and welcoming. Plus, he was sporting his lime green shoes. And it’s been great ever since.
My leadership team is open and honest and values our team. The culture is what I have been searching for; everyone is in this together. Making progress today for tomorrow. They walk the talk—I mean we walk the talk.
Cooking is my jam. I have two favorite ways to go. I either create copycat dishes from restaurants (to see if I can do it or see how close I can get to the real thing) or use just what is on hand in the pantry and fridge.
I love to entertain my family and friends with theme events, and I also like to travel, read and spend some quality time with the family.
I can’t tell you who my favorite is, but they know who they are. I will say this: Many co-workers, both in and out of my team, have helped me and continue to inspire me.
No two days are the same. I am excited for the next chapter in my Progress journey. It’s fun to work doing something you love, with people who are rooting for you as your champions. 2022 was pretty eventful; let’s see how much more eventful 2023 will be.
To get to know other Progressers like Michelle, read more of our employee interviews here.
Jessica Kent is a writer and editor based in Boston. As a content specialist, she has the opportunity to write about the exciting things happening at Progress, as well as the amazing people behind it all. When she’s not working, you can find her reading, going for a run or attempting to learn the guitar.
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