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From the inside

Career Development: Building a new career path

Posted by Veronica Italiano |

Have you ever found yourself wondering if you are on the right career track? What if you could test a new team, explore a new role, and assess if you want to change careers without the stress of losing what you had? Veronica’s story here is quite a nice example of how Criteo’s Internal Mobility Program – the Voyager – can help you make a smooth transition towards new opportunities. Let's hear from her experience, shall we?

How has your professional journey been going since you joined Criteo?

I was very happy to join Criteo as an Account Executive two years ago, as it was a nice bridge from Dublin to Barcelona. But after two years of focusing on the Italian market, I felt the need to step back into a more international position. I have always loved working in a multinational team!

So, is that when you decided to enroll in Criteo's Voyager Program?

Yes! As I was having open conversations with my manager, I explained I wanted to grow and broaden my skillset as I had always been in sales-related positions. My career goals were clear: I wanted to build a career managing people in an international environment, so I asked what kind of career path I could build within Criteo. My manager advised me to look at the People portal, but at this stage, I wasn’t considering switching careers completely. I wasn't sure I wanted to leave sales to start from scratch in a position where I'll have no experience.

What made you take the leap?

I came across a list of positions open to Voyagers. And there were different types of voyagers also, depending on the time you want to spend in another team. So, at this point, this seemed like the best option for me. As I was looking for a position where I could acquire new skills while having the background to help me ramp up, I found an opening for Global Program Manager for Marketing and joined a team that was in the process of being created at the time. We now know it as our Marketing Enablement team. I called up Rae Mackellar, the hiring manager, and asked her to have a coffee, and since our first conversation, I had a nice connection. I felt she was truly interested in knowing more about me, my goals, and my career. Then she told me about the project and the new team she was gathering; It seemed like a real opportunity to try something different, so I applied!

Here's a link to read Rae Mackellar's latest interview: Women in Business: Meet Rae Mackellar

Could you tell us more about your own Voyager journey and what made it a successful experience for you?

My Voyager was a bit different than others. The scope of the project, the fact that the team was being built, and the role itself, led my manager to ask me if I wanted to turn the Voyager into a temporary assignment, and I agreed to take over the role for 6 months. The communication between my current and previous managers was very smooth, and I truly felt we all saw it as an opportunity for my career development. It was so nice!

What main challenge did you face?

It was the first time a person working in Sales wanted to move temporarily to another team so what was confusing for me was the payroll. I got a bit confused as a bonus is always a big part of sales payouts. Perhaps in the future, this should be very clear right at the beginning, so there is no surprise there.

What made you decide to stay after completing your Voyager?

I have learned so much through this experience; I never thought I would be able to develop such a diverse skill set, so I decided to stay. It's been a year now, and I am still enjoying it! Having a global position has allowed me to work with all the regions, from the Americas to the EU and APAC markets, and to collaborate with many different people across the globe. It has brought me a deeper understanding of the company's global strategy.

Looking back, would you say what you have learned through the Voyager program has helped you in your current role?

The combination of my Voyager experience with my sales background has certainly given me sort of a 360 view of how we can promote our products to other clients. It allows me to bring 2 years of knowledge about Criteo products, selling propositions, and how our technology works, into marketing enablement. Coming from a different background, you challenge people differently and bring them another perspective. I think it is great that this helps knowledge circulate across different departments.

Would you recommend the Voyager program to your peers? Why?

Definitely! Especially for people who aren't sure about their career path. The Voyager is a smoother alternative; You get to test, explore, and see if it is what you want, but it is not the same non-reversible decision as switching jobs or careers. You can always go back of course, but the Voyager is less risky as you get to try something new with the guarantee that you won’t lose what you had and in case you don’t like it or is not what you wanted to do. And you'll always learn something new, so it is never a waste of time.

Regarding career development, what would you advise all Criteos?

Never be afraid to meet people outside of your close network. Just by meeting people and knowing what they do, new opportunities can appear. To me, networking and personal branding are two key aspects you can build and nurture in the company for yourself and your career. So, don't hesitate to ask questions, speak up, and express your goals clearly, and, sure enough, new opportunities will come knocking.

Veronica Italiano

Global Program Manager

The Future is Yours.

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