Aspire to Tech: Client Success Manager at StandardFusion

Career Spotlight – Dariia Shevchenko

What is your role? What is your title? Where are you located?  How long have you been doing it?

My role is Client Success Manager for StandardFusion. Our main office is located in the heart of Yaletown in Vancouver and that’s where I work. I’ve been with StandardFusion since September 2021, so about eight months now.

What makes your job interesting? What is the most fun? What is the most challenging? How does your role help drive the company’s success?

Communication is a key element of my role. Every day I communicate with people from different companies. Many of them have quite similar goals because we have a product that covers GRC goals (Governance, risk management, and compliance). At the same time, every case is different, and we need to find the best approach for every client. We need to create a business plan or project plan which helps us to guide the client in the right direction. It’s challenging because a lot of the people that I talk to on daily basis have really strong technical backgrounds and have a lot of experience – some of them are C-level – so I learn new things every day. It’s quite complex when it comes to risks compliance frameworks, but it’s always interesting.

I really enjoy that I get to utilize my soft and hard skills. I communicate with developers and clients at the same time, and I really enjoy that. My role is not restricted to only customer-facing duties.  It also includes a lot of technical work as well.

This is my first role working in GRC so it’s a completely new sphere for me. I spend a lot of time reading and researching to expand my knowledge and stay up to date. Changes occur frequently in this industry, so I make sure that I am always informed. With updates to frameworks and GRC, it’s important to always be on the same page as the client.

Sometimes people think that IT companies only hire for technical positions like developers or architects, but that’s not true. Even if you have a really good product, you need to have people who can present that product to your clients – both existing clients and prospective clients. That’s where a Customer Success Manager adds value and drives the success of the company. I help coordinate the efforts of design, marketing, and sales to present our product to clients and drive sales.

What does a typical day look like for you? What do you actually spend your time doing?

I would say 50% of my working time is spent in meetings. I communicate with our clients and partners, and I also hold internal meetings with developers and our managers. On any given day, we could be meeting to discuss helping our clients with troubleshooting, better understanding what they’re trying to accomplish, or new feature requests they may have. The rest of my time is spent working on internal projects. For example, right now, we are developing new customer success tools that will help us improve our internal processes. I am in charge of market research and requirements gathering for that project. I talk to my colleagues to better understand what problems they face day-to-day and how we can resolve those problems to streamline their work processes. I like to go to the office because I feel that I can communicate with my colleagues more efficiently, and I really like to have that as part of my routine.

Tell us about your career history? What was your very first job and how did your career path take you to where you are today?

I have a degree in international relations and Spanish translation. When I was finishing my degree, I observed a lot of my friends who had internships in governmental organizations, and I realized that would not be the best fit for me. I knew I would like to work for a company that had a more dynamic environment and could develop faster. I understood that I could leverage my knowledge of the Spanish language and that’s why I decided to start looking for open positions with companies with clients or partners in Spanish-speaking markets. That’s how I found my first full time job working for a Ukrainian company called Fabiosa. They had a lot of projects and some of them were related to Latin America, where the company created viral content for Facebook. They initially hired me to be the social media manager for Spanish markets, but in three months, I moved up to a more senior management position. From then on, I was mainly focused and communication between clients and partners from Latin America. My background in project management helped me establish myself at the company as a leader.

One year ago, my husband got an offer from a Vancouver-based IT company, so we decided to move here to Canada and that’s when I started with StandardFusion. My whole career, I have always been involved in partnerships and communication with clients and that’s exactly what I am doing right now.

Where might you go next? What’s your next role? What motivates you for your future career? Will you stay in tech?

I’ve been working to develop my hard skills recently, so I think the best fit for me would be a position like Product Owner or Project Manager. Right now, there are some parts of my job that require me to utilize these skills, but I think it would be cool to be in a full-time position related to the product. However, at the same time, I don’t want to lose the connection to the clients, because I also enjoy working with them in client success management. During client meetings, I gain a lot of new knowledge and I really enjoy seeing them happy and satisfied with our product. I think that my future role will be related to product and development.

And will I stay in tech? Yes, 100%. I will stay in tech because it’s the most dynamic sphere in my opinion. I am really motivated by working alongside smart, innovative people. I really enjoy seeing them work on new ideas and try new things to overcome new challenges every day. I feel motivated by my friends who work in different companies and share with me their experience, and knowledge.

Any final words of advice, or advice for young people?

I think it’s important to be fair with ourselves.  We need to understand what it is we want to accomplish in our lives, and never be afraid of starting something from scratch or starting over.  Even if you’re already in your 30s or 40s, it doesn’t matter, you always have the opportunity to change direction, even if you don’t have a lot of experience in that field or industry. You just need to be fair with yourself and do things that motivate you and that you’re inspired by.

I think, in the tech sector especially, there are many different opportunities at all levels from junior to senior roles, where people can find careers that will keep them motivated.  Tech is always adapting and changing and stays in constant development.  Without tech, the future would not exist.