What makes Gartner a great place to work? Great people. Top talent is why we are the world’s leading research and advisory company. If you’re looking for a great community, a rewarding career and a chance to make a difference, Gartner is the right choice. Jenny Sussin, MVP of Research and Advisory, shares why she chose to join the Gartner team and how she has grown throughout her career.
As someone who went to school for public relations and envisioned working at a startup or advertising agency, I never would have imagined a career as a technology research analyst. Working in technology research is not something anyone goes to school for. It isn’t the sort of thing your parents encourage you to do when you grow up.
In fact, whenever someone asks me what I do, I always preempt my explanation with “I also had no idea this was a ‘thing.’”
I came right out of a small liberal arts school (go, Marist!) and right into the corporate world working for a large technology company. I was hired to support internal communications and over time grew to develop and manage the social media strategy for the company’s largest customer event. This was in the early days of social media use for business, and it turns out I was in the right place at the right time. Since no one really knew what they were doing, I had the opportunity to become an expert in the field very early in my career.
I got to know Gartner through my job as a marketer at a technology company. I didn’t fully understand what technology research was, but I knew the research analysts were revered and important. Most that I ran across were professorial types who mingled with our executives and were intellectually out of reach. As I sought my next opportunity outside of the large tech company, Gartner was on my radar.
I had applied for a communications-type position at Gartner. When the recruiter came back with a listing for a research analyst role requiring 10 to 15 years of industry experience, a master’s degree and writing samples, I laughed and said, “Yeah, I don’t have this.” The recruiter came back and said that the company was looking to try something new for the role, and while that was the standard job requisition template, they wanted me to talk to the hiring manager.
I spoke to some of my close confidantes, all of whom had much more professional experience than a 23-year-old, and they told me I had to go through with the interview. I had a million reasons why I shouldn’t: I didn’t like to travel, I liked what I was doing and wanted more of the same, and I wasn’t qualified. They told me that if I could get into an analyst role at Gartner, I’d have two years of tough work and then plenty of doors open to me for my next move. I decided I’d go through with the interview.
The people I spoke with asked challenging questions, and I couldn’t really tell if they thought I was competent or a complete idiot. After about eight interviews (everything you read online will tell you the Gartner interview process is tough, and it’s no lie), I was offered the job. Seven years later, and I have no desire to go anywhere else.
I couldn’t have and wouldn’t have come to Gartner without a push. In my time here I’ve realized that those I thought were intellectually out of reach are the best people to learn from. At Gartner, I’m surrounded with brilliant people and I’m forced to work harder, learn faster and assert myself more than I ever would have on my own. Gartner is truly a unique company full of incredible people who push one another to be realistic about the present while creating a roadmap for the technology future.
My advice to job seekers is not to sell yourself short. Push yourself to do more, learn more and take a chance on jobs that may seem out of reach. Other people can see your potential. My experience with Gartner is that of a company willing to take a chance on its people if they can commit to developing themselves.
Are you interested in joining the Gartner team? Search for an available position here.