Gaucho Alumni Spotlight—From UCSB Tour Guide to Yelp Account Executive

yelpalumGaucho Alumni Spotlight
Maritza Mossberg, Communication Major; Spanish Minor—June 2014
Current Job: Account Executive at Yelp in San Francisco

What motivated you to work at Yelp?

I chose to work at Yelp as an Account Executive because I recognized the opportunity to learn a lot from a sales position at a growing company. The theories I learned in my Communication classes are relevant to the job, although I would argue that most courses at UCSB are applicable. I firmly believe that any lecture, section, project, paper, etc. that improves your reading comprehension and analytical skills will help shape you into a well-rounded adult in “the real world.”

Give us a snapshot of a typical work day:

I get into work a little before 8:00 AM. After eating breakfast at the office, I dive into answering emails and perhaps a meeting with my team. Throughout the day, I reach out to small businesses, schedule appointments and present Yelp’s targeted advertising program to small business owners, all on the phone. The day is also broken up with sporadic catch phrase and grabbing snacks from the kitchen. However, every day really is different, which is actually my favorite part! I get to speak with lawyers, doctors, coffee shop owners, florists, plumbers, psychics, architects, real estate agents, etc. and learn about their passions/industries. Further, I have the opportunity to impact lives and help grow businesses.

What were the 3 most important things you did during the Yelp application process to help you land the job?

1) I reached out to an older gaucho and Yelp employee on LinkedIn to get advice and learn about the job expectations.
2) I did my homework. Before each round of interviews, I researched Yelp’s blog, YouTube videos and articles on the Internet.
3) I brainstormed my professional brand and how my previous experiences relate to sales.

What experience helped you prepare the most for this job? Looking back on undergrad, is there anything you would have done differently to prepare for your career?

The best experience I had that helped prepare me for a sales position was my job as a UCSB tour guide. The time I spent presenting our beautiful campus to families and potential students taught me flexibility, accountability and the importance of passion. I was (and continue to be) in love with UCSB, and my tour groups could tell. I learned that people know when you genuinely care and believe in what you say. This now applies to my position at Yelp. The only thing I may have done differently to prepare for my career is that I would have taken more Communication courses like Persuasion.

How do you balance the demands of a new job and the transition to life after college?

Post grad life does not need to be all work or all play. Just like life as a student, it is about time management, staying healthy and making time for yourself. Sales can get pretty stressful, which is why Yelp encourages its employees to not work overtime. I work from 8-5, which means I am supposed to actually leave at 5:00 PM. They provide a seamless transition from college to life after school. As for what I do when I am not working? I love to hike, go wine tasting, check out street art, eat delicious sandwiches in the park, go out with friends…and just have a blast exploring San Francisco!

What is your advice to students interested in Yelp or a similar position in sales?

Sales is an incredible post-grad opportunity, because it teaches you to hold your ground, articulate yourself, hustle, and adapt. However, it is not for the faint of heart. There will be inevitable ups and downs, but the rewards make it well worth the trials. As for some specific advice?
• Take advantage of Career Services
• Be extremely active on LinkedIn
• Don’t stress applications that do not get responses
• Network, network, network!
Do NOT be afraid to reach out to alumni you do not know for advice and help either. The worst thing that can happen is you don’t get a response. The best thing that can happen? A great job right out of school.

Warm wishes,