Hi there, please tell us a little bit about yourself! Who are you? What do you like to do for fun?
Hey, Spill the Bean readers! My name is Melissa Ly. I am currently based in Philadelphia, PA. I grew up in Brooklyn, NY. I spend most of my free time grabbing brunch with family and friends on the weekends. I love catching up on my favorite shows (Brooklyn 99, Derry Girls, Schitt's Creek) and Netflix partying with friends. I work in Community Management and love it!
Can you tell us what you do as a Online Community Specialist at Genesys for those who are unfamiliar?
Currently, I'm on the community management team at Genesys. I project manage digital events and programs for our membership base of 15K customers, partners, and employees. Our community site is where members (users) can ask questions on discussion forums, connect with Genesys experts, and stay in the know about product updates.
How did you decide to pursue your specific career? What pivotal moments pushed you to where you are now?
I didn't initially start in community management, but I always knew I wanted to work in communications in some way, shape, or form. I started my career in public relations and strategic communications. This entailed developing social media campaigns, securing brand partnerships for clients, and managing affiliate programs. I later discovered that my skills in public relations could be applied towards community management, specifically for co-working spaces (WeWork). There I worked at our largest space in Philadelphia, serving the needs of 1,200 members across industries like finance, marketing, non-profits, and tech. This role connected the dots for me, and that's where I dove deeper into the elements of hospitality, sales, and operations. Since then, I've branched out towards managing online communities for SaaS products and am enjoying serving a niche technical membership base. It's weird reflecting on how I got here because I didn't even know that the job existed years ago, and here we are!
What programs & tools do you use everyday for your work? What do you like/dislike about these programs?
Higher Logic (Community Management Platform) - This is where the magic happens; website management, email automation, and gamification. You name it! Trello (Project Management) - Easy to use tool where I have space to flesh out ideas and project manage campaigns simultaneously.
Any advice on how to stand out and get hired for those starting off?
Ask questions and be curious!
What are some must-have resources or skills you would recommend for your industry?
CMX Connect - Great slack community for networking with CX Professionals Teal - This is where I attended a career development intensive after a layoff. It kept me sane during the pandemic with their professional development events and workshops. I even made friends out of it. Highly recommend! Perfectly Imperfect Podcast hosted by Christine Chen & Regina Fang - My favorite podcast of all time. They explore topics like perfectionism, mental health, the Asian American experience, and the nuances of working in media/communications.
What are 3 character traits that would make someone excel in your field?
Empathy, curiosity, being a lifelong learner
Most satisfying & difficult thing about your job?
The most satisfying part has to be all the new connections and friends I've gained from managing communities. The most challenging thing has to be accepting trial and error. Reaching large groups requires going back to the drawing board and tweaking it for the next campaign. Though it's challenging, I find myself learning something new each time.
What would you like to say to your younger self?
It's okay to have a non-linear path. It's okay not to be perfect. (easier said than done lol!)
Best advice you've received/heard?
When in doubt, break it down into small pieces and go from there. This could apply to any aspect of your life, whether it's your career or your well-being!