Sell to Win

The paths that led us here: 8 Nutshellers discuss how they joined the team

Ben Goldstein
VP of Marketing, Nutshell
Ben Goldstein
VP of Marketing, Nutshell

At Nutshell, we strive to create a workplace where anyone can feel welcome.

Many members of our team didn’t come from traditional tech backgrounds, and applied for positions at Nutshell after spending their early careers in entirely different fields such as retail management, journalism, and domestic engineering.

And that’s a good thing. We believe that our team’s diversity of experience helps us relate to our customers more effectively and solve their problems with fresh perspectives. Read a few of our stories below, and you’ll see what we mean.

(By the way, we’re always looking for talented folks to join us, so even if you’ve never worked for a tech company before or don’t think you have the “right” background for what we do, feel free to drop an email to jobs@nutshell.com and put yourself on our radar.)

Skip ahead to your favorite Nutsheller:



Kendal Won

Software Engineer

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I went through many phases but most often I wanted to be a doctor.

What was your first actual job?

I started working in retail very young because my mom owned a store.

What did you study in college, and what did you think you were going to “do” with that education?

I majored in psychology, thinking I might want to do counseling or social work, but ended up back in retail right after college.

What did you find rewarding about your initial career path, and what was frustrating about it?

I was a store manager and it was fun to work with customers, but the schedule was hectic.

I have only been here a few months but have learned so much. My technical skills are always improving and I’m excited to continue to grow.

Was there a moment when you knew you had to look for a different professional path?

I took time off when I had kids and knew that I didn’t want to go back to retail. I started studying to be a frontend engineer and was ready to apply for jobs after a couple of years.

How did you first hear about Nutshell, and why did you decide to apply for your role? 

I found a job listing for Nutshell online, and it was one of the first jobs I applied for. I was excited about the idea of working for a small company here in Ann Arbor.

What skills or interests from your past job experiences have you been able to apply at Nutshell?

I’ve always worked with people and that helps in every workplace.

How has your professional skill-set broadened by working at Nutshell?

I have only been here a few months but have learned so much. My technical skills are always improving and I’m excited to continue to grow.

What do you most like about working at Nutshell?

I like the people and the professional but caring atmosphere.

Pamela Sadler

Customer Success Specialist

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A mom.

What was your first actual job?

My first actual job, at the age of 14, was scooping ice cream at a stand inside the mall. I stopped working there because I quit. My grandma died and when I asked for a few days off the owner didn’t believe me. I was so confused as to why someone would ever lie about that. My initial work experience was tainted. 

What did you study in college, and what did you think you were going to “do” with that education? 

I did not go to college. In my senior year of high school, I quit cheerleading and participated in a co-op, meaning I went to school for four hours and worked the other four. I was trained to be a secretary which landed me a job straight out of high school, making $12/hour, which was pretty good pay at the age of 18 in 1987. 

What did you find rewarding about your initial career path (before coming to Nutshell), and what was frustrating about it? 

I stopped working when I had children, which was only a few years later, so I feel my initial career path was a domestic engineer! I was what I always wanted to be, a mom. The rewards of staying home when my children were small are too many to count, but as they grew, I did too. It was difficult to find a decent job after being out of the workforce for so long and also very frustrating to not have been given opportunities without college and/or experience. 

Was there a moment when you knew you had to look for a different professional path? 

After several low-paying, 55-hour workweek, high responsibility jobs in and around Ann Arbor, coupled with being fired after attempting to unionize a third-party logistics company, I vowed I would not sacrifice my work-life balance again. I scoured the internet looking for an opportunity to best serve my skills with a like-minded philosophy in Ann Arbor.

How did you first hear about Nutshell, and why did you decide to apply for your role?

I heard about Nutshell from my daughter via Instagram. I researched the company and the reviews were stellar. The personal touch and down-to-earth language they spoke was extremely appealing. With the support of my children, I reinvented my resume and applied. 

I have never experienced such a lovely attitude in the workplace. EVER! Diversity, compassion, and communication are the key components to Nutshell’s success.

What skills or interests from your past job experiences have you been able to apply at Nutshell? 

My background in customer service, communication skills, and team player attitude are all applicable. 

What skills or interests from your past LIFE experiences have you been able to apply at Nutshell?

Being a single mother taught me patience, humility, multi-tasking, and team everything! Building a foundation of strength is a valuable asset that stems from vulnerability. 

How has your professional skill-set broadened by working at Nutshell? 

I am learning how the tech world works and it amazes me! It is a whole new language in itself and one I am eager to fully understand and promote. 

What do you most like about working at Nutshell? 

I have never experienced such a lovely attitude in the workplace. EVER! Diversity, compassion, and communication are the key components to Nutshell’s success. Real people and real conversations in the progressive tech society is an impressive discovery for a mom like me.

Roosevelt Barrett

Customer Success Manager

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An NFL player.

What was your first actual job?

I was a paperboy.

What did you study in college, and what did you think you were going to “do” with that education?

I studied Math and I thought I would be an Actuary.

What did you find rewarding about your initial career path, and what was frustrating about it?

I have been in sales most of my career so I really enjoyed the money you can make. The frustrating part was chasing customers and learning to accept rejection.

Was there a moment when you knew you had to look for a different professional path?

Yes. I was working in advertising for Channel 7 and I hated my job. Wearing suits every day got old fast. Management often gave leads to their buddies instead of helping new reps get off the ground. Once COVID-19 started, a lot of customers didn't want to spend money on advertising or they pulled their ads from TV to save money. That hit my pocket big time.

How did you first hear about Nutshell, and why did you decide to apply for your role?

I think I saw the job listed on Indeed or LinkedIn. I read the requirements and did some research on the job title. I then started looking at reviews that former employees had left about working with Nutshell. There was a lot of positive feedback so I decided to apply.

What skills or interests from your past job experiences have you been able to apply at Nutshell?

I have great ability to build relationships with customers and take care of their needs.

I have been in sales most of my career so I really enjoyed the money you can make. The frustrating part was chasing customers and learning to accept rejection.

How has your professional skill-set broadened by working at Nutshell?

Being a Customer Success Manager will broaden my customer rapport skills and improve my communication abilities.

What do you most like about working at Nutshell?

I love working with the team and the flexibility that I have.

Kristen Gray Psychas

Senior Customer Success Manager

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A spy.

What was your first actual job?

In college, I spent most of my elective courses in the French classroom and became close with one of the administrators who wrote me a letter of rec to teach in France. My first actual job was teaching ESL to K-12 students outside of Lille. I loved a lot of things about that job—the lesson planning, the excitement of helping prepare young people for the world at large, and obviously, the croissants. When I moved home and was looking for my next gig as a twenty-something, salary became more of a priority and I had a gut feeling that I might be cut out for business.

What did you study in college, and what did you think you were going to “do” with that education?

International Relations. I dreamt of working at the UN one day.

What did you find rewarding about your initial career path, and what was frustrating about it?

I look back on my days in retail management and smile. I loved motivating myself and others to do a lot with very few resources during a time when brick & mortar traffic was dwindling. I loved the face-to-face interaction and making people's day by giving a little extra care to the folks who needed help. I loved balancing payroll in the back office, tracking shopping trends, and setting tangible sales goals for my team. The most frustrating part is that I lost my ability to “turn it on” for people after being customer-facing for 50+ hours a week. I needed more time to recharge so I could better serve my escalated customers and react to unrealistic expectations from the Home Office.

Was there a moment when you knew you had to look for a different professional path?

When my mom underwent chemotherapy, I quit my management job and got licensed in real estate so I could run business meetings for her while she was healing. My first day at Nutshell was her final day of chemotherapy—real estate is not for the faint of heart! While I am grateful to have had the flexibility to be with her for every doctor’s appointment, I knew that being accessible to clients 24/7 wasn’t going to be sustainable for the kind of career I wanted to develop. I sought flexibility, work/life balance, and the ability to unplug and recharge.

How did you first hear about Nutshell, and why did you decide to apply for your initial role?

Nutshell had a job posting on LinkedIn and I applied more or less on a whim. Of the tens of applications I submitted, it was the only role in tech I applied for and I was sure I was underqualified. The reason I pushed through was because I love helping people and felt I could empathize with scaling, hustling, stressed-out business owners because I had been there. I missed teaching too, which is a skill that serves me every day in my role in CS. 

What skills or interests from your past job experiences have you been able to apply at Nutshell?

Teaching to an audience that doesn’t want to be taught, time management and doing a lot with a little, and a genuine love for people.

What skills or interests from your past LIFE experiences have you been able to apply at Nutshell?

I’m bilingual and I think that helps me listen more closely not to what people say, but what they mean. I’m a sharp listener and choose simple language when talking to people about complicated topics.

How has your professional skill-set broadened by working at Nutshell?

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my deep dive into tech stacks. It’s amazing how much more we can accomplish in life when we leverage technology to make living easier. 

Of the tens of applications I submitted, [Customer Success at Nutshell] was the only role in tech I applied for and I was sure I was underqualified. The reason I pushed through was because I love helping people and felt I could empathize with scaling, hustling, stressed-out business owners because I had been there.

What do you most like about working at Nutshell?

I help actual people run lucrative businesses. I get to be everyone’s cheerleader, and offer a leg-up during one of the toughest and most-dreaded software transitions for any business owner. I love proving my customers wrong when the onboarding and scaling process is both fun and successful. This cultivates mutual trust and personal loyalty. When our customers are winning, Nutshell is winning too. Who doesn’t want that?

Jack Virag

Content Marketing and SEO Strategist

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

The first thing I ever wanted to be was a talk show host. This was around middle school, and I had just gotten a (bulky) hand-me-down TV for my bedroom. I specifically wanted to be like Conan O’Brien. He had the whole self-deprecating nerdy personality like I did, and he somehow made it work.

What was your first actual job?

My first real job was at Potbelly Sandwich Works in downtown Ann Arbor. I started by working weekend prep, operating the deli slicer, and made $7.75 an hour. I could barely pay rent, and a lawyer would advise me against making some type of statement admitting that the only way I survived was by “misappropriating” food that had reached its expiration date.

What did you study in college, and what did you think you were going to “do” with that education?

I didn’t go to college. I’ve been in recovery since 8/1/2012 because in high school I discovered the hard way that I had what 1950s psych books call “an addictive personality.” I didn’t even graduate high school and had to get a GED instead of a diploma. It wasn't great.

Throughout my addiction, I experienced short bouts of homelessness, and would eat the free breakfasts (and take the clothing donations) at St. Andrew’s Church in Ann Arbor (I love you guys so much.) Later, in recovery, my homegroup met at that same church on Fridays. It was an LGBTQ+ meeting, less based on the rigid 'biblical' AA traditions, and was ironically where I felt the most welcome. (In 2020, Nutshell made a charitable donation to the same church for their great work in our community overall, and it really felt like things had come full circle.)

So instead of developing my degree, I was developing a deep-rooted love for my community, which is not nearly as impressive on resumes.

What did you find rewarding about your initial career path, and what was frustrating about it?

The only thing I really found rewarding about restaurant management was developing the people who worked under me. Restaurant environments aren’t always fair, but if you’re able to shield your employees from that, it feels like a million bucks. And speaking of bucks, I think I secured more raises for employees than all of the other managers combined.

Employment is temporary, but people will always remember the way you treated them, and the way you made them feel. Improving someone’s perceived self-value in a professional setting, if you’re in a position to do so, might go on to make their personal life better in certain ways. Or maybe they’ll be inspired to apply for a big job they wouldn’t’ve felt qualified for. Or maybe not, but I think it’s always worth it to try.

How did you first hear about Nutshell, and why did you decide to apply for your role? 

I learned about Nutshell from local word-of-mouth, and the waves they were making in the community. One of the brightest marketers I knew at the time came from Nutshell.

In a marketing IT position, I compared a few CRMs—Nutshell, Pipedrive, and Sugar—and Nutshell was the winner. The company I worked for didn’t even end up purchasing it, though, even after I had started such a good friendship with the support/sales team. It sucked.

Signing up for the trial enrolled me in the Sell to Win newsletter, which I really liked. It often linked back to Nutshell’s Sell to Win blog, which was full of content that was really impressive to me at the time. I learned how to do a few specific things just from reading that blog, and have it bookmarked to this day.

At a networking event, some dudes wearing matching jackets (so cool) walked in, and the person I was speaking to said “Oh, those are Nutshell people. My fiance works at that company!” I Googled Nutshell once more when I got home to look at the team page and see if I could identify the people I saw, out of curiosity.

I couldn’t tell who the people were, but I also glanced at their jobs page, again mostly out of curiosity, and proceeded to read a job description for the best job I could possibly imagine. I applied, and the rest is history.

During my second interview, everything was going fine until my soon-to-be colleague Rebekka said something funny while I was drinking and I spit water everywhere. It was one of the most disgusting things I had ever done and I actually thought it had cost me the job.

What skills or interests from your past job experiences have you been able to apply at Nutshell?

The best thing about my employment at Nutshell has been the ability to develop my marketing skills and gain new knowledge. Nutshell is a small team and doesn’t necessarily have a specialist on call to do each new activity, which means a lot of on-the-fly learning and a lot of general aptitude from the rest of the team.

I’m a big learn-on-the-fly guy, so this setup works for me really well. In fact, most of the things I consider myself to be “good” at are things I perfected in my role at Nutshell.

Most importantly, I’ve always loved writing—as a hobby and professionally—but I was never really good at it, especially in terms of producing marketable content. I tended to write guides, instructional content, and support-type stuff. Nutshell’s then-Content Marketing Manager Ben Goldstein spent time with me on each piece of writing, going over what worked and what didn’t, and I quickly grew comfortable writing outward-facing blog content. It’s now a skill I teach to others.

Employment is temporary, but people will always remember the way you treated them, and the way you made them feel. Improving someone’s perceived self-value in a professional setting, if you’re in a position to do so, might go on to make their personal life better.

What skills or interests from your past LIFE experiences have you been able to apply at Nutshell?

One of my guiding principles is to always act with honesty and integrity. It’s a surprisingly simple way to reduce stress, drama, and anxiety.

“Wow, big pat on the back for you, Jack,” you might say. And yeah, it sounds pedantic, sure. But it’s rare that people actually do it.

One thing that I appreciate about Nutshell is that I can be honest about my own shortcomings. A conversation like “hey, I’m gonna need more time on this project, it’s deeper than I anticipated” probably wouldn’t go over well for some. But I’ve established a rapport that I’m really always trying my best, always solving problems, always working, etc., and that allows me to have these open communications and not have to worry about, like, what precedent I’m going to set.

How has your professional skill-set broadened by working at Nutshell?

Not to sound like a typical 'Linkedin person,' but my approximate value in terms of skills and experience has probably doubled since I started at Nutshell. I’m serially learning everything I’ve wanted to learn, thanks in part to our small company size.

What do you most like about working at Nutshell?

The people, the team, the environment. We trust each other. We work well with one another. Everyone is friends at Nutshell, to varying degrees, and we all want success for one another. It’s quite unlike other companies I’ve experienced, and the polar opposite of restaurant management in some ways.

Ashante Clemons

Product Marketing Specialist

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

To be honest, I didn’t have a specific career path in mind as a kid. Though I took a lot of interest in writing, I was told fairly early on in life that success (and compensation) for a writer was limited. I think deep down, I leaned more toward wanting a job or career doing something more creative or within the arts, but I struggled with the reality that I might not make the salary I wanted or that I would be limited in what avenues my career could consist of. 

What was your first actual job? (If there’s an interesting story behind it, you could also explain why you stopped working there.)

I got my first job at 12. A friend of my parents owned a small horse ranch, just outside of Ann Arbor. I had been horseback riding every summer since I can remember, but I had never participated in instructed lessons as my parents could not afford them at the time. Their friend, Glee, offered to give me lessons and pay me in exchange for cleaning the horse stalls twice a week and tending to the horses. Every Thursday afternoon and early Saturday morning, I would go to the ranch, grab a wheelbarrow and a shovel, and pile pounds of horse shite and dump it out in a field. 

What did you study in college, and what did you think you were going to “do” with that education?

I had no idea what I wanted to do when I started college. Needless to say, I only stayed two semesters. I found more reward and stimulation in working. I also was living on my own, so school felt more like a burden that was keeping me from earning the money I needed to survive. To this day, I don’t regret the decision to drop out of college. It wasn’t for me, and it didn’t serve a purpose for me at that time.

How did you first hear about Nutshell, and why did you decide to apply for your (initial) role? What was compelling to you about the job or the company?

At the time, I had an ex-coworker and friend working at Nutshell. My friend approached me about an opportunity to join Nutshell’s customer experience team. I didn’t know anything about Nutshell or CRM. I honestly didn’t know much about technology, other than using my own devices. But I was more than ready to get out of retail and was looking for a major life change. I was stuck in what felt like a dead-end retail management position, I had held these types of positions for nearly a decade and just wanted to escape.

I did not think I was qualified for Nutshell’s CX position, but I’m a firm believer in letting a company tell me I’m not a good fit, rather than self-blocking potential opportunities. What really pushed me to apply for the job at Nutshell was learning more about Nutshell’s ‘company culture’. It was not lost on me that if I applied and was hired, I’d be the only Black employee at the time, and possibly the only person of color at the company.

This was actually a red flag, if I’m being honest. My friend ended up forwarding me a blog post that had been written by Joe Malcoun (Nutshell’s CEO at the time) about an unfortunate, yet educational moment where Nutshell was called out for a Facebook ad that featured Beyonce’s image and used AAVE (African American Vernacular English).

In the blog post, Joe explained how he personally reached out to the individual who called Nutshell out for their blunder and listened to their experiences as a Black person in America, to their experiences as a Black person in the tech/marketing world, and to why it was inappropriate for Nutshell to use language and images culturally representative of a group when they didn’t even have any of that representation within the company. In his blog post, Joe vowed to keep listening, learning, and speaking up on the lack of diversity surrounding founders and leadership teams within tech.

The simple acknowledgment of making a mistake, learning from it and taking the time to understand an experience that was not of [their] own to better themselves, not only as a company but as individuals is what brought me here. If this was a company willing to take the first steps, I was willing to join the journey.

How has your professional skill-set broadened by working at Nutshell?

Where do I begin? Before Nutshell, I didn’t know anything about tech. I couldn’t have told you what B2B, SaaS, or CRM stood for. 

School felt more like a burden that was keeping me from earning the money I needed to survive. To this day, I don’t regret the decision to drop out of college. It wasn’t for me, and it didn’t serve a purpose for me at that time.

What do you most like about working at Nutshell?

The people I work with. By far, this is the best thing about Nutshell. Nutshell has a reputation for hiring friendly, authentic, and empathetic people. This allows for a truly comfortable, open, and progressive work environment where any and every voice can be heard. 

Madi Togrul

Product Designer

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a lot of different things when I was younger, but my strongest ambitions were interior design and writing. I loved reading and was great at spelling, so elementary-school-me thought that I could be a great writer someday. I also loved rearranging my room and creating collages, and interior design seemed like the kind of glam career I could always keep under my “dream jobs” list. It didn’t feel like a real career option, but writing really did. 

What was your first actual job?

My first job was as a business development rep at an Ann Arbor startup called FarmLogs. I was 21 and naive, and thought business development seemed like an interesting job. I also loved the office nestled on the top floors of the Kerrytown Shops building and the idea of working at a cool farming startup.

Once I started, I realized that “business development” just meant sales. I remember telling our top sales rep that calling strangers made me incredibly anxious, and he responded by asking “Madi, what did you think this job was?”

I sold FarmLogs to exactly three farmers and cried in the mornings before I came to work. I worked in that role for eight months and I honestly can’t believe they didn’t let me go sooner. They wouldn’t have been at all out of line in doing so, though I’m grateful that they didn’t. 

What did you study in college, and what did you think you were going to “do” with that education?

I studied English and Program in the Environment in college. I dreamed about going to NYC and writing for a magazine like The New Yorker or GQ, but I quickly realized that wasn’t realistic without a lot of money and a lot of connections. Then I thought about becoming an environmental lawyer, until an environmental lawyer came to my law class and said it was a depressing, thankless job with very few environmental wins. I figured maybe I’d go into marketing or something, and willfully believed that I’d just figure it out. 

Was there a moment when you knew you had to look for a different professional path?

I knew that sales wasn’t for me, but I wasn’t sure what else I was qualified to do. I worked as an office manager after that, but the team told me that I was overqualified even before I started in the role. After a few months, I was looking for new projects and thinking about what I wanted to do next. 

I’d always been interested in design and I was intrigued by the work our product design team did. A friend of mine suggested that I sit in on a teammate’s design class back at U of M, and I fell in love with product design. I didn’t have any experience though, so my next role was a customer success specialist at Nutshell. While I was doing that role, I kept designing in my personal time and worked on figuring out how to pursue that as a real career. 

It wasn’t a clear moment, but I had a series of moments over the course of a few years that helped me see where I wanted to land.

What skills or interests from your past job experiences have you been able to apply at Nutshell?

Every job I’ve had, regardless of how I felt about it, has taught me something valuable. In sales, I learned how to start conversations with strangers and ask probing questions to better understand their needs. In office management, I learned the value of organization and discovered how much joy I get out of designing systems. My support job taught me how to empathize with our users and their difficulties, write helpful content using a clear and friendly voice, and communicate honestly, openly, and fairly. 

Those are all skills that I use in my current product design role. I apply my sales skills every time I speak with a user, the office management skills when I write specifications and briefs for our full team, and the support skills every time I approach a new design problem. 

What skills or interests from your past LIFE experiences have you been able to apply at Nutshell?

I know that I’m not alone in this, but life has thrown me a lot of curveballs. I’ve been presented with a lot of problems, and so far I’ve always found a way to solve them (knock on wood). Product design is all about problem-solving, and I’ve learned that good designers look at a problem from lots of different angles before starting work on a solution. My life has taught me how to do just that, and has given me the confidence to trust my gut when it comes to making a decision on how to proceed. It’s definitely helped me be a better designer! 

How has your professional skill-set broadened by working at Nutshell?

Gosh, how hasn’t it? I spent my first two years here on the Customer Success team, where I learned an unbelievable amount about empathy, communication, problem-solving, managing expectations, and supporting both people and a product. 

I also transitioned into my design career at Nutshell, and I’m learning something new in this role every day. I’ve become better at understanding users and their needs, looking at problems from every angle before looking for a solution, collaborating with engineers, juggling competing expectations from customers and stakeholders, looking months and even years ahead when it comes to our product development...the list goes on. 

I work with an incredible team of people at Nutshell, and I’m always learning how to be a better designer, thinker, teammate, and friend. 

Product design is all about problem-solving, and I’ve learned that good designers look at a problem from lots of different angles before starting work on a solution. My life has taught me how to do just that, and has given me the confidence to trust my gut when it comes to making a decision on how to proceed.

What do you most like about working at Nutshell?

There are a lot of things that I love about working at Nutshell, but it is the people I work with that I value the most. These folks are kind, funny, thoughtful, and intensely intelligent. Their compassion for our customers and small businesses across the country knows no limits. It was that same compassion and belief in my potential that led me to this wonderful, goofy, complicated design job that I love so much. 

I’ve spent all of my (admittedly short) professional career on a winding path. One of the things that I love about tech, and particularly Nutshell, is the flexibility I’ve been given to explore my interests and foster a meaningful career for myself. 

That said, I owe the biggest debt of gratitude to all of the people who helped me get where I am today—the people who let me sit in on that first design class, all of the teammates at Nutshell that supported me and advocated for me and sat for usability tests for my personal projects, and my design mentor for teaching me everything I knew until I was hired as a product designer. I wouldn’t be here without them and I firmly believe that anyone who wants to make a career leap should seek out friends, colleagues, and mentors who inspire, encourage, and motivate them. 

Ben Goldstein

VP of Marketing

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A writer, like my hero Stephen King.

What was your first actual job?

I was a Retail Associate at an Eddie Bauer store. I learned how to fold shirts and pants.

What did you study in college, and what did you think you were going to “do” with that education?

I was an English major. By the end of my second year of college, I decided that I wanted to move to New York City after graduation and work as an entertainment journalist in the magazine industry. I was already learning the basics of journalism at my school’s newspaper, and entertainment magazines seemed like a lot of fun. This was back in the early 2000s, when magazine writing was still a more lucrative, respectable, and reliable way to earn a living than writing for the Internet.

What did you find rewarding about your initial career path, and what was frustrating about it?

Everything about my initial career path was rewarding except for the pay. I’ve never had more fun at work than I had when I was early in my career, getting to write for a living and spending my days spitballing article ideas with smart, funny people. There were always free CDs and concert tickets lying around, and endless open bars provided by random publicity firms—life was a party, folks. But again, the pay sucked. Also, magazines were a dying industry, which meant that keeping a job became harder every year. I loved to write, but the competitive pressure began to wear on me.

I arrived at Nutshell as a writer/editor, and became a full-fledged marketer along the way. In particular, I’ve learned a ton about managing lead channels, and all the levers that marketers can pull to get to the perfect mix of lead cost, quality, and volume.

Was there a moment when you knew you had to look for a different professional path?

I got laid off for the first time in 2007 when Stuff Magazine was acquired by new owners and immediately dissolved, then I ran a mixed martial arts blog for seven years, then I got laid off from that job after the site was acquired by new owners and eventually dissolved. I needed to find another line of work that was less chaotic than publishing, where I wouldn’t be kicked out the door because some dopes upstairs were hustled into believing that “pivoting to video” would be more profitable. Where would my talents be appreciated? Yada yada, it’s a long story.

How did you first hear about Nutshell, and why did you decide to apply for your initial role?

After spending a year working as a content marketing manager at a company in Troy, Michigan, I wanted to look for something closer to home. I googled “content marketing jobs ann arbor” and found an opening on nutshell.com. I’d never heard of Nutshell before and I had zero hands-on experience with CRM software, but I really liked the prospect of working in downtown Ann Arbor, and the team seemed incredibly warm and welcoming during my interview process.

What skills or interests from your past job experiences have you been able to apply at Nutshell?

My experience in entertainment magazines and sports blogs meant that I knew how to show the reader a good time, first and foremost. All that other content marketing junk, the CTAs and the SEO tricks—you can learn all of that in an afternoon. What’s important is the ability to hold the reader’s attention from the headline all the way down to the kicker, and I already knew how to do that. And I still know my way around a stack of folded shirts, by the way.

How has your professional skill-set broadened by working at Nutshell?

I arrived at Nutshell as a writer/editor, and became a full-fledged marketer along the way. In particular, I’ve learned a ton about managing lead channels, and all the levers that marketers can pull to get to the perfect mix of lead cost, quality, and volume. (I don’t claim to have mastered this part of the job yet, I’m just saying, it’s fun to pull those levers.)

What do you most like about working at Nutshell?

The people! Also, the companies and the leads. See what I did there?