Ask BCIT Alumni: Kelly Heesterman, Director of Sales and Marketing at Meetingmax

Life is a continuous journey of growth and development. Whether for personal or professional growth, there is always room to improve and advance towards a specific goal. That has been the mission of our successful BCIT Marketing grad, Kelly Heesterman.  Kelly continuously strives to improve not only herself but also encourages those around her to focus on wellness and self-improvement. 

Kelly graduated from the Marketing Management Diploma class of 2010 with a Marketing Communications Options. Her passions revolve around communications and holistic wellness. She loves educating and supporting others to create positive growth in their lives, both personally and professionally. She is presently the Director of Sales and Marketing at Meetingmax, a Vancouver-based SaaS company.

What made you decide to come to BCIT?

After graduating high school, I floated for a couple of years, unsure of my next step. My sister-in-law had completed the Marketing Comm program at BCIT and raved about it. I was always intrigued by advertising and decided to take the leap. At the time, I was quite timid about public speaking, and I felt that the presentation skills needed for the program would push me out of my comfort zone. I chose the Communications Option because it offered the broadest employment opportunities post-graduation.

Any advice when students interview for their internship or first jobs after graduation?

I’ve been involved in many hires at my company, and this is my best advice:

Apply right away: Don’t wait to apply if you see a position you’re interested in. If you wait too long, you might miss your opportunity. The company has a role to fill and will often get started on interviewing applicants right away.

Do your research on the company: Generic cover letters are a waste of time – these must be personalized to the company. During the interview, share what you’ve learned about the company, including its culture and values. Write as if you’re speaking to the hiring manager and tell them how you will add value to their team.

Be memorable: At Meetingmax, we have a slipper-optional policy; we believe a comfortable employee is productive, so we offer branded slippers to all staff (and even send them to our clients). One candidate read about this on our website and sent our CEO a pair of slippers; it worked, and she ended up securing an interview and eventually the job. 

Are you a BCIT alum? Enjoy benefits and discounts through the BCIT Alumni Perks app.

MMX User Conference Unconvention 2019

Please share with us what Meetingmax is and what is unique about this company.

Meetingmax is an event technology company. We license proprietary hotel room block management software to event holders. Have you heard of South by Southwest? If not, check it out. The 10-day festival draws upwards of 250,000 attendees to Austin, TX and most of them need a hotel. That’s where Meetingmax comes in. Our software allows event planners to manage their hotel room blocks across multiple properties and create booking links for guests. We’ve been lucky to partner with world-renowned events such as VMware Explore, Oracle OpenWorld, TED Conferences, Cisco Live, and Adobe MAX.

Meetingmax is unique because it is hyper-focused on the happiness of its employees. We have all the traditional perks of a tech company, such as unlimited vacation, professional development funds, snack budgets, remote work, liquor cart Fridays, and slippers, of course! Meetingmax takes it one step further through initiatives designed to help the team live better lives overall, such as:

  1. Outward Mindsets: Every employee receives a copy of Leadership & Self-Deception by the Arbinger Institute, which teaches you to see people as people. Because we all understand these concepts, it’s very easy to call each other out for “being in the box” which instantly allows us to reframe a situation.
  2. Brags: We love to recognize outstanding acts by other Meetingmaxers. We do this by giving public brags (via Slack and daily Huddles). Every Brag is tied back to our company’s core values, so we are constantly reminded of how we live our values.
  3. Flexible schedules: We’ve been a fully remote company since March 2020, which has benefited our team immensely. We don’t believe in being tied to a desk from 9 am – 5 pm. We trust each other and get work done on our schedules without leaving anyone else holding the bag.

As the previous Growth Manager for Meetingmax, what does your role entail, and what does a typical day look like?

As the Growth Manager at Meetingmax, I oversee all Sales & Marketing initiatives for the company. My skillset allows me to create the company’s growth strategy while jumping into the trenches and executing the required tactics. At any given time, I’m nurturing opportunities through the pipeline, implementing partnership agreements, creating content, testing new lead & demand generation methods, and improving processes. Being a part of a small team means I wear many hats; prioritization is essential! I’m also lucky to partner with some amazing local agencies for help with PR, outbound lead generation, and paid advertising.

About Ask BCIT Alumni

Ask BCIT Alumni Series features successful BCIT School of Business + Media grads in their chosen field and industry on BCIT NewsInstagram and LinkedIn. We ask them about their professional journey, share some career advice, and provide insights about their line of work to help guide and inspire fellow BCIT grads and students. Through their unique experience, leadership perspective, and involvement in the community, we provide an avenue to highlight and amplify the messages and stories of our BCIT alumni.

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