Next up in our Employee Spotlight series is account executive Phil Hong, a go-getter with a penchant for creating.
Before joining Finch, Phil Hong was honing his sales skills with leaders in his field. When he felt that he had reached his learning potential in his previous role, he sought out a new opportunity with a growing startup–somewhere he could really make his mark. In a recent conversation with Phil, we talked about the road that brought him to Finch and what he learned along the way.
Tell us about your role.
My official title is Enterprise Account Executive. My day-to-day consists of building relationships with prospects, building out processes and SOPs, implementing GTM strategies, communicating customer feedback, and evaluating where the market is and how Finch should approach it over the next three to six months.
What did you study in college?
I graduated from USC with a math/econ degree. I am not a math wizard by any means, but I like finding the objective truth in things. This gave me the quantitative reasoning skills set to communicate and resolve problems in both my personal and professional life.
What did you do next?
After graduation, I joined DocuSign’s sales team in San Francisco. I started as an Enterprise Market Development Representative. After a year, I was promoted to a Healthcare & Life Sciences Account Executive – my first closing role! It was humbling to work with top industry executives while also mentoring the next wave of sales reps. Docusign was a very rewarding company to be at and I cannot express how thankful I am for all the experiences. I was always surrounded by supportive leaders and coworkers. Thank you, DocuSign!
How did that lead to an opportunity at Finch?
My last role was getting slightly repetitive and I was mentally ready for a new challenge. Thankfully, Finch reached out. I went through the entire interview process and from my perspective, Ansel and I got along really well. Unfortunately, they decided not to move forward with me, because they were looking for someone more experienced.
It was heartbreaking because I really understood the problem Finch was going to solve and knew the potential Finch had. A few days later, I called Ansel and asked, “Hey, what if you brought me on as a sales consultant for a couple months? It’s a win-win situation! And then, as you build out the team, if there’s room, I’d be happy to join.” Ansel liked how I approached the situation–that I was solution oriented and did not just put up my hands and quit. So, I interviewed with an investor, pitched the team, and the rest is history.
What was it about Finch that made you go that extra mile?
The primary reason is the problem that Finch is solving. Simply put, there is data that is walled off and difficult to get to. If you can solve the data accessibility problem, you can solve the majority of the entire employment landscape problem. The impact that we are going to have on businesses and people in general is going to change the way the industry thinks about employment.
The second reason is realizing that Finch is a company where I would be working with very like-minded individuals who are hungry, who are passionate, and who are, quite frankly, smarter than me. That is the type of environment I strive to be in order to push myself and others around me.
What excites you about your work?
The people I’m interacting with. I'm selling to developers, engineers, and founders. It's exciting to hear their feedback and to learn about different businesses. I truly believe that Finch will solve problems beyond the surface level use cases we see today and will provide better employee opportunities for years to come.
What one word would you use to describe Finch?
Gritty is the best way to put it, because we are constantly coming up with— sometimes outside-the-box—creative solutions for our customers. It’s amazing how accessible our founders and team members are to respond to our customers. If there is a problem, we will fix it.
How do you feel about Finch’s remote-first policy?
It’s incredible. I travel a couple times a quarter. Sometimes, I'll work in New York, Texas, Florida, or small little ski towns. Finch allows me to do that, because, at the end of the day, geographic locations do not impact our work.
What are you passionate about?
I'm passionate about creating things. One of the cool things about Finch is I've been able to create a lot of the workflows, processes, and the foundation for Finch’s sales culture. Outside of work, I’m always creating business plans with my friends. We’ve printed t-shirts, purchased real estate, and invested in several projects together.
What else keeps you busy outside of work?
I like to spend my time snowboarding, golfing, and watching football. I played football growing up, through high school and for two years at a junior college where I received a scholarship to play at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Ultimately, I decided to attend USC because it was a better opportunity for me academically. That was a huge part of how I got to where I am. The majority of what I learned from that experience still applies to what I do today. It sets the foundation for my process-orientated way of thinking and acknowledging that having a strong work ethic is paramount to any career.
What are you proud of?
I am proud that I graduated from USC. I was the youngest of three boys raised by a single mom and came from very humble beginnings. Getting academic grants and scholarships to pay for USC was a monumental accomplishment for me.
Interested in joining Finch? We’re hiring! Check out our open positions.