Why Qualtrics – Jon Czernel – Senior Program Architect – Dublin, Ireland
When I started looking for a new position, my goal was to find an exciting, high-growth, “born on the cloud” SaaS organisation with a culture aligned with my values. I found all that, and more, at Qualtrics.
As I progressed through the interview process I was struck by the personalities of my interviewers - they were engaging, open and fully transparent. We talked about the good (and the bad) of the rocket ship that is Qualtrics. I felt like they were people that I could learn from, grow with, and, most importantly, really enjoy working with! I was impressed with the spectacular growth of the company, and the story of the Smith family, two brothers and a father starting a business in their basement.
What really cemented the decision for me was Qualtrics’ quest to eradicate cancer through the 5 For The Fight initiative. Family is important at Qualtrics, and 5FTF transcends what we do here. It inspires everyone to get involved in a cause that impacts so many around the world.
So, everything about Qualtrics - from the culture, to the team, to the technology - felt like a perfect fit. Oh, and the pub in the office in Dublin was just icing on the cake.
Why did you decide to join Professional Services at Qualtrics?
Quite simply, the mission of the XM Services team is highly aligned with my skills and experiences. We are responsible for maximising the impact that Qualtrics can have on a client’s organisation, and I enjoy getting the right people at Qualtrics involved in solving a client’s business challenges.
I started out my professional career as a software engineer, and later progressed to technical implementation, consulting, and later to large scale services operations leadership. For a majority of my previous roles I’ve been involved with solving tough business challenges with a combination of technology and business process improvement, working closely with stakeholders from multiple disciplines. I’ve always enjoyed building strong relationships with both external and internal customers.
What is the "day to day of your role”?
While working with our customers on an implementation program, Program Architects are our client’s single point of entry to the entire Qualtrics organisation. We are tied to the hip with program leaders from our client team, and have the opportunity to meet and learn from a diverse set of client stakeholders - from those responsible for managing XM business programs to the technical organisations integrating Qualtrics within their environment.
On a typical Enterprise implementation project we will be working with a number of Qualtrics team members: Technology Consultants, who are deep product specialists running specific workstreams in a large program, as well as colleagues in Engineering Services creating custom integrations. We will also typically engage with our Advisory Services teams who help to shape our client’s largest XM programs. In addition, Program Architects have a direct line of sight to our Qualtrics Product Managers and Engineering teams. This direct visibility allows us to provide client feedback directly to our product teams for inclusion in future releases.
How has your role changed from your initial role to what you are doing now?
I was the first Sr. Program Architect hired at Qualtrics, and I can say that it has been an adventure! As the first Sr. Program Architect, I assisted with scaling the organization and interviewing candidates for our XMS team around the world. It is incredible to look back at the outstanding talent that we’ve brought aboard since I joined two years ago, and our recruitment efforts have no end in sight!
I just started a new role to lead out the deployment of Qualtrics at SAP: a massive undertaking with our new parent organisation. This is just my latest role at Qualtrics that I’m confident will continue to change and expand, putting me just outside of my comfort zone where the most growth takes place!
I’ve also been asked to take on a number of different initiatives since I joined. Beyond leading some of our larger enterprise engagements in EMEA, I’ve assisted with operational improvements and gaining efficiencies through new technology adoption and process improvements. I’ve also led the creation of new services offerings that we now provide to all of our customers.
In addition, every quarter I try to do something new related to 5 For The Fight. We have a great team of core participants in EMEA, and we’ve made some great headway with our partner team in Ireland, Breakthrough Cancer Research, but have a long way to go. You can learn more about our efforts here: https://www.5forthefight.eu/
What are the most exciting elements of your job?
Every day is unique! I love working with our largest clients on our most complex implementations. I enjoy building relationships with our customers through our engagements, and I enjoy learning something new literally every day from my colleagues at Qualtrics as well as our customers.
While we certainly have challenges as we scale, I love seeing the way that our Qualtrics team members mobilise, coming together as One Team (one of our core values) to solve our clients’ most difficult problems. There is a “fail forward” mentality that is refreshing - everyone is encouraged to take risks, and if those risks don’t pay off…adjust and try again! We still have a #scrappy atmosphere (another core value).
What do you like most about your job?
I work every day with some of the most outstanding individuals that I’ve had the pleasure of working with over my entire career. Our culture is one that instills a deep belief in the individual: a place where you can feel safe to be yourself, and everyone is empowered and encouraged to make change happen.
What is your top #LifeHack?
I don’t know if I have one top #LifeHack - however I will say this: life is about being true to yourself and the bonds of friendship that we make. Build strong relationships with those around you who can provide support when you need it the most, and celebrate in your shared success together.
Qualtrics is growing, and if you're ready to find your "why" at a place like this, you can explore our open opportunities at any time by visiting our career page. Looking to discover more reasons "Why Qualtrics"? You can find the whole series here.
|Jon is an alumnus of the Missouri University of Science and Technology, Regis University, and the Technological University of Dublin. He started his career at LDJ Electronics. A Detroit native, Jon moved to Ireland about 6 years ago. He was married on a pirate ship in the Gulf of Mexico and once co-authored an adventure game for IBM PCs in the 80s.|