Women in Technology -- Meg Deering
This year, we've kicked off a Women in Technology blog series focusing on some fantastic women in leadership roles here at the Sage Intacct office of Sage. These women come from all walks of life, and are mentors, moms, bosses, and even beekeepers. Their stories and wisdom inspired me, and I trust you’ll find the same.
This latest profile is on Meg Deering, Program Manager with Partner Enablement at Sage Intacct. Here’s what she had to share…
Brittany Benson: Thanks for joining me today, Meg! Let’s start with you telling me about your role at Sage Intacct.
Meg Deering: Sure! I am a Program Manager for Partner Enablement. There may be circumstances in which our partners are unsure what to do, so they’d come to our partner enablement team. It could be that they’re unsure of where to go next for discovery on the sale, how to implement the best software practices for their clients, how to best train their clients, etc. My team carefully goes through these cases, requests and statements of work we receive and finds the best curriculum or training in different areas, or just come alongside them to offer our partners resources.
Let’s say they are implementing projects and get stuck somewhere through the process. We would want them to first take advantage of the project courses we offer that includes Partner Office Hour presentations, check out Knowledge Base articles that may help them answer their questions and stay on track. And then we also offer time to talk the use cases through.
I really love assisting our partners because they are such intelligent people. Every time they come to my team or me for assistance, they’re very inquisitive, and it challenges us to really think about their thought process and how they got to the place they’re in. So, my role pertains to hosting a lot of training with our partners and trying to find things that aren’t foreseen that our partners or clients may need to know. Because every case is different, there’s really no routine to my job. My team and I just take a deep breath and are determined to overcome each new challenge as quickly as we can.
Brittany: Could you tell me a little more about your team?
Meg: My team is actually made of all women right now! We have specialties that we work on within our verticals and that’s how we complement one another. I’m a hands-off manager because I assume everyone is doing what they’re supposed to until they prove me wrong. I like hiring people that are better than me and love teasing them that they along with a few other people at Sage Intacct will be running the show in the next 20 years because they’re so smart and capable. But it doesn’t intimidate me at all that they’re smarter, in fact, I always encourage their growth. That means I can learn from them as well.
Brittany: That sounds like such an exciting opportunity to learn new things every day on the job. Can you tell me how you got into technology?
Meg: I came into technology by mistake. Years ago, I was working with a church that wanted to use technology, but we were using the very first Apple computer. I had to do a control C every time I wanted to change one of the four floppy disk drives and try to really make this application work. And through that, I got interested in technology.
I come from a family of accountants, so I thought I wanted to avoid the accounting field and do something different. However, accounting was calling me; it’s in the blood. I ended up going back to get my master’s for technology at Bentley University. When I was finishing school, I transitioned from working at the church to the business field. One of the offers I received was from NEC to work on their first 8086 personal computer that was coming into the country from Japan.
I went with that offer and it got me into the personal computing field. What really amazes me is the advancement of technology. I remember going to a national computer show and they were showcasing how to use a mouse, and everybody was fascinated with it since no one had knowledge of how to use it. I remember it totally intimidated my boss. Now, we’re able to talk to our computers and use touch screens, and all sorts of things and it’s fascinating! I was always eager to jump in and learn about all these new advancements.
Brittany: Throughout your career, has there been a woman who has inspired you?
Meg: Mary Cail, my first boss from when I was working at the church. She taught me that in work, you must care more about the people you’re working with than the goal of the project. If you take care of the people, the goal will be achieved. She was a kind soul that was so easy to approach. She took on new projects with such an optimistic attitude and always challenged us with seeing what we could make out of it. I learned a lot from her and admired how supportive and open she was to all the ideas I had.
Brittany: From all the inspirations you’ve gotten, is there any advice that you’d want to offer your younger self?
Meg: Be fearless and persistent. Always look for those mentors in your life who can help you take those next steps. There were different points in my life where I thought I would never understand certain concepts and that I would fail at that point. I would be intimidated instead of confident in reaching out to people that could mentor me. I would self-study and get through situations and come out the other end feeling more confident in what I could offer to whichever organization I was working with. I needed to be persistent but finding a mentor would have made the process easier.
Sometimes mentoring isn’t directly from the team you’re involved in. It could be going across teams to find people who are natural teachers, trainers, and mentors. Building bridges with those kinds of people that help you think through situations to get solutions will be beneficial.
Brittany: What advice would you give a younger woman interested in pursuing a career in technology?
Meg: To stay fresh; you must be a lifelong learner. Do not stop yourself from being involved with continuing education. It’s important to have that attitude of knowing you’re able to learn everything that comes your way. If I had stumbled over how difficult it was to use a mouse all those years ago (and it was not intuitive at first) or worried about how exactly a mouse was even working, then where would I be now?
In technology, we’re always challenged, especially in the software world. At Sage Intacct, we not only have to know how to use the software, but also know the use cases there are. It’s understanding both the business and accounting world and applying the software to it to find solutions. That’s what makes this job exciting.
Brittany: What would you say is your favorite part of your job?
Meg: I love when we have breakthroughs. My best days are when we start with a huge challenge and overcome it as a team and cross-collaborate. That’s one thing I love about Sage Intacct: we can reach out to any team – the product, training, documentation – to find that solution.
It’s great being able to move the product that much further along and meeting the needs of clients and doing that together. My favorite part is problem solving, especially when everybody says it can’t be done . When we find a way, it’s magic.
Brittany: Do you have a vision for the future?
Meg: I want to stay fresh in technology and in the field of accounting. If you couldn’t tell by now, my theme is to always learn, so that I don’t become a dinosaur. I want to continue progressing in any way I can. I don’t see myself necessarily needing to retire or restrict myself into one area. My vision is to try to keep up, especially with Sage Intacct, and add value every single day.
I want to keep that perspective that technology is exciting, and deadlines are wonderful, especially since what we do is never stagnant. Everything is going to be replaced by the next best thing and that’s just how technology works.
Brittany: And are there any off-work passions that you have?
Meg: My passions always fall into working with children, especially in the area of literacy. I believe all children can reach their potential and reading is the key.
My career aligns with my passions. I am that crazy person who worked in business for a long time, but when I was in my 40s, I told my husband I didn’t want to just work in business but take a break to work in education. So, I took 12 years out of the business world and became a high school English teacher, working with inner-city kids, and now I’m back!
Sometimes, you need to be a little bit crazy and follow your passions. Fortunately, my husband was supportive and was willing to take over the financial responsibilities, so I could go and take zigs and zags in my career.
What’s wonderful about Sage Intacct is that even though I was out of tech for 12 years, which meant that technology underwent exponential advancement, Sage Intacct still trusted that I had those skills that could level up with the technological growth. Actually, I probably gained more skills when I was gone because if you can get a group of teenagers to relate and be excited about Shakespeare, you can do almost anything in life!
To check out the other blogs in Sage’s Women in Tech blog series, view:
Brittany Benson is the Senior Corporate Communications Manager at Sage Intacct.