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365 days of Watermelon: Mariëlle and Denise share what it’s like to be one in a Melon

Watermelon’s HR Manager Mariëlle and Head of Customer Success Denise have both worked at Watermelon for over a year. They’ve navigated the turbulent waters of life at a startup and are still more motivated than ever. We checked in with them to see how they got started, and why they continue to invest in growing with Team Watermelon.

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So why did they take the job offer in the first place? Both women said they took the job because of freedom to define the scope of their roles. “The brand name caught my eye when I first saw the job posting my friend sent me. I think though that it’s the ability to take full responsibility within the team that makes my job exciting every day” says Denise.

It’s no surprise that another reason both women love to work at Watermelon is the fantastic office vibe. It’s true – if you don’t get hyped up by the thought of sharing a workspace with other humans every day, you probably won’t be happy long-term. “Everyone is so young and enthusiastic, which for me creates the best work environment,” says Mariëlle. They’re both respectively responsible for two very important assets: over 20 members of Team Watermelon, and over 70 clients!

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No day is the same. Especially when serving new customers across the world in industries where chatbots are far less common. Together Team Watermelon is building new capabilities at these organizations, which requires a considerable degree of commitment. When asked about their most impactful takeaways from the last year, Denise didn’t hesitate for a second: “Customer feedback. When my team can harness that feedback and use it explicitly to transform the product, we’re all more successful.”  There’s an old saying that applies to another key takeaway: culture eats strategy for lunch: “You can have a great business case and great numbers – but if you don’t have motivated people that help you get there – you are nowhere” says Mariëlle.

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Looking back at the last 365 days, what was the highlight moment? For Denise, it was giving a 45 minute presentation at the Chatbot Conference on the power of AI to transform the customer experience: “It was nerve-wracking, but I was very proud of what I did that day. Everyone said I did an excellent job, and that feeling of pride will stay with me forever.” Mariëlle couldn’t think of a standout moment but beamed with satisfaction thinking about how well the team continues to grow together, and how much fun it is at Watermelon to work hard and play hard. Where do they hope to be a year from now? Both name international expansion as a focus point.

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Advice for future melons-to-be? “Buckle up” says Denise. As with any new job, there’s always a lot to learn and things are moving quickly. But the pioneers at Watermelon are breaking new ground every day. “Be ready for a roller coaster ride. I always say that working in a startup for a month equals 3 months of working experience at a corporate because everything goes so fast and so much is happening at the same time” says Mariëlle.

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