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A Q&A with Holly Porter, Salesforce Consultant, Auckland

Holly Porter joined Merkle as a graduate in 2021.

Name: Holly Porter

Role: Salesforce Consultant, Auckland

When joined Merkle: February 2021




Where/what did you study?

Bachelor of Science, majoring in Physics and Maths at Auckland University


Why did you want to join Merkle's graduate programme?

I’d never done anything to do with the tech or the business side of CRM software before, and I wanted to learn something new! I also wanted my first workplace to teach me what good teamwork looks like, and I saw that Merkle reached a standard of excellence that I thought could only come from the sort of high-performing work culture I wanted to learn from.


Tell us about your experience as a Merkle grad. How’s your experience been so far?

It’s been a blast! Right from the start, the people at Merkle – whether it’s the project manager, my boss, or the person sitting next to me – have supported me to grow and learn. I’ve had the opportunity to work in a wide range of areas within the business, with all sorts of people. Everyone has been supportive and answered my (frequent) questions.


Biggest learning to date?

I’ve learnt that clear communication is key. Whether it’s with the client, the person assigning you a task, or your teammate – nothing gets done right without it.


Most fun project or experience?

I’ve enjoyed learning how to make data come alive with Tableau, a data visualisation tool. Data on its own is just a bunch of boring numbers, but if you can visualise that data, then suddenly it tells a story, and it’s visually appealing, and it’s easily accessible.


Best part of your role?

The best part of the job so far is being given such a wide scope to learn. Just about every day, I do something I haven’t done before. And I’ve been exposed to a wide range of areas within Merkle – from very technical work to soft-skills based projects, and a lot in between.


Can you describe a *typical* day in the life of a Merkle grad – from your experience (in less than 100 words?!)?

My number one priority is configuring Salesforce for the clients I’m currently working for. That’s mostly individual work, but I have multiple meetings every day to discuss with the team the what and why and how behind all that configuration. It’s very collaborative work.

My day also often involves testing work that myself or others have done, data visualisation with Tableau, online training to upskill myself, and of course, you can’t escape the odd bit of admin.


In no more than 10 words, how would you describe your Merkle grad experience? 

Stimulating, enriching, challenging, eye-opening – and fun!


Knowing what you know now, if you could travel back in time and talk to your pre-grad self before you applied to Merkle'santi’s graduate programme/joined Merkle as a grad, what advice or tips would you give yourself?

At the beginning, there will be a lot (a LOT) of words and phrases that are foreign to you, but don’t stress! Things will become clearer.

In consultancy, it’s not just what you know, but who you know. So be friendly! Talk to people so they know you exist, and get to know what sort of work they do.

Don’t trust your memory – it’s very easy to lose track of your work, so write everything down.


What other tips, advice or insights would you give to grads looking to join Merkle through its upcoming graduate programme intake?

Despite being a tech company, Merkle's work culture is very collaborative, and involves frequent interaction with real live clients. So it’s important in the interviews to focus on your communication and teamwork skills.

Even if you’re not from an IT background, Merkle may be willing to train you from the ground up if you have good teamwork and problem-solving skills. So go for it! Apply today!


What do you get up to in your spare time?

I enjoy cooking and enjoying the New Zealand great outdoors, and I also love being involved in church activities throughout the week.


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