Why I joined Asana: McKenna Farrar, Enterprise Account Executive, Asia-Pacific
December 3rd, 2019
Welcome to our monthly “Why I joined Asana” series! Every month, we talk with Asanas across our teams and offices—from Dublin to Sydney—to get to know the people inside the company and learn why they chose to work here.
Meet McKenna Farrar, Enterprise Account Executive in our Sydney office. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she has since spread her wings both personally and professionally. Currently she’s supporting the Asia-Pacific region and helping to grow both the team and our customer base. Get to know McKenna and why she joined #teamasana.
What was your journey to joining Asana?
I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Communications and Anthropology. After graduation, I worked in corporate communications and PR for a year and a half, then decided I wanted to move into sales. I played water polo competitively in college so I wanted a job that fit more with my competitive streak (can’t deny the power of a good spiff!).
I transitioned into a sales role where I worked as an Account Executive for a year, and while I appreciated learning the foundational skills of selling, I decided I wanted to work at a smaller company where I could have more of an impact. Here’s where Asana came in! The sales team here was in its early stages, so there was a ton of opportunity to shape the team and our playbooks. With each year comes more growth and change for Asana—it’s always an exciting time here.
A year into my time at Asana, an opportunity to launch the Sydney office became available. I always wanted to live and work abroad, so I jumped at the chance to be a founding member of the APAC sales team. We started with 5 Asanas; now we’re 14 and growing.
What team are you currently on and what are some of the most interesting aspects of your role?
I’m currently an Enterprise Account Executive on the Sales team covering Asia Pacific in our flagship APAC office in Sydney. My role here is important because we’re all trying to grow Asana’s brand recognition in the region. By selling into marquee APAC customers, I’m helping grow Asana’s revenue and global brand in a new region. Because our region is so broad, I get the chance to meet with companies from countries all over Asia and Australia—I’ll definitely have Qantas Gold status by the end of the year.
What are you most excited for as you grow in your role at Asana?
Personally, I’m excited for this new life experience in Sydney! After college graduation, I moved back to San Francisco where I had a built-in network of family and friends. While amazing, I wanted to try something totally new: moving to an entirely new continent (that I’d never even visited) where I only knew 4 people. It’s had ups and downs, but I’m so proud of myself for accomplishing something that not many others would attempt. It also doesn’t hurt that Sydney (and its flat whites) are lovely and I’ve gotten to travel all over Australia and New Zealand. I finally held a koala!
Professionally, I have my sights on growing my career into a management role. In our international offices there is a ton of opportunity to take on new roles and projects since the team is smaller than HQ. I’m really looking forward to continue making a big push into Asia. We just had a Community event in Singapore to meet with customers and prospects, and I got to see how big the market opportunity is as tons of fast-growing tech companies are founded there. I love getting local companies excited about Asana and am excited to continue doing so.
What’s it like to use Asana the product everyday?
Asana is such an open and transparent product. It’s so easy to have insight into what all teams are working on or where a product launch stands. There are so many self-service capabilities allowing you to really own your areas of work. It makes our team more resourceful because you can educate yourself on your own time without waiting for someone else to walk you through a project or plan. You can just dive in and get started.
What principle or value have you carried with you along the way and where did you first hear it?
You’ve never lived this life before. It’s okay to make mistakes, ask questions, and be unsure. No matter your age or seniority, there’s always more to learn. Remembering that keeps me curious and open to new ideas.
Also, you have a completely unique perspective, but so does everyone else you meet. This reminds me to always be open to new ideas. Collaboration will always result in a better product or project.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned that you’d share with someone beginning their Asana journey?
I wish I had been more of an advocate for myself when I was earlier in my career. I’d encourage new Asanas to trust in their value to their team and the company. Don’t wait for someone else to initiate a compensation or promotion conversation; whatever it is, you make the first move. Tech sales is predominantly male and as a woman, that can be intimidating. Believe in your own worth and ask for what you think you deserve.
Come work with McKenna and the rest of the sales team in Sydney, Tokyo, Dublin, Munich, San Francisco and New York! We’re looking for curious passionate teammates to help us grow. Check out all our open roles.