In my biweekly blog series, I am highlighting some of the incredible people who work for the Audio Video Industry. In this post, we are profiling Marika Aquino. Here is a brief introduction.
Marika Aquino is the Managing Partner of TierPM.
1.Describe your journey in the AV industry? How did it start?
My journey in the AV industry started in college. I was in a work study program at Babson College at their Multi-Media and Graphics Department. The department rented out A/V equipment to students and professors as wells as set up, take down, and troubleshooting A/V equipment for the classrooms and campus buildings. That experience – the people I worked with, skills I learned, being around amazing examples of strong women managers helped shape who I am today. I also made lifelong friendships now spanning 25+ years.
At this point in time, I had no idea that there were career paths in the A/V industry. After graduating from Babson, I went on to a career in the IT industry. I started my IT career at a Fortune 500 Insurance company in Boston. I continued to be blessed with having mangers who championed my career path. I then went on to spend 14+ years as an IT Project/Program manager at a Fortune 50 Technology company managing complex projects.
In 2012 I began to feel some burn out and wanted a change. I reached out to a colleague of mine whom I had a great respect for and valued his opinions – Lee Ginsberg. It was serendipitous as that he was also in the middle of a career change and had just founded TierPM. He saw that there was a gap in the AV industry on recruiting and staffing companies who really understood how to identify and source AV talent.
It was one of the best decisions I ever made to join TierPM. Since then we have evolved to not only be a leader in AV/IT talent sourcing, we also provide expertise in Data Analytics/Visualization, Application Development, and Project Based Consulting. Coming into 2020, we are excited to be kicking off a new reseller program as part of our data analytics offerings.
2.What do you think are the challenges that are facing a new person who wants to join the industry?
A challenge I see in the industry is that a lot of the opportunities want an experienced new hire to be able to hit the ground running. Those seeking new opportunities who may have recently graduated and/or are coming from a different industry/background may have limited options. I have seen over the recent years a shift to focus on championing the creation of new opportunities for those new to the industry.
My advice for someone new coming in is have a passion for always wanting to learn every day. Don’t be afraid to reach out and build relationships and make contacts (LinkedIn, networking events, asking for introductions, etc.). Be creative about getting your foot in the door to an AV company to gain experience in the field you want to get into. It could be requesting to shadow someone or offering to intern or even just asking for career advice. One critical piece of advice I can give is to always try to find your champion at the company you work for. It would be one or many people. This person is not a mentor or a coach – your champion will be the person who is a leader who can make decisions and influence paving the way for your career path at your company. I am where I am today because of the people who have championed me throughout my entire career. Even now as a managing partner at TierPM, my other partners and I (Lee Ginsberg and Mark Winner) continue to champion each other as we grow the company.
3.What are the positives of working in this industry?
What I love about the industry is the passion I see that everyone has about it. There is always something new and exciting to see and learn. I also love how open people are to share their stories and experiences. There is also a wonderful community of women and men who are incredibility supportive and willing to coach, mentor, and champion each other.
4.What in your opinion would you change in the industry? What are the negatives that are prevalent ?
I think its important companies in the industry to hire for their future growth – being open to hiring new talent that they can educate and train into the various career paths. Even more critical they do so while they still have their experienced employees who are still available to mentor and coach fresh talent.
I also believe that flexibility, adaptability, and creative solutions are key to growth. Just because things have been done the same way for a long time does not mean one can’t shake things up and try something new. At TierPM we are always aiming to look ahead and anticipate what the industry may need and that is a driver in how we are evolving our services into the data analytics space.
[RELATED] : If you have missed any of my previous interviews, please click here.
5.Describe your ideal client? What do you wish clients to know before hiring you?
The ideal client would be open to creative solution recommendations to finding new talent to hire. Having an open mind to potentially hiring folks from a different industry or a different AV skill set or someone who is new and taking the time to grow and train them will open a greater talent pool for the industry.
We love clients who want to partner with us and be actively engaged with the projects they want TierPM to work on. TierPM is always looks for ways to provide innovative services. We are a tight knit company of dedicated and passionate professionals.
We have been continuing to grow our recruiting and staffing services, working on exciting IT consulting and application development projects and are thrilled with our latest services offerings in the data analytics/visualization space.
6.If you were going to start over, what would you do differently ?
If I was to start over, I would not do anything differently. I would not be where I am today if I had not taken the path I did. That path and the path I continue to be on has shaped and inform the leader I am today. I continue to have a passion learning and wanting to be a great role model for my daughter. I want her to know that any challenges she encounters in life are really opportunities. I want her to see that she can do anything she puts her mind to. I am grateful to all those who have supported me through my career. I continue to be surrounded by amazing people in my company, my AV tribe (AVIXA Women’s Council and Diversity Council), as well as my husband Tom and daughter Fiona.
7.Describe a typical work day for you. What are your daily disciplines?
I’m in the West Coast, a typical workday for me would be to be up early (East Coast hours) to lead conference calls/meetings for projects the team is working on. We have a lot of clients on the East Coast and my hours tend follow their workday. My favorite part of the day is when I get to carve out time for the more creative aspects of what we do – working with the team and my partners on looking for innovative and revolutionary ways to provide services to our clients and the industry. I also make sure to carve out time to help coach/mentor and help champion those who reach out to me for career advice.
As a working mom, it’s important to me to have that work life balance. I am lucky that I can have the quality time with my daughter and show her that women can be successful working and having a family.
8.Describe the apps and gear that you use daily which makes you more productive?
My laptop, a strong/fast internet connection, and my phone! We use MS teams so even if I am away from my desk it’s easy to collaborate with my project resources to continue to be productive.
9. How do you stay relevant in this industry?
My company and I continue to strengthen the relationships we have developed and build new ones. We love to engage and connect through social media, networking events, and conventions. We are also passionate and are strong supporters of Women and Diversity growth in the industry.
We strive to always learn about the industry, supporting and applauding the successes our peers have, and continuing drive and develop innovation in the services we provide.
To know much more, please connect on Linkedin.
Also please drop your questions in the comments below.