A quick glance at Jennifer Younes’ resume might yield a head scratch or two.
Her current position, as a Sr. Product Marketing Specialist at Bluebeam, comes after a slew of jobs in construction. Younes has no formal degree or experience in product marketing, and she’s never worked for a technology company before Bluebeam.
So, how did Younes end up not just working – but thriving – in a product marketing job?
A deeper dive into Younes’ career and personality answers that question. It also shows how experience in a seemingly unrelated discipline can translate to success in another.
It also helps that Younes is a one-of-a-kind talent. Imagine someone with engineering smarts paired with the soft skills of a leader. Factor in skills in critical thinking, communication, analytical problem-solving and relationship-building. Finally, take all those characteristics and top them off with the type of authenticity and positive attitude that you might experience when interacting with a close friend.
That is Jennifer Younes.
‘I approach my life and relationships by grasping every opportunity to learn something from them’, Younes said. ‘Everyone you meet has the opportunity to teach you something new and share a different perspective or experience to learn from.’
From construction to product marketing
As a senior product marketing specialist, Younes is among those responsible for Bluebeam’s go-to-market strategy. This includes everything from a product’s pricing model and packaging to how its value will be represented in the market.
‘We on the product marketing team spend a lot on assessing market opportunities and the competitive landscape and validating product-market fit’, Younes said.
Younes said she enjoys using the logical and analytical skills she learned as an engineer in her role as a product marketer. ‘My brain is very logic, analytical, process-oriented’, she said, ‘which I think fits really well for a product marketing role.’
Younes’ father was also a civil engineer, which provided the foundation for her interest in the industry. ‘As a kid, I loved Legos, I loved building things’, Younes said. ‘I loved figuring out how things work.’
When it came time to attend college and choose a major, Younes didn’t waver. ‘I figured out that I liked civil engineering’, she said.
But a life of working in an office designing and sending plans to the field wasn’t what she had in mind. Younes wanted to be in the action.
‘I knew going in that I wanted to get my civil engineering degree to understand the maths and science behind how structures are built’, Younes said, ‘but I knew I wanted to be on the jobsite, in a trailer, building the project or working with project teams to actually see it built, whether it’s a renovation or ground-up.’
‘That’s where my real passion was’, Younes concluded. ‘To actually see the entire project be completed on the ground and to be a part of it.’
After graduating from Virginia Tech University in 2012 with a B.S. in civil engineering, Younes stayed in Blacksburg, Virginia, and earned a master’s degree in construction engineering and management. She completed the one and a half year program in just one year.
‘I wanted to get started being out on construction sites’, Younes said.
Getting on the jobsite
And that she did. Immediately following her master’s, Younes started as a project engineer for Barton Malow Construction. Her first project was a big one: the Daytona International Speedway renovation in Daytona Beach, Florida.
‘That was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’, Younes said. ‘I can’t even describe in words how much I learned on that project.’
Younes’ responsibilities in Daytona were typical for a project engineer: RFIs, submittals, building information modelling (BIM) coordination, among others.
Following Daytona, Younes moved to the opposite Florida coast and worked on two hospital renovations in St. Petersburg. She then joined Barton Malow’s virtual design and construction department as a VDC Engineer, journeying north to the company’s Southfield, Michigan, headquarters. There, Younes helped support Barton Malow’s virtual design and construction (VDC) initiatives across the country.
‘That’s where I learned that my real passion, as much as I love construction, was the construction technology side of it’, Younes said.
Younes left Barton Malow after a little more than five years to join Truebeck Construction in San Francisco, briefly serving as a senior construction technology and innovation engineer.
Then, in May 2019, Younes joined Bluebeam as a senior industry specialist based out of the company’s Dallas, Texas, office. The role, designed to provide the industry perspective to different Bluebeam departments, not only supported the development of the company’s software products but also communicated their value to customers.
Shortly thereafter, Younes said a colleague introduced her to product marketing. ‘I didn’t even know product marketing was a thing’, she said. ‘It’s a relatively new role in software.’
Younes, interested in the prospect of using her industry expertise and brief experience interacting with Bluebeam customers to contribute to product marketing, transitioned into her current role as a senior product marketing specialist in December 2019.
From customer to Bluebeamer
Younes was a big Bluebeam user throughout her industry experience, especially during her time as a VDC engineer, a role she said is typically the subject matter expert when it comes to construction software.
‘That’s where product marketing was almost a perfect fit’, Younes said. ‘Being a prior customer and avid user, I had the end user’s perspective, and I understood the value that Bluebeam can bring to customers in working with product teams to evaluate different project priorities.’
Younes said she’s bullish on the future of construction technology. She hopes that the continued advancement of it in the industry helps attract more young people like her to careers in construction. She also said that going from using Bluebeam to working for the Pasadena, California-based company has been a fantastic experience.
How would Younes, who plans on moving to Bluebeam’s headquarters later this year, describe the experience of working at Bluebeam to her former industry colleagues?
‘I would say that it feels exactly like you think it would’, Younes said. ‘When I would go to XCON and meet everybody at Bluebeam, I would think, “Everybody I meet is awesome. They’re genuine. They care about you as a human being.”‘
‘That’s 100% the culture and everybody that you work with is 100% genuine’, Younes added. ‘Everyone wants to help each other. Nobody wants to see each other fail. There are so many emotions. I don’t even know how to describe it in words how amazing of a feeling that is.’