I'm 22 & Make $100K As A Customer Success Engineer

illustrated by Vero Romero.
In our series My 6-Figure Paycheck, women making more than $100,000 open up about how they got there and what exactly they do. We take a closer look at what it feels like to be a woman making six-figures — when only 5% of American women make that much, according to the U.S. Census with the hope it will give women insight into how to better navigate their own career and salary trajectories.
Today, we chat with a customer success engineer from Cincinnati, OH. Previously, we spoke to a marriage and family therapist from the South Bay Area, CA, a creative director from New York City, NY., and a marketing manager from Seattle, WA.
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Job: Associate Customer Success Engineer
Age: 22
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Degree: Bachelor's in Math
First Salary: $65,000
Current Salary: $100,000 + $10,000 bonus and stock
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
"As I kid, I've never really had a 'dream job.' I always just kept a tally of things I liked to do and things I didn't like to do. My career path as of now is more of a process of elimination rather than a route to my 'dream job.' One of the biggest reasons I got an undergraduate degree in math was because I thought it offered me a lot of flexibility across several industries."
What did you study in college?
"I have a bachelor's degree in pure mathematics. I love my degree. At first, I thought it was crazy that I got a degree in math, because it offered me no practical skills — I wrote proofs for four years. However, the more I'm removed from school, the more I love what my degree taught me: problem solving, critical thinking, and quantitative approaches."
Did you have to take out student loans?
"I took out $10,000 in federal loans, but paid them all off in November (I graduated in May). I have always had savings, so I used a chunk of my savings to pay off all my loans at once."
Have you been working at this company since you graduated from college?
"Nope! I had two internships during college and one job that started right after I graduated. After about eight months at my first job out of college, the opportunity with my current company came up. I continued the interview process, not expecting anything to come of the opportunity, but I ended up getting the position."
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How would you explain your day-to-day role at your job?
"I essentially manage customer accounts for their entire lifecycle using our software. So far it's been a great balance of tech skills and customer facing skills, which was one of the biggest pull factors when it came to switching jobs. It's incredibly cross functional as well, I get to work with engineers, product managers, account executives, business leaders, data engineers, and scientists."
Did you negotiate your salary?
"I did negotiate my salary for my current role. I left my first job out of college after about eight months, so I wanted to make sure that my move from one job to another (especially after such a short amount of time) was going to be fiscally worth it. I have some great mentors that helped me navigate the negotiation process. I also negotiated signing bonuses and living stipends in both of my internships in college."
Is your current job your “passion”? If not, what is?
"I don't know if I would say it's my passion, but I enjoy it! I have always had a hard time discerning what my 'passions' are, mostly because I really like a ton of different things. I get to enable others to better their business which has been really rewarding for me. The only thing that I truly know for certain when it comes to my future career path is that I want to be a mom."
If you could, would you change anything in your career trajectory?
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"No, every job and internship I've had has taught me some really important lessons in what I like to do and what I don't like to do."
What professional advice would you give your younger self?
"Taking this question with a grain of salt because I'm still 22, but I think that finding great mentors is something that's crucial especially being a women in tech. I'm often times the only woman (and the youngest) in the room, which has led to some tricky situations. Having mentors to help navigate these situations is a priority."
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Are you a woman under 35 with a six-figure salary ($100,000+) and want to tell your story? Submit it here.
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