Name: Helen Magpayo
LinkedIn URL: www.linkedin.com/in/helen-magpayo
Executive Network Member Since (Year): 2017
Newly-Landed Position & Company: Corporate Planning Manager, Mitsubishi Motors
Prior to landing your new position, were you currently working or in-transition? I was in transition after my previous employer, Toyota, relocated its headquarters to Texas. My family and I decided to move from LA county to OC instead.
How did you get connected to the company where you landed your new role? Networking! I had coffee with a fellow M&B Executive Network member, and after looking at my target companies list, he offered to introduce me to the VP of Corporate Planning at Mitsubishi with whom he had worked in a consulting capacity at a different company. The VP and I had a phone call – it wasn’t about any particular position, as there were no openings in the department at the time, but rather an informal discussion about the industry in general and our respective backgrounds. He encouraged me to keep in touch, and a month and a half later a recruiter reached out about an open role in his department.
In your estimation, what allowed you to stand-out during the interview process? The fact that I had already had a great informal conversation with the VP allowed me to skip the initial phone screens and go right into the in-person interviews. Prior to the interviews, I had prepared a set of STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) stories which highlighted my experience that was relevant to the role, and I was able to mention various aspects of those stories when answering different situational questions.
Did you encounter any challenges while being vetted for this new position? If so, how did you overcome them? It felt like a great fit from the first conversation, and I guess the feeling was mutual, as the entire process from the initial recruiter contact to the offer took just over two weeks. The challenge was more around the timing with final interviews at other companies which were moving slower. The key for me was communication with the other recruiters and getting status updates.
If you could give an in-transition executive any piece of advice, what would it be? Network, network, network! All of my interview opportunities came from networking. Have coffee meetings or at least phone calls with the folks you meet at roundtables and mixers. It’s also important to have a list of target companies, so that you can have a productive discussion. If you let people in your network know what companies you’d like to get connected to, they will come through!
Bonus Question: What events and/or resources offered by the Executive Network have helped enhance your career? The roundtables were a great way to not only expand my network, but to get advice and support. I especially enjoyed David Teper’s Med Device/Healthcare and Tech roundtables (I appreciated David challenging me to refine my elevator speech and help him “put me in a box”), Chris Lord’s Sales & Marketing roundtable (Chris was great in helping me prioritize what I was looking for in my next role, and I needed his “tough love” every once in a while), and Victor Dominguez’s OC Executive roundtable (Victor’s advice on strategic conversations was great, and I also appreciated hearing from a cross-section of executives from various industries and functions).