Ella Zhu was one of the "Z-Five" team from our Funny Hat Friday event at Zuora. She's also one of our top Dev Managers of Finance & Revenue working in Beijing. Learn more about Ella and Zuora life in the Beijing office:
1. How do you explain your job at Zuora to other people?
My team is focused on automating accounting close and revenue recognition in the Subscription Business. Because business models are shifting from selling one-time products to selling subscriptions, the way companies process transactions becomes more complex, which in turn, breeds financial complexities. I help companies focus on automating their Quote-to-Cash, which is the lifecycle of the subscription business.
2. What was the career path that led you to Zuora?
I'm very interested in business models and any system that is part of enterprise resource planning (ERP). As I think solving business problems is an art, I dreamt that someday I can use code to help build next generation business models that will be amazing!
Before joining Zuora, I was a support engineer in an electronic company where I responded to all go-live subsidiaries with ERP software. During the implementation process, we found it was really powerful because it’s able to match most business models with flexible customizations and it was able to handle end-to-end business lifecycles. However, some ERP software can be complex, heavy, slow and expensive - while it’s a good fit for entity industry (big enterprise companies with complex production process), it’s won’t work as well for commerce companies. Therefore I wanted to join a company who was doing something similar, but is focused on commerce companies, so that I can gain experience with a different business model.
Zuora, who created the “Subscription Experience”, was a totally new concept to me at that time and they focused on commerce companies - so that led me to Zuora.
3. What do you love about your job here at Zuora?
- I love Finance & Revenue - It’s a new way to do recurring revenue recognition and accounting close so we are creating differentiation with traditional accounting system.
- I love people at Zuora - They’re fun, creative, have a lot of expertise, nice and we have great teamwork and great execution, etc.
- I love our ZEO culture - It’s open, fast-paced and every day is different with new challenges. Everyone is the owner and we all focus on one goal which is to help our customer build and run an amazing subscription business.
- I love our Vision ‘The World Subscribed’ - We are creating new business model which is the subscription economy.
4. What's your favorite thing about working at Zuora? Do you have a favorite Zuora memory?
I have a few great Zuora memories:
- I loved planning the 2016 Annual Party. All ZEOs are so versatile!
- I loved joining Zuora Hackathon. On-demand Knowledge Center won 29 votes in global voting and we also won “The Most Valuable to Zuora Customers” award in the Beijing internal rating.
- I loved being a Volunteer in Zuora’s Volunteer Month, Zuora Beijing donated trees to "Sun Village" which is China's first NGO for Children of Convicts
5. What is your average day like at Zuora?
- Take 30 mins to check emails , set priority, assign owner and set deadline
- Spend 1 hour on hiring (check resume, interview, lever feedback)
- Spend 2 hour on team and project
- Spend 1 hour on cross team meeting/communication
- Spend 3 hours on design and coding
- Spend 1 hour on learning(finance system, new technology, people management)
- Take 30 mins to check today’s status and do planning for next day
Some of my habits/tools I’d like to share:
- Taking time to learn something new every day because learning leads to growth.
- Plan and check status every day because planning means efficiency and good status means execution.
Learn more about Ella in our Zuora Q&A:
1. If you could do another job for one day, what would it be?
A fashion designer and have my own brand! :-)
2. What advice would you give to someone just getting started in a new career? OR Share some words of wisdom/life motto
Always do everything with a growth mindset. Believe that everything you do will either add to your depth or expand your breadth. Try to do different things at first for 3 years and find out where your strength and passions are. Then invest yourself in this area, set goal and build a career path for the next 5 years based on the goal.
How do you spend your time outside of Zuora?
Stay with my family - either playing, drawing, or a DIY project with my son or going out with my family to watch movies, go hiking, shopping, traveling, etc.
Stay with myself by practicing zither an hour a day, reading a book a week, drawing, designing and making clothes or props
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