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Spotlight on Adna Mesic

Adna Mesic

How did you get into partnerships?

My entry into partnerships wasn't planned! After I finished my business degree, I joined a FinTech company called Featurespace as a contract manager, where I supported the Chief Legal Officer with all internal and external legal operations. It was a brilliant learning experience that has benefited my career hugely.

I knew that in the future, I wanted to be in a commercial role, so when a position for a Partner Manager opened up internally, I immediately went for it. I was in that role for over a year before I joined Quinyx, where I am currently working as a Partner Manager for EMEA.

What do you love the most about it?

When you’re in a partnerships role, especially in a SaaS company, you get to work with so many different areas of the business, including sales, marketing, implementation, and product, to name but a few. It’s a super versatile role, and you learn a lot about the business as a whole. I’m a curious person, and I want to know a bit about everything, so the 360-degree remit of the role suits me very well.

I also find the entrepreneurial aspects of it very fulfilling. Both teams I’ve worked in have been in their early stages of establishment, so I’ve really had the opportunity to influence and shape the partner programme with my own ideas and inputs. I’ve been lucky to have amazing managers in all my roles who have trusted me enough to let me execute my vision and make key decisions.

What are the biggest challenges?

One challenge — which I think many people in partnerships roles can relate to — is getting everyone onboard when partnerships are new to an organisation. In my experience, there are three important ways to deal with this: get top-down buy-in from senior leadership, educate your teams on the importance of partnerships, and show results!

What attributes make you good at your job as Partner Manager?

I’d say I have a natural inclination towards building relationships, which definitely helps. I thrive on connecting with people and always try to be kind and approachable when working with colleagues and partners. I like to think that I’m an effective communicator, which is important when you’re dealing with so many different stakeholders simultaneously.

How important is networking and face-to-face in your role?

Paramount. Trust is a big factor in partnerships, so I always try to meet partners and customers in person, whether over a coffee, dinner or at industry events.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to shift from a different role into partnerships?

You’ll likely be doing a bit of everything, so be prepared! It’s a versatile role, and there is no “one size fits all” model in partnerships. You need to think strategically and creatively about how to make the most of your partnerships. Having both a commercial and technical understanding also definitely helps.

How important do you think partnerships will be in the next five years?

I genuinely believe that companies that come together to create a joint value proposition are often far stronger than those that operate in isolation. Partnerships are also a great way to increase revenue and pipeline, access new markets, improve products, and make your customers’ lives just that little bit better. I think more and more people are realising the benefits of partnership collaboration, which is why we are seeing an increase in companies establishing partnership teams.

How are you helping raise the profile of women in partnerships?

By being an active member of Women in Alliances, I can network and share experiences with other women in partnerships. It’s an awesome initiative for women to connect and learn from each other’s experiences. Personally, I always find it inspiring to hear about other people’s journeys and how they got to where they are now — it reminds me that everyone has a story and that there’s always something we can learn from each other, no matter your stage of career and experience.

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