Maggie Chan Jones, MBA ’09 (CQ), senior vice president, North America Marketing, at Level 3 Communications
Moving fast in telecom
For Maggie Chan Jones, MBA ’09 (CQ), there is no typical day. Working at one of the world’s largest Internet network providers, Jones sees herself as “an entrepreneur in the corporate world,” as she put it.
“Change is a constant in the technology/telecom industry,” she explains, “We’re moving at a very fast pace and you have to be flexible and able to react quickly.”
As head of marketing for the multi-billion-dollar North America region of Level 3 Communications, Jones says she and her team are responsible for “defining the regional go-to-market strategy by key market segments, creating customer-focused marketing campaigns, and driving returns on marketing investments to deliver financial results.”
One of the challenges facing network providers is enabling CEOs and CIOs to expand their businesses to new markets such as China and Brazil, while at the same time reducing costs. Level 3 is addressing this challenge, Jones says, by helping its customers gain flexibility, scalability and agility in their operations to grow at home or abroad, manage their voice and network more efficiently to fund strategic investments and secure their business from the earth to the cloud.
Another challenge is creating market awareness. “Given we are a B2B company without a consumer brand, we're not spending an enormous amount of money on branding and yet we still have to create market awareness with our business customers,” says Jones. “But the same things that make it challenging also create opportunities where you can really have an impact with new ideas and new approaches.”
For Jones, the most enjoyable part of her job is “working with really smart, passionate people.
“When you collaborate, and everyone knows his or her role, and does it well, you can achieve great things,” she says. “Level 3 has an organization where you can cross lines, and throw ideas out and contribute. You can really bring all the best minds together to figure out how to crack a very tough business problem.”
In the past year, Level 3 has doubled in size. “It’s a new chapter,” Jones says. “The challenges that the company faces are significant but the opportunities are extraordinary, and that's something that I'm really excited about.”
Before Joining Level 3, Jones worked for seven years at Microsoft, where she served as director of Cloud Services and Office 365 in the U.S. Marketing and Operations Group. “[Working at Microsoft] was a tremendous learning experience,” she says. “I learned how to bring new products and technologies — and even new business models — to the market in a large organization.”
Jones attributes her success to three key qualities:
- Adaptability. “Change is constant and you have to be flexible. You have to have the tenacity and resiliency to try things multiple times and multiple ways.”
- Putting people first. “More things are done in a collaborative environment – especially one in which everyone is having fun.”
- Maintaining a healthy work/life balance and support system. “Building a career is a like a marathon, not a sprint. You have to find your own balance across your work and personal priorities. And having a great support system of friends, family, colleagues and advisors keeps me grounded in my decision making process.”
Earlier this year, Jones accepted Cornell’s invitation to join the President’s Council of Cornell Women (PCCW). “It’s a great honor to serve the community,” she says. Jones credits her PCCW nomination to the extensive network she built through Cornell University and the Cornell-Queen’s Executive MBA program.
Yuezhou Huo ’15 is an intern in Marketing and Communications at Johnson.