It’s no secret that one of the hottest industries in San Francisco is technology. With some starting salaries commanding over $100,00, occupations, like software developers and computer systems analysts, are among occupations locally with the most job openings. But industry experts, like Julie Mossler, Head of Global communications, Policy and Creative Launch for Waze, say an engineering background isn’t necessary to work in technology. She spent a few moments to talk about her career, advice to tech students and her indispensable role with Waze, creators of one of the world’s most utilized navigation apps and purchased by Google in 2013.

(Photo Courtesy of Julie Mossler)

(Photo Courtesy of Julie Mossler)

 What is your background and education?

“I have a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. After years of PR and event agency experience, I was the first consumer marketing and PR person to be hired at Groupon, eventually guiding the company through its IPO and building a globally beloved brand. Today, I work with companies combining PR, business development and marketing to help grow their market share. My time is dedicated to these companies and their brands. In addition to my role at Waze, I am a crisis consultant, startup advisor and frequent public speaker.”

What is your role with Waze? 

“I oversee our department of global communications, policy and creative launch strategy. My days are varied and always challenging: yesterday was a mix of televised media interviews as Waze spokesperson, drafting a compelling launch plan for a growing market like with Argentina, and further clarification of our policy working with government DOTs.”

 What career advice can you share students interested in a career in technology?

“You don’t have to be an engineer to work in technology. A successful business needs operations, marketing, strategy and happy people working there. If you’re smart and hungry, startups are the perfect place to bring non-technical value and learn from those around you. Find a company or mission you’re passionate about. Investigate the organization and reach out to HR to describe how you’d enhance the team, even if you don’t see an open position advertised.”

Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on