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Professional Development Career Q&A with Jami

Jami, Clarkston’s Professional Development and Knowledge Management Lead, shares her experience during her first year with the firm and helpful career advice!

How long have you been with Clarkston?

I’ve been with Clarkston for 8 months – I joined the firm in September of 2021 after 13 years in education.

What is your role at Clarkston?

I am part of Clarkston’s Professional Development team as the Professional Development and Knowledge Management Lead. In this role, I support stewards with skills development opportunities as they grow in their roles here at Clarkston. I also provide support as it relates to knowledge management needs (e.g. locating and accessing tools, templates, and relevant project deliverables).

Tell us about a new skill you’ve developed recently.

Not necessarily a new skill, but the past 6 months have required me to quickly learn and apply advanced Excel and PowerPoint skills. Thankfully, I had a strong foundation starting in this role but I’ve since learned many short-cuts and formulas that have launched my knowledge level from Intermediate to Advanced. I’m not sure how many people can relate to this feeling, but there is a unique sense of pride in successfully writing the formulas for logical and data functions!

If you had to choose, which of Clarkston’s core values do you feel resonates with you the most?

The value that resonates with me the most is teamwork. I strive to help others to find solutions to problems, identify needed resources, clarify uncertainties, and overall achieve their goals. A major factor in effective teamwork is anticipating the needs and questions that may arise within your team. Anticipating needs demonstrates that you value the team enough to think about them ahead of time and are prepared to offer solutions or address concerns.

Which internal initiatives, communities, or projects are you involved in at Clarkston?

The nature of my role means all my formal responsibilities are internal in nature, so I won’t list every initiative, community, and project I am involved in. Currently, we are preparing to kick off 3 separate training programs over the new few weeks: Lab Systems Consultant Academy, Jumpstart Program, and Consulting Fundamentals for Experienced Stewards. I also work with all the internal service communities to align on professional development goals and needs. Outside of my job duties, I am newly active in the Women’s Empowerment Network and the local RDU office.

What advice would you give to someone starting at Clarkston?

Ask questions and explore the internal repository of tools, templates, guides, and tutorials. You may have executed the same tasks at prior jobs, but with each company comes different practices and styles. Asking questions demonstrates a willingness to continue learning and exploring the knowledge management library may lead to finding information you didn’t even know you needed to know!

What drove you to accept Clarkston’s employment offer?

I accepted Clarkston’s offer for two main reasons: 1) each steward I met and spoke with during interviews created a welcoming environment, which felt like I was having a conversation with a friend rather than interviewing for a job and 2) during my final interview, the value of continued growth and innovation was shared and I knew the Clarkston culture was a great fit for me.