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Sales and Marketing Consultant Career Q&A with Hannah

Hannah, consultant at Clarkston shares her experience with the firm. Read her career story below.

How long have you been with Clarkston?

I have been with Clarkston for 1 year and 10 months, nearing my 2-year mark! I joined as an associate, and have recently been promoted to consultant.  

What is your role at Clarkston?

I am a consultant focusing within our consumer products sales & marketing community, but also have experiences within life sciences. Internally, I am the founder and lead of the Pan-Asian Network (PAN) at Clarkston  

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

Most recently, I have been involved in Trade System Implementation projects, and have been gaining subject matter knowledge in trade. In addition, I have had the opportunity to dive deeper into related Trade Analytics & Reporting, specifically with Power BI. I have briefly been able to take a peek into the data management related to reporting as a Power BI Report Developer with a few clients, leading design workshops, creating prototypes, and executing iterations of report development in agile environments.  

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

It’s tough to pick just one or even just a few, since all of the core values are so close to me and my career journey. But in my current season, I would say I am gravitating towards the core values: Diversity, Entrepreneurial Spirit, and Flexibility and Adaptability. 

As a First-Generation Korean American, Diversity & Inclusion is important to me, especially since I always seek a community and desire a sense of belonging in all aspects of my career and life. Diversity means having the opportunity to collaborate with other individuals in all walks of life, while continuing to share my own story along the way. This includes diversity of thoughts, ideas, past experiences, strategy, and the list goes on.  

I love being creative and innovative, and seeking those opportunities. As the lead for the Pan-Asian Network at Clarkston, I strive to embrace all the ideas from Asian stewards and hope to continue to challenge myself and the network to have an Entrepreneurial Spirit and eagerness to take chances and speak up. 

As the Training Lead of a Trade Implementation project currently, the value of Flexibility and Adaptability is crucial when active listening to the clients’ concerns amid waves of change management for the related teams and end users. Practicing this core value means to continue to embrace the changes that may come with a willingness and agile mindset.  

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

I am the founder and lead of the Pan-Asian Network (PAN) at Clarkston, and I am so excited for what the future holds for this community for Asian stewards. As a Network Lead, I honored to be a part of the Diversity Council and to be surrounded by such innovative minds who share similar passions and goals in Diversity & Inclusion. It means so much to be that Clarkston values Diversity & Inclusion, internally and externally, and it is evident with the DE&I 10-year plan that have recently launched. Within the 10-year goals, there are 3- and 5-year goals, and I am grateful to be a part of those conversations and a part of the impact and change that is to come as a result.  

In addition, as one of the first participants of the Kristine Pettoni Consumer Products Learning Pod, I have had the privilege to learn directly from the subject matter experts at Clarkston in topics ranging from Direct-to-Consumer Retail, Trade, Trade Analytics, etc. Through this experience, I have been able to gain mentorship and become a mentor within the Consumer Products & Sales community at Clarkston.  

What advice would you give to someone starting at Clarkston?

For someone starting at Clarkston, my best advice would be two words: Coffee Chats. If you know me, you know that I absolutely love coffee, but what I love even more is being able to sit down and hear someone’s story while having the opportunity to share my own story, with any beverage of choice. Coffee chats are what you make of it, it can be casual or it can be structured, do what works for you!  

Since my first week at Clarkston, and joining in the thick of Covid times, I started setting up coffee chats with other stewards at Clarkston to learn about their career journey’s as well as their interests and passions. Fast forward to almost being here for 2 years, I still remember all of my coffee chats with other stewards, and through those initial conversations I have been able to contribute to Thought Leadership pieces, work on client projects that I have dreamed of, and learned new skills that I never would have come across if it weren’t for the time getting to know one another. I urge all new stewards or stewards seasoned in their careers at Clarkston to continue to share YOUR story, and to be fearless in what you hope to learn, skills you want to develop, and the list goes on!   

In your experience, what qualities make someone a good consultant? 

A few qualities that make someone a good consultant but are not limited to include being an active listener and having a lifelong learning mindset. As a consultant, you work with a multitude of people and teams with varying experiences and strengths, and being an active listener allows you to understand the problem and execute critical thinking and problem solving steps in an efficient manner. Having a lifelong learning mindset is invaluable, especially as consultants navigate client projects that require flexibility and adaptability. A good consultant is willing and open minded to absorbing new information and skills like a sponge, while continuing to have the curiosity to grow in knowledge. This allows for the consultant to stay competitive within the industry and to build the skills required to learn more skills in the ever-changing landscape of the industry and work environments.

Learn how you can develop your career at Clarkston here