December Consultant of the Month
Andrew Albert launched his career as a journalist and applied his fact-finding and communications skills to transition into product marketing. With a passion for being the voice of the customer, he is currently consulting at Adobe, working to provide additional value to its members, and communicate it accordingly. Otherwise, you’ll find him on the golf course or playing with his daughter at the playground.
What are you currently working on?
I'm working with Adobe on a new strategic initiative – providing members with value in a more tangible way than just product access, and highlighting that value through campaigns. We've brought it into the product marketing organization so we can own it from ideation to execution. Doing this from the lens of the customer is something I really enjoy. It’s easier to make an impact when you hear directly from customers on what matters rather than trying to guess what’s going to resonate.
Andrew's Keys to Success
- Using key skills to transition into a new career
- Championing the customer to deliver valuable products
- Partnering with EM to jump into the tech industry
- Showing impact early on a project
What path did you take to become a consultant?
I started in journalism as a sports writer, then got into breaking news. After battling some layoffs and re-shifts in the industry, I ended up at the Philadelphia Inquirer managing branded content. A happenstantial switch brought me to product marketing. I was interviewing for a content marketing role which I didn’t get, but the director of product marketing, who was sitting in on the interview panel, hired me pretty much on the spot. It was wild and crazy, but I loved it. The skill set for journalism aligns with product marketing in many ways, making it an easier than you’d expect transition for me. You’re talking to people, finding facts, and distilling those facts into a way that other people can understand and take value from them.
Why did you decide to become a consultant?
After my switch from journalism to marketing, I knew I wanted to get into high-growth or established companies. Consulting opened a door for me to get my foot in. I've always been confident in my abilities to inevitably land somewhere and do a good job. But it's been valuable to have EM Marketing work with me since I did not have a traditional tech background. At the same time, EM’s reputation within the industry is stellar. It turned out to be a great combination for me.
What do you love about consulting?
I love the flexibility. With an 18 month old daughter, that means daycare pickups and unforeseen doctor's appointments and everything in between. Knowing that I can get my work done from anywhere at any time is really empowering. As a consultant, I also like just diving into a project. You don't have to play the corporate game to get placed on a project or have to pander to certain people. You can put your head down and make an impact quickly.
What has been your biggest challenge about being a consultant? How have you addressed it?
The general uncertainty of work, but I don't think that's unique to consulting these days. I've been alleviating that anxiety by working hard, doing the best job I can, knowing that an opportunity will come up based on what I've accomplished. I like to think that my future is in my own hands. I control the controllable and whatever happens, happens.
How do you market yourself?
I don't really market myself, but I like to let my work speak for itself. My personality and positive demeanor combined with the tangible work that I can show is the best form of branding for me. And of course, you make friends and create relationships along the way.
What are the things you like to do when the work slows down?
Golf is one of my passions – for better or for worse, it's pretty much an addiction. I like to be outside or do home improvement. As of the last 18 months, I love doing anything with my daughter, whether it's going to the park or playing around the house. Life changes quickly, but it's all so good. It's so rewarding watching her grow.
What’s one tip you would give to new consultants?
Try to meet people and make yourself visible. Reach out to someone if they can truly help with something. The best form of relationship building is through the actual work. We all like to have a good company culture, but everyone's there to do the work; it's a job to be done. Everyone has time constraints and a life outside of work, so pick spots to show your impact as early as possible. The people you work closely with are your biggest allies. Throughout my journey, I’ve found that having a good manager is more important than being at a good company.
The sooner you can take the training wheels off, the more impactful you're going to be. Don't take shortcuts in learning about the organization, but take quick wins when you can get them. Not everything has to be perfect and polished. Show progress first, especially as a consultant at a new place. Progress is better than perfect in a lot of cases.