- By Colleen McNamara
Jenna Sinclair’s career path at SweetIQ will feel familiar to anyone who has had the opportunity to work at a startup: “I wasn’t sure what I was getting into, but I took the leap because I had great vibes from all of the people I had met at the company” she explains. “I started out as an Account Manager, and since then, I’ve sort of recognized things that needed to be done – and created a job for myself around that.” Today, Jenna trains our account managers on how to drive success for their clients.
Here, Jenna outlines what she believes to be the most important quality for account management – and describes how her globetrotting experience was excellent preparation for the workforce.
Let’s start from the top! Where are you from?
I’m a born-and-raised Montrealer! Specifically, I grew up on the west side of Laval.
What did you study in school? Did you always know you wanted to have this type of job?
I didn’t visualize this exact career for myself as a kid. One year I really had my sights set on being a lawyer, and the next year I just wanted to travel. Once I had a few years of work experience under my belt, I wanted to do a second degree – so I did a certificate in Marketing at HEC while working in retail management at Esprit. And then… I traveled!
Where did you set off to?
My first remote work experience was in Turks and Caicos, working at a hotel. I absolutely loved having the opportunity to get to know a new place and new culture in a way that’s more meaningful than just visiting. After that, I went to Australia and backpacked around South East Asia and New Zealand. I then spent three years in the Cayman Islands, working at the Ritz Carlton and as a supervisor at a Dive Shop before circling back to Canada.
Wow! That’s quite the journey. I’m curious – what brought you to the dive shop?
I tried scuba diving for the first time when I was living in Turks, and I was hooked. Wherever I traveled after that I always tested out the waters.
How does the experience you gained during your travels influence your work?
Being open to different cultures and different experiences is key. Right now, I have clients in Japan, Australia and the USA. Traveling requires you to be open to new ways of thinking about things, new ways of working, and it forces you to develop a sensitivity to the way other people live. That really prepared me to connect and relate to my clients across the world.
What’s your day-to-day like at SweetIQ?
Right now, I wear a couple different hats: I have a small portfolio of clients, and I also plan trainings for the Support Team and Customer Success Team. I also work with the folks in product on communicating new releases and new features to our clients.
What’s the most important value you instill in Account Managers?
Transparency! Be clear about expectations, timelines – everything. Always keep people in the loop, and if you feel like you’re over-communicating, you’re likely communicating just the right amount. Frequency is a good thing – and it fosters a relationship of trust and openness.
#LifeIQ: You’ve accumulated a very diverse set of experiences throughout your career. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned along the way?
No matter what you’re doing or where you’re doing it – be a sponge! Absorb, watch and listen to what’s going on around you. Take note of strong character traits that inspire you, and stitch together your own unique version of that. Also, never think there is just one way to do things – there’s always room to iterate and improve.
#LocalIQ: I’m sure you have many favorite locales all over the world – but what’s your go-to spot in Montreal?
I love wandering around my neighbourhood, Verdun.