Homepage Heroes: The A Team!

We asked these three stellar consultants on the Global Brand Creative Team at Tableau Software the same four questions, and we got some fabulous responses - as always, we're #BetterTogether here at Simplicity!

Question 1: What is your current role?

Anya: I am currently a Project Manager on the Global Brand Creative team at Tableau Software. I co-manage the creative marketing assets for the annual Tableau Conference, manage the incoming requests for the Tableau Brand Blog, and I manage the Tableau Racial Equity Data Hub.

Alberto: I'm a Project Specialist on Tableau's Global Brand Creative Project Management team. I provide end to end PM support to the product team on product releases and other projects.

Aimee: My current role is a Project Manager on the Creative request queue for the Global Brand Creative marketing team at Tableau.

Question 2: How did you get here? Tell us a little about your career path.

Anya: My career path has been relatively all over the place! Fresh out of college, I got a job working with the City of Seattle and bounced around in different administrative roles. I decided about 3 years after graduating to go back to school to get my Masters in Finance. At that point, I didn't really know what I wanted to do but knew I would probably need a more specific degree (as opposed to my Bachelors in Business Management) and I had minored in Finance so it seemed reasonable. Just after starting grad school, I got a job at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as a Registration Manager on their events team. I graduated from grad school in 2020 (right at the beginning of the pandemic) and still had no clue what I wanted to do! In the summer of 2021, Reiko reached out to me because she knew my educational and professional backgrounds and thought I could be a good fit as a PM and told me to check out the Simplicity job board. I started applying and here I am! I am very thankful she put that bug in my ear because I absolutely love the work I do now.

Alberto: I've been consulting for around 2 years now. I studied at the University of Washington and was lucky enough to work as a consultant on a marketing contract for Microsoft with another firm during my Junior/Senior year. I loved the experience and decided to pursue consulting after graduation.

Aimee: What really helped me get to where I am today was my previous role as a consultant being an event coordinator for Microsoft's Go-To-Market One Channel Partner program. I gained most of my marketing skills in that role, which allowed me to have a seamless transition as a PM on the marketing team at Tableau. Before I started work full-time upon graduating from the University of Washington, I had studied journalism and was very interested in writing and producing news stories. My strong ability to communicate with all sorts of different people, tell stories, and engage with the media has enabled me to step into the marketing industry with my unique background and experience as a journalist. 

Question 3: What do you like/love about consulting and/or working as a consultant with Simplicity specifically?

Anya: I think my situation as a consultant for Simplicity is a bit unique in that I was lucky enough to find a position that has the end goal of a FTE conversion. But I think the great thing about consulting, even with that caveat, is the freedom. Knowing that you have the opportunity to be involved with different teams and get experience in different departments is really cool! And of course working from home lol I feel so comfortable in my home office and feel like I can really focus and get things done, believe it or not!

Alberto: Working as a consultant with Simplicity has been a great experience. Simplicity's vast network of connections allows you to keep work interesting, contract after contract.

Aimee: What I like most about consulting at Simplicity are the endless opportunities to explore the different roles and areas of expertise Simplicity has to offer. There are so many different types of projects you can work on and the opportunity to grow in your role in such a short amount of time is very rewarding.

Question 4: What advice do you have for someone who's thinking about becoming a consultant?

Anya: If you think you want to do, DO IT! It's a great way to gain experience in departments that you may not have considered for yourself before!

Alberto: If you're interested in becoming a consultant, my advice is to give it a try and see if you like it! One of the best things about consulting is the flexibility to work different roles on a variety of different teams. This makes the work always interesting. There are opportunities for everyone, regardless of what work you love to do! 

Aimee: The advice I would give to anyone interested in becoming a consultant is to always believe in yourself and to never downplay the experience you have on your resume. Create an elevator pitch if you hate talking about yourself and always express enthusiasm in wanting to learn and grow because consulting is essentially the power of owning whatever skills or expertise you may have to share with others!

Are you interested in the consultant lifestyle? Please visit our consulting page to learn more and start the journey!

Homepage Heroes: Markelle Rich

Markelle is a Senior Talent Manager here at Simplicity - she's truly the bee's knees. She spearheads and leads our Connect sessions, which give prospective consultants a chance to learn about Simplicity while the Talent Team gets to learn about them and what they're looking for in their next project, so we can match them up to the right client.

Sara: Tell me a little bit about your journey - how did you get here?

Markelle: While I was a fulltime student at UW Bothell, I held 4 jobs. I worked at an insurance agency (first as a social media intern, then hired on as a college recruiter), I nannied, I taught horseback riding lessons, and I was a barista. A good friend and mentor - a Microsoft Alum that I met in my coffee shop in Redmond - connected me to University Recruiting at Microsoft – and that was my first job out of college. As a staffing associate, I worked with recruiters, planned on-campus engagements and meet-the-company events, and planned summer internship events for MBAs. It was a great mixture of event planning and coordination. After a little while, I moved over to Expedia on contract, and was subsequently snatched up by the University Recruiting team there to do same things I did at Microsoft, plus interviewing and much more. Then I was lucky enough to find Simplicity, and after 3.5 years, I can honestly say I've learned everything. I had worked with recruiters before, but had never been a recruiter myself, and I love it.

Sara: What advice do you have to consultants - and potential consultants - who are getting ready to meet with you or another member of the Talent team?

Markelle: What we're looking for is positive energy, passion for the work that they’ve done, and insight into what kind of work they're looking to do next! When you talk to our team, it's not a formal interview (we prep you for your working sessions once we line up those interviews for you) - it's a chance for us to learn your personality so we can find the best match for you. So just be yourself!

Sara: What do you like about working with Simplicity?

Markelle: I love the relationship-building piece. I adore getting to know our consultants, and sharing their stories with our clients, and helping them get onto a project where they’ll be super excited about their work. I’ve met people who have been out of the workforce for 10 years raising children, and I’ve helped them find work at Microsoft – and that is so rewarding! Not to mention, the team is so amazing, the leadership is great, and we all work so closely together, we inspire each other every day!

Sara: What would you say is one of your superpowers?

Markelle: I've been told that I'm very even-keeled and calm (Sara: she's cool as a cucumber). It's important for me to remember to breathe; we're empowering people to find work that they love on their own terms, not doing heart surgery. Every problem has a solution, and we're in this together!

Are you interested in the consultant lifestyle? Please visit our consulting page to learn more and start the journey!

Homepage Hero: Sheryne Cadicamo

An interview with Sheryne Cadicamo
Director, Client Service and Success, Simplicity Consulting

Sara: Tell me about your career path - the journey that brought you here.

Sheryne: Well, there's the short answer, which is this: I have a long background in marketing. I bring an agency perspective as well as a consultant perspective, having been on various teams at Microsoft. I started as a producer at Microsoft Studios, where I gained a love of the Microsoft culture. That gave me the opportunity to strengthen my chops on the agency side - I helped agencies grow and build go-to-market plans, and then came back to consultant world and was represented by Simplicity!

The real answer is a little longer:

In my early 20’s, I took 13+ years off to raise my children and travel around the globe, following my partner's career. I remember a moment in Puerto Rico after giving up my role at MS Studios, sitting there bawling in a country where I couldn’t work, and I thought 'what am I doing with myself?' My entrepreneurial side rose up, and I started a photography business from scratch. So the whole time we were traveling around, I was working on this small business to fulfill the creative, entrepreneurial side of me, and I was able to wear all of the hats.

When I returned to my hometown of Seattle, I realized that I had to reinvent myself again. I figured it out - I networked and rediscovered key relationships from the past, and I ended up with a second career. I took an opportunity to be a producer at Zulily – it took about a year of being back in a traditional job to recognize that I had all of the skills I need plus more – that my experience of having kids and moving around, starting new communities wherever I went, continuing to grow my own business - the winding journey had given me the skills and the guts I needed for my next chapter.

I went back to Microsoft as a consultant, and remembered that part of me, that ability to thrive in a fast-paced tech environment - I found those capabilities resting inside of myself. When that role ended, I took the opportunity to be the publisher of a magazine, which I brought from zero to publication in 6 months (of cold-calling, thinking outside the box, getting super scrappy, and finding ways to resonate with my community).

When I met Carrie and saw her leadership, I was wowed by her entrepreneurial, fierce spirit. I recognized that all of my experiences weave together in a lovely way, making me an ideal person to be in this role with Simplicity. I'm able to add value here because I’ve been on the consultant and the agency side, because I understand the sales funnel, that client service and relationship and consultant relationship all come together to equal business growth.

Sara: I LOVE that story. I think it'll resonate with a lot of folks, especially those of us with nontraditional career paths (ahem, present company included). What’s the best part of working with Simplicity?

Sheryne: I’m energized by goals, and helping not only our consultants, but our team achieve those goals. Not all of our goals are business-related either - I'm at my best when I'm helping the consultants thrive, and empowering clients solve business problems. I love getting up every day and realizing that I have a new challenge or opportunity in front of me, which excites me, nothing is ever the same. And I love overcoming obstacles, and coaching our consultants and my team to do the same. I appreciate the culture that we're creating, that we have a team of people willing to work up their sleeves and dig in and help others - and I’m excited to keep building our community.

Sara: This leads perfectly into my next question: what are your superpowers?

Sheryne: I possess a unique combination of fearlessness and actionability – I’m not afraid of anything - let's go, this life is an adventure!

Sara: You're an amazing coach as well - you have an incredible ability to bring the best out in people and bring cheer and energy into a room! OK, last question: what advice do you have for someone who is interested in becoming a consultant?

Sheryne: Have a consultative approach. Your client is looking to you as the expert doer. It's important to shift your mindset; you don't work for a manager, you work with a client – what you have to say is valid and important, and you need to show up with what you have to offer. As a consultant, your clients value your opinion, your point of view. Don’t hesitate to lean into your skill, and remember that no one has all of the answers, but you can add value by saying 'I can find out,' instead of 'I don't know'.

Are you interested in the consultant lifestyle? Please visit our consulting page to learn more and start the journey!

Homepage Hero: Doug Priest

An interview with Doug Priest
Senior Project Manager | Worldwide Public Sector, Critical Infrastructure

Sara: Tell me about your current consulting role!

Doug: Right now I am working in Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector on Critical Infrastructure. It’s exciting and impactful work, focusing on public utilities, transit, and cities. Right now I’m working on go-to-market efforts with several partners, account analysis and strategy, and communications. I’m about three months into this position and really enjoying both the day-to-day work and the positive impact I’m having.

Sara: That sounds amazing! Can you describe the path that led you here?

Doug: My career path has been winding and unconventional. I have a PhD in history, but also a throughline of technology work in my career, particularly in project and program management. Prior to joining Simplicity, I was working in government, and before that I had worked in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors - all with a focus on technology operations.

What really ties my path together is a desire to do meaningful, high-impact work that makes the world a better place. It turns out there are a lot of ways to do that, and that motivation has led me in a number of different directions. 

I actually think that the variety of experiences helps me provide a different and valuable perspective in the tech world. While I used to worry it was a professional weakness, it’s actually become one of my strengths. If you’re someone who, like me, has varied experience, consulting might be a good option because it can help you find just the right fit for your unique mix of skills and knowledge. 

Sara: What do you love about working as a consultant with Simplicity?

Doug: I really enjoy the sense of community among the consultants that work for Simplicity. I have to admit I wasn’t expecting that when I started, but it’s been extremely welcome. Although we don’t work together on a daily basis, our monthly calls go a long way to building community, putting faces to names, and helping us all grow our professional networks.

Simplicity also offers a very stable and sustainable way to do consulting. Particularly as someone with a family, that ability to have an easier path to benefits than I was expecting with consulting makes a big difference. Both of those things are a bit different than I think most people would expect with a consulting gig. It’s been great!

Sara: What advice would you give to someone who is interested in becoming a consultant?

Doug: By its nature, consulting can be a lot of different things. I think it’s important to figure out what you want out of consulting first. You shouldn’t just necessarily take the first opportunity in front of you. What are your priorities both from a professional and personal standpoint? What do you want to accomplish? Once you’ve figured out what you’re looking for, seek out an organization that shares your personal and professional values. 

Are you interested in the consultant lifestyle? Please visit our consulting page to learn more and start the journey!

Homepage Hero: Cindi Newell-Timmons

An interview with Cindi Newell-Timmons
Director, Talent Delivery at Simplicity Consulting + DEI Advocate

Sara: What's your role here at Simplicity?

Cindi: With my amazing talent manager team, we curate and deliver the best and brightest talent to our Simplicity clients, and design the best possible experience for both clients and consultants. Our goal is to bring in a diverse slate of candidates - fast and right!

Sara: We're so happy that you're here! Can you describe the path that led you here?

Cindi: Well, I've worked with Simplicity before, as both a staff member in marketing and events and as a long-time consultant. I absolutely love what Simplicity brings to the client and consultant community, the inclusive nature by which Lisa runs the company, and all of the people that I have the opportunity to work with.

I came back as the Director of Talent Delivery because I wanted to be a part of the exciting journey and trajectory ahead. We're laser-focused on building out our talent delivery initiatives for our trusted clients and community with a results-driven approach, always looking for the best match experiences, and ensuring our commitment to DEI.

Sara: What do you love about working with Simplicity?

Cindi: People, 100%, and the everyday commitment and rigor we have to really bring in exceptional talent to support our clients. I love fostering relationships!

Sara: What would you say to someone who's considering consulting but isn't sure it's the right career move for them?

Cindi: Consulting is all about doing the work you love and are passionate about doing, but doing it - as Lisa’s book says - the way you want to work. Being a consultant is one of the best ways to drive your career passions and trajectory, and gain a huge variety of experiences that enable you to grow skills in different areas. Consulting also opens a door to work-life balance, and it gives people the chance to build on their portfolio in a way they wouldn't typically be able to as a one-faceted FTE with a company. It's also a great way to reinvent yourself in an area of passion that you may not have been able to use before. 

Sara: Why should someone choose to work with Simplicity?

Cindi: Our talent team is entirely dedicated to helping our consultants identify their sweet spots of skills so we can market them to the right client and the right opportunity. And because we have dedicated professionals here that care about the right fit and the right match, we will hone in on what consultants love to do best in addition to where their skills fit.

Sara: What makes you uniquely suited to this role with Simplicity?

Cindi: My superpower is fiercely caring about people, and helping them hone in on what they love to do in life and work. I lean in to help people achieve success, and I absolutely love to bring people joy, happiness and rays of sunshine on an ordinarily northwest rainy day. I have an incredible amount of energy and motivation when it comes to talking with people and finding out what brings them joy in work and life.

Are you interested in the consultant lifestyle? Please visit our consulting page to learn more and start the journey!

Homepage Hero: Al S.

Al S.
Visual Merchandising Project Manager

I'm currently a Simplicity Consultant supporting Microsoft in the role of Visual Merchandising Project Manager. I oversee all things VM for Surface, Xbox, and PCA in Best Buy's across the US. I started my tech career part time at T-mobile, and I've since held various roles at major companies such as AT&T and Microsoft. After a lifetime of gaining hands on experience in the field and leading teams in delivering world class in-store experiences, I found myself wanting more. My current consulting role has allowed me to grow in ways that I didn't know I wanted!  

What I love about consulting is that I get opportunities to interact with people from various backgrounds in an effort to maximize impact and productivity. Over the last 2 years at Simplicity, my professional network has exploded with people from various backgrounds and industries, and I have a much higher since of fulfillment in the work that I do and the impact that I've been able to make. If you are considering the path of consulting, what I'd recommend is starting off by either reading or listening to 'Work, Your Way' by Lisa Hufford. Yes, I get how it sounds… " Of course he'd say that he works for her company…" Honestly, it was EXTREMELY insightful to the life that I have been living the last few years, but it made me pause and think about what I want for myself in future opportunities. I am no longer restricted in thinking that there is only one way to approach a career. If you are thinking about a life of consulting, Lisa's book provides answers to the questions that you don't even know to ask yet.  

Have you seen Al's Consultant Spotlight video on How to Work your Network? Check it out!

Are you interested in the consultant lifestyle? Please visit our consulting page to learn more and start the journey!

Homepage Hero: Melinda G.

Melinda G.
Project Manager, Employee Engagement Team

I was a Microsoft FTE for nine years working in many different roles including a two-year assignment in China. I left Microsoft in 2019 to join a tech start-up to connect donors to nonprofits through new technology. My current Simplicity consulting role is with the Employee Engagement Team that oversees Microsoft's Giving program, which aligns with my lifelong passion to support nonprofits.

As a consultant, I can jump from one project to another as needed. I enjoy challenges so being able to quickly take on a new project, create a plan, and drive successful solutions is a great career fit for me.

Fun fact: I sold the first ever Surface device in 2012 at the launch event at a Microsoft retail pop-up store, where I led a team of 100+ retail store Microsoft employees who showcased Surface to an international customer base in NYC Times Square for 6 months. Panos Panay worked with our team to get feedback from customers that helped Surface continue to evolve into the great product it is today. This assignment was one of my most challenging at Microsoft but also the most fun!

Are you interested in the consultant lifestyle? Please visit our consulting page to learn more and start the journey!

Homepage Hero: Kayleen W.

Kayleen W.
Digital Marketing Strategist | Scaled Analytics Insights Manager

I have a career background in advertising and digital media. I’ve helped small businesses, fortune 500 companies, and everything in between define their digital marketing strategy. After multiple FTE roles at different advertising agencies around Seattle, I found my way to consulting via an open contract on the Microsoft Global Advertising Business Team. I currently serve as the liaison between multiple departments including: Brand Marketing, Audience Marketing, and Analytics. I’m passionate about storytelling with data and using data-driven insights to craft strategic business decisions.

Consulting has given me the ability to really define my skillset and help my clients activate on their visions and goals.   

What makes me stand out? My ability to cross-communicate with multiple departments that have different goals and translate into one cohesive strategy that satisfies all partners is my strong suit. I believe if you show up every day with a curious mind, a bubbly personality, and a collaborative attitude – the opportunities are endless.

Are you interested in the consultant lifestyle? Please visit our consulting page to learn more and start the journey!

Homepage Hero: Hai D.

Hai D.
Program Owner | Customer Advocacy Program

How did I get here?
I actually began my career providing therapy as a behavioral health counselor before earning an MBA and running executive projects for health systems. I later transitioned into publishing social media campaigns and designing advertisements for small, boutique brands.

After completing and renewing several engagements with Simplicity, I can now say that I consult in all things marketing and management for various companies such as partner marketing with AWS, product strategy with EagleView, and even brand management with Microsoft Xbox.

How did I manage that?
My early volunteering experience for vulnerable LGBTQIA+ communities taught me that problems are usually embedded systemically and that creative solutions come from collaborative relationships. To this day, I continue to give back to the community by organizing programming with the Project Management Institute, which renews the positivity and passion I bring to every role.

Are you interested in the consultant lifestyle? Please visit our consulting page to learn more and start the journey!

Homepage Hero: Krissi T.

Krissi T.
Senior Project Manager, Cloud Marketing | Brand, Advocacy, Demand and Evangelism

I started consulting/freelancing in 1999 because I wanted to deliver excellence to my clients exactly the way THEY wanted, not by someone else’s design. This is one of the main reasons I chose consulting.

I like the 1:1 support I can provide, and by being both integrated into a team and bring that critical outsider lens, I'm can more easily help my clients see where improvements can be made. Flexibility and variety, above all else, is why I do this work! I get to participate in so many interesting projects, and I have the ability to work with different clients and cultures. I also love the ability to set the hours that work best for me, so I can add the most value to my clients' projects.

My bottom line:
💖 I'm ready to serve with a joyous heart—always.
🤩 I believe the right attitude is more important than skill-set.
🧠 I think the path to success comes from a clear mind where you're excited to learn every day.
👊 I know life is meant to be lived fully on your own terms, not by someone else’s design.
🌟 I find inspiration in everything I do.

Are you thinking of becoming a consultant with Simplicity? Wondering where to start? Click over to the consultants page to find the steps!

Homepage Hero: Telain W.

Telain W.
Writer | Executive Communications and Public Affairs

Throughout my career, I have positioned brands and successfully marketed, communicated, and promoted new products, services, causes, initiatives, and executives in uniquely creative, cost-saving ways that yielded lasting customer, partner, employee, and community connections. The arc of my career spans working in large corporations, nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, and working as a consultant and a contract employee. Although the roles and environments changed a lot over time, a constant was the value I brought to each position. 

I approached each job with a "Day 1" mentality and an intentional choice to deliver excellence, while learning new skills that would be transferable in the future. The journey equipped me for my current role as a Simplicity Consultant. Currently, I am working as a writer and content creator at Tableau.

My work mantra is: Deliver results daily. Add to current and long-term success. Be significant.

I hope everyone can do the work they love in supportive environments where they thrive. Find Your Happy!

Feeling inspired to become a consultant like Telain? We are always looking for highly skilled writers, so if you think consulting could be a fit for you, please visit our consulting page to start the process!