Samantha - External Communications Manager

Samantha - External Communications Manager

Client: Samantha was chief marketing officer for a bourbon distillery.

Industry: Food & Beverage, Restaurants, Utilities, Energy, Oil & Gas

Function: Marketing, Advertising, Public Relations, Management, Planning & Development, Economic Development

Samantha’s job was a poor fit and she wanted to explore better options, but she needed professional help to boost her interview skills.

Within weeks of beginning the program, Samantha scored interviews for two amazing opportunities and prepped intensively for them.

Samantha landed a role as economic development lead consultant within a month, but she continued working through TBG’s program, ensuring a great start at her new organization – and achieving a significant promotion to external communications manager in under a year.

Study: Samantha was chief marketing officer for a bourbon distillery in Houston. After about a year on the job, Samantha felt that her talents were not valued by her employer as much as she thought was merited and decided to look for a new opportunity where she could utilize the full range of her strengths. 

Almost immediately, Samantha decided to enlist professional help in her job search. She was not confident about her interviewing skills and wanted someone who could support her through the interview process.

“In the past I would interview and feel like I was the top candidate – but then I wouldn’t get the job. I couldn’t figure out why. And employers usually won’t give you feedback. I clearly wasn’t doing something right, so I hired The Barrett Group [TBG],” said Samantha. 

Samantha had barely begun the program when, to her surprise, she got two interviews.

“I had begun the Clarity Program and anticipated it would take time to find a “good fit” job. However, within just two or three weeks I was offered interviews for two great opportunities. The interviews were within a week of each other. So, The Barrett Group quickly transitioned me to an executive career consultant to begin prepping for them.”

The two roles were very different. One was a government relations role for a major commercial aircraft manufacturer. The other was for economic development for a large, Houston-based, energy distributor, which had been referred to Samantha by a friend. Samantha had skillsets in both.

“My consultant, George Schulz, took me through a spreadsheet of potential interview questions and coached me on how to answer them. The biggest takeaway for me was the importance of giving answers that don’t focus so much on the achievements I want to share about myself but what the hiring manager wants to hear. That was mind-blowing to me! That was the first time I’d ever heard that. George taught me how to identify the company’s needs and speak specifically to how I can meet those needs. The goal is to convince them there is no better choice than me.” 

Samantha also learned what questions she should ask the interviewers. 

“One of the interviewers said to me afterwards that she was very impressed with the questions I asked because they were not the usual questions they hear from candidates. She said one of them was particularly novel, and it had stumped her! And I thought, ‘Thanks, George!’”

The tactics worked so well that Samantha essentially earned offers from both companies. The energy distributor extended an offer very quickly for an economic development lead consultant role, which Samantha accepted. She learned a week after starting her new position that the other organization wanted to hire her, too.  

“I laugh now because I immediately got two job offers. That never happens! The Barrett Group certainly did what I wanted, which was to help me through the interview process. I got offers so quickly that I hadn’t even finished the program!”

Samantha saw another obvious benefit from TBG’s program before landing: her resume revision. 

“I got very good feedback on my resume. One of my interviewers shared it with other leaders at the company specifically because she wanted them to replicate it!”

Only a month into her program and already landed, Samantha wondered: “Now what?” In response, her consultant proposed continuing through every step of TBG’s Program so that Samantha would be prepared in case the new role turned out to be a poor fit. 

“George was an amazing coach. He had me work the program so that if, in 30-60-90 days, it turned out to be the wrong place for me, I would have tools in my belt to find something else. We went through every phase.” 

Samantha found the lessons on how to use LinkedIn to bolster a job search incredibly helpful and appreciated that George went step-by-step on teaching her to conduct searches in various ways. 

“The deep dives into LinkedIn were my favorite sessions with George. They were absolutely invaluable!” 

Lastly, they discussed onboarding, self-promotion, a 100-day plan, and how to prepare for the first performance review. It was clear to Samantha that her dedication to completing the program set her up for success very early in her new job. To her delight, within a year, she was rewarded with a wonderful promotion.

“I implemented all the things I learned from George in my new position. I came to him with all my questions, and he always made himself available. My new role is in another department where I oversee a team in managing external communications for six states,” said Samantha. “I honestly believe that the work I did with George and his guidance helped me with that success. He was just a really good coach!”

Samantha leaned on George for help during the compensation negotiations for her promotion as she had when she accepted the first role.

“I tend to downplay myself during negotiations and George showed me how to position myself for a better offer. He used the visual of a scale to explain how employers have more leverage during the hiring process, but once they give you an offer, you now have more leverage to ask for what you want. We also went over a list of negotiation questions I should ask during the process. Thanks to George, I got a better package that I otherwise would have.”

Samantha marvels now at the success she has had with The Barrett Group despite a very atypical program experience. 

“I’m definitely in a better place thanks to my career change. The team and leadership of my current job is 180 degrees different from the team and leadership I had before. I feel blessed to have had George coach me through the first few months of my job and set me up for success in this new organization. He is really good at what he does! What’s more, he made me feel like a friend, not a client. It was a pleasure to work with him!”

Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals. Photo:

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