How do you explain your profession to people outside of the industry? What do you find most exciting and/or rewarding about this work?

What are the core requirements of your job and how do you measure success?

In the Mars Wrigley Transaction Zone Team, success is tied completely to the success of our retail partners. My team is focused on creating bespoke solutions that solve our industry’s most severe juxtaposition, which is the fact that shopper behavior is shifting rapidly but in-store experiences remain largely unchanged. Considering these realities, we must think holistically to unlock opportunities that provide value to all key stakeholders at the front end, including retail merchants, store operations and shoppers.

What is one notable professional achievement you've made over the past year that you are most proud of?

Two years ago, this was just a vision. And I’m proud to say that we’ve quickly built it into a mature Retail Design Consultancy. We’ve developed a world-class team and suite of capabilities that efficiently deliver customized solutions to many of the world’s leading retailers. Looking back, I can’t believe how far we’ve come in such a short time, and there is still so much more to be done.

What professional challenge or failure has stuck with you, and how did you embrace it?

It took me a long time to realize that admitting when I didn’t know something was actually the first step toward success. Because it meant that I was learning — and that had a profound impact on my own career development and the unique consultancy we’ve built. Investing in my ability to learn, unlearn and relearn prepared me to be genuinely comfortable working with organizations that are in constant flux. I only wish I got to that understanding earlier.

What trend or technology do you believe will have the most profound impact on your work (and the work of your peers) over the next year?

Self-checkout accommodates shoppers, addresses labor shortages and reduces checkout time. Retailers are going to continue to lean into this approach even more in the coming year. But it comes at a cost — one of which is diminished noticeability. This presents a unique opportunity to bring Retail Media Networks (RMN) into stores. When done correctly, integrating retail media into the front end will drive higher conversion at self- checkout.

If you could say one thing to your younger self, what would it be?

Have strong, yet loosely held, convictions. Have an idea that you believe to be right, but be willing to accept that you might not be.