There are many paths to success and while not everyone takes the same path, we often manage to arrive at the same destination. In our KAI Partners Staff Profile series, we share interviews and insight from some of our own employees here at KAI Partners. Our staff brings a diversity in education, professional, and life experience, all of which demonstrate that the traditional route is not necessarily the one that must be traveled in order to achieve success.
Today, we bring you the journey of one of our Consultants, Michele Sadowski. Michele works with one of KAI Partners’ public sector clients as a Communications Specialist. She helps design and implement communications strategies and plans for projects and programs.
KAI Partners, Inc.: How did you get into Communications work?
Michele Sadowski: As I look back at my life and career, my affinity for communications actually started in childhood. I grew up in a military family. It really was central to my developing the ability to quickly understand new cultures, how to adapt, how to assimilate, and how to build relationships to participate collaboratively in my new environment. Having attended schools in Washington, California, Florida, and Alaska (within a nine-year period) turned out to be very positive experiences that helped set the course for my chosen career in communications.
My path wasn’t straightforward. I’ve been an executive assistant, an events manager, and a project manager, before landing in communications roles. But, if you think about it, communications – the ability to communicate with others in a way that works for them and helps achieve goals—is crucial to success.
KAI: Are there any certifications or trainings you’ve gone through that have helped in your career?
MS: I was very fortunate to work for a company where employees were encouraged to share their knowledge with others. I attended many internal “lunch and learns” and peer-to-peer sessions, as well as more formal courses that were sponsored by the organization. I would have to say one of the more interesting courses I attended was Meeting Facilitation. It really reinforced the criticality of open, transparent, and most importantly, respectful communications.
KAI: What is your favorite part about your line of work and why?
MS: As a Communications professional, it has been my job to help employees see the connections between what they do and say every day and how that maps to the company strategy and goals. At the end of the day, people want to make a difference. They want to know that the work they do is valued. If I can help them see the value they bring and feel valued, then that makes me feel like I’ve made a difference.
KAI: What is one of the most common question you receive from clients and what counsel or advice do you give them?
MS: Probably one of the most common is how can we get the team focused and moving forward. My first piece of advice is to ensure there is a common understanding of the purpose, goals, and objectives for the team. You would be amazed by how many teams get caught up in that space.
Now that we’ve learned more about Michele’s communications work, here’s a little more about her!
Quick Q&A with Michele:
Daily, must-visit website: New York Times
Preferred genre of music or podcast to listen to: Favorite genre of music – depends on how I’m feeling, but generally, hard rock and alternative.
Best professional advice received: Always tell the truth – even if it hurts. It will come back to haunt you if you don’t.
Book you can read over and over again: Send in the Idiots by Kamran Nazeer. As the mother of a child on the Autism spectrum, I found it fascinating, chilling, and hopeful all at the same time. It’s an interesting read to go back to. It really re-enforces how critical communications—our ability to communicate with others—is in everyday life.
Most-recent binge-watched show: Once Upon a Time. Yeah…it’s a guilty pleasure.
About Michele: Michele is a recent Certified ScrumMaster with 20+ years of communications and project lead experience in small and large technology firms. After a 15-year stint in Wisconsin, Michele recently returned to California. When not at work, she spends her time learning about her new home, Sacramento, CA, and enjoying time with family and friends.