Anna Long’s career began in the fast-paced world of start-up companies. While she loved the high degree of autonomy and responsibility this afforded early in her career, she ultimately decided that a switch to consulting would provide her with invaluable tools and a foundational learning experience in ways that a start-up could not. However, she knew it would be difficult to match the client exposure and responsibilities she had there if she moved to one of the large firms.
After careful research, Anna discovered Stax and quickly recognized the company would be able to provide her with exactly with what she was seeking: an entrepreneurial environment, direct engagement with interesting clients, access to a number of different industries, and the opportunity to enhance and expand her analytical skills.
Anna credits the responsibilities and client interaction given to her at Stax with providing her the skills and confidence to effectively manage other leaders and clients. In addition, she garnered real, practical management experience at Stax, providing her an advantage later in her career.
After her time at Stax, Anna would later go on to earn her MBA at Harvard Business School before taking her current role as the Executive Director in the Office of the CEO at PPD Inc. A demanding position, Anna leads cross-functional strategic initiatives, liaises with the senior management team and is responsible for Board meetings and interactions. In short, it’s a role with many different hats that allows her to leverage her background in strategy while taking on more operational challenges.
At Stax, Anna had the opportunity to work on a diverse set of projects. Many were due diligence projects focused primarily on industrials and manufacturing. She was also called to advise on a number of difficult and challenging problems from a corporate strategy perspective.
For example, during her tenure at Stax Anna helped to create a profit maximizing pricing structure, requiring rigorous analytical modeling, for seventy different product lines at a large retailer. She also created a digital strategy to evolve a paper scrapbooking company into the modern age. At the other end of the spectrum, she worked on new product entry for a major manufacturing company on agricultural and forestry machinery.
This spectrum of clients and industries coupled with a hands-on approach was crucial to Anna’s professional growth.
When we asked Anna if she had anything else to add about her experience, she made a point to highlight the people at Stax, who “are really special and make it what it is” adding, “it’s a really unique environment, truly fun and a pleasure to interact with your colleagues.”
When Anna wasn’t meticulously analyzing figures and dealing with clients, she laughed more at Stax than any other job thus far.