Startup Institute Student Spotlight – Lauren Zaleski
Back at it again with the Startup Institute here in Chicago! This summer we got back to Chicago from the sunny island of Menorca off of the coast of Spain to meet the Summer 2016 cohort of the Startup Institute! As we do with other Startup Institute classes, we gave the Summer ’16 class Tribe Pro accounts, worked with the Sales students on a challenge, and hosted a friendly contest. Of course, we wanted the competition to be fun but related to tribe.
The reward? The most active tribe user from the Summer ’16 class gets a featured spotlight on our blog, and promoted on our social media!
We are proud to announce that this classes’ winner was Lauren Zaleski!
Lauren graduated the Startup Institute just this past Thursday night at the acclaimed 1871 tech incubator.
— Tribe (@tribe_do) August 11, 2016
Lauren Zaleski, a self described connector of dots and people, came to the Startup Institute with a wide variety of experiences. Before coming to the Startup Institute she was the Manager of Personalization Solutions and Senior Consultant, Personalized Marketing at emnos; helping retail clients turn vast amounts of data into actionable insights. And before moving to Chicago in 2011 from Cincinnati, she worked at Dunnhumby as the Senior Associate in the fields of Manufacturer Practice, Communications, and Media. Dunnhumby, of course known for being the world’s leading Customer Science company analyzing data and applying insights from nearly 1 billion customers to create better experiences and build loyalty.
But it was really in January of 2008 when she began as the CEO at Flyer Enterprises where Lauren found her grit. During her time as an undergrad at the University of Dayton, Lauren was the CEO of Flyer Enterprises and was given the incredible experience of leading a large-scale organization before graduating from college. As CEO, she controlled the strategic growth plan, oversaw executive and management teams, and reported to the University Board of Directors on a quarterly basis.
With strong analytical skills, combined with infectious positivity, it’s easy to see what happens when talent meets hard work. I even got the chance to interview Lauren!
Q: What do you see happening in the future of marketing and sales?
A: It’s becoming increasingly challenging to capture someone’s attention. Thanks to the proliferation of screens, notifications, and messages, the average attention span is now under 10 seconds! To cut through the clutter and earn a person’s attention, I believe the human element is essential. You must understand your prospect enough to speak in a way that resonates and builds trust from the start.
Q: Where do you see your skills being helpful in your career?
A: I’ve always loved connecting people (my matchmaking record among friends is pretty solid), which will serve me well in the world of sales as well as recruiting. With my background in consulting, I also have a strong ability to organize projects and teams. I’m looking forward to bringing these skills to an early stage company where there is so much opportunity to move quickly and scale.
Q: What are your skills right now and where do you want to improve?
A: I’m great at taking complex topics and communicating them in a way that others understand. After spending the past seven years focused on “big data” in retail, I’m now looking to broaden my experience across other industries.
Q: If you could meet someone famous from the Chicago tech scene who would it be and why?
A: I would love to share a cupcake and conversation with Amanda Lannert, CEO of Jellyvision. Her simple mission, for both products and people, to “Be Helpful” really resonates with me. As I’m entering an early-stage startup, I look to Amanda as a role model for cultivating an enduring people-first culture.
We’re fortunate to have the opportunity to work with some amazing students, just like Lauren, at the Startup Institute. If you, or someone you know is thinking about taking the leap into Startup world, the Startup Institute is where you really do want to begin.
p.s. We want to congratulate Lauren for accepting a job offer at HuntClub to become the Director of Account Management, congrats Lauren!)
Interested in Tribe’s Journey through Techstars? Read the Startup Series now!