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WGSN HQ: 3 career change inspirations from our team – part 2: Clarissa

Remember our mantra? Change is good, change IS good. And to inspire you to embrace the surprises life sends your way, we’re sharing the stories of three WGSNers who – guess what? – changed their career path.

Last week we took you through the wandering paths of Georgie Hyatt, who swapped Durban for London and a spot in WGSN’s Sales team for the role as Client Services Specialist. Now, we’re sharing Clarissa Araujo’s journey, whose career moved from a spot in the finance industry to WGSN’s Sales team, only to be followed by a move to a Marketing role (all in São Paulo). And now? A spot as WGSN’s North American team’s Senior Marketing Manager in the Big Apple.

 

Clarissa Araujo, Senior Marketing Manager

Going for a career change? Cla’s success story mixes passion, resilience and being open (and alert) to new opportunities

One of Clarissa’s good friends says she can be described in 3 words: Moscow mule, Goldfish and black skinny jeans. A fan of the copper-container vodka buck, who has black skinny denim as her signature look, this Brazilian from Bahia loves Goldfish and a mix of electronic, jazz (she still can’t get over the Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga album), Brazilian music and John Mayer. Besides splurging on Italian food – “I could live off cheese, prosciutto and wine” – and also some good ol’ fast food, Cla dedicates a big chunk of her spends towards traveling. In her own words, “it’s a true cliché but travel is the only thing you spend money on that actually makes you rich for real”. Indonesia, Thailand and Russia are next in line.

Tell us a bit about your career path – and the changes in it – so far.

I’ve always had a passion for fashion, but started my career in the finance industry. A friend told me about WGSN and I fell in love. I started working at WGSN’s São Paulo office in Sales, as it was the only open position at the time. Plus, my background in finance and personal skills fitted the role. My dad says I negotiated everything since I was a kid, from my allowance to extra birthday presents. After a couple of years, I started helping here and there in Marketing activities, and started taking more responsibilities in that area. From that to finally changing teams, it was a smooth transition, as it all fitted together. I have a saying that “marketing is sales with glitter”.

How did the opportunity to relocate to NYC come up?

The idea to pursue an international career hit me at Cannes Lions (fun fact: WGSN and Cannes Lions are both a part of Ascential Plc.) when I realized I had been in my role for a while – a little over 4 years – and wanted a change, a bigger challenge. I pitched Paul Coxhill, my boss at the time and still today (Hey, boss! I’m sure you’re reading this) and he was very open to the idea. I was fortunate to bring it up in the right time as we were going through some changes in the team. Not long after I got the formal offer.

Do you miss your previous roles?

Just when my friends who work in the finance industry say they got their bonus!

Have you always known where you were going and what you wanted to achieve?

Yes. And no. I’ve always been passionate about marketing and fashion, and have always been ambitious (in a good way), but I never set myself the specific goal to be in the Marketing Manager role in NYC. It was a combination of going towards what I was passionate about, being resilient and keeping my eyes and ears open to new opportunities.

You’re so driven. Do you ever let yourself get lost once in a while?

Definitely. I spend a good amount of my time making decisions, so sometimes there is nothing better than to let yourself get lost, take a different route, experiment something new, something that is interesting and weird at the same time.

What memorable ‘detours’ or ‘side streets’ have you taken?

Leaving the finance industry, where I was doing well, to do something completely different was certainly a memorable detour. I still like it, but I’m positive that I’d never be as passionate and proud as I am about what I do today. Moving to NYC was definitely a memorable side street. I have always been passionate about WGSN, but the road straight ahead was definitely not this wild. It takes a lot of courage to take the side street – from thinking about it to verbalizing it, pursuing it and actually following the path. Believe me, it sounds amazing and super exciting when you talk about it – and it was, it still is – but I remember being scared to death signing the papers and later on checking my seven big bags and sitting in the plane alone.

Tell me a bit about how has your life changed since this ‘detour’.

Completely. I live and breathe what I do – from reading fashion magazines to watching the shows, the opportunity to go to Cannes Lions (if you study anything marketing or advertising related you know what I mean) – the list goes on and on. Just don’t think it’s all hearts and flowers, like every choice in life, there is also the “not so good” side, I miss my family and friends everyday (God bless technology!)

Before these opportunities came up, did you ever imagine yourself changing roles or countries?

Yes. I’ve always wanted to have an international career and a global role. No wonder why my bachelor is in International Relations, with Marketing & Business Emphasis. Watch out for CMO before 40.

 

We believe that the future isn’t a destination. It’s 100% within you. To see what other beliefs we share, check out wgsn.com/wgsn

 

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