Jackie Schaffer is a featured keynote speaker for Inside Job 2013: One-day Conference for In-house Design. She is a vice president and general manager of Cella Consulting, is a former in‑house creative leader who has consulted for teams of all sizes, including Fortune 500 clients, government entities, and educational institutions. Jackie was kind enough to answer a few questions for AIGA Houston.
1) Can you tell us about what you do at Cella Consulting?
Cella is a boutique management consulting company 100% focused on the in-house creative community. We also provide training, content and networking events for the creative leadership community. My role as General Manager and Vice President is comprised of three main activities: (1) consulting — working with in-house creative leaders to identify opportunities and implement solutions to allow their teams to work more efficiently and effectively, (2) business development — supporting our sales efforts, and (3) strategy & administrative activities — determining where Cella is going to go, how we are going to get there and implementing business processes to get us there.
2) What led you to become a consultant for in-house creatives?
Stinking at design! I started my career as a designer but quickly realized my peers were far more brilliant designers. I, however, was really good at client management, project management and process. Within a few years of leaving college I was managing a 30-person team that grew upwards of 80 people in a few short years. My role as leader was facilitating the success of the creative staff. Eventually I was ready for a new opportunity and was offered this opportunity to have help creative leaders across the country facilitate the success of their creative teams.
3) Any advice for someone considering in-house design as a career move?
Like any job, focus on the culture of the organization and the opportunity you are being presented. Money will come and go, but working with people you really like and doing challenging work is what you will make you happy longer. And that’s what’s most important.