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Meet Andrea Miller, growing in consulting

Headshot of Andrea with a design that reads "Kin+ Andrea Miller"

Our name is intentional. “Kin” refers to family and “Carta” refers to maps. When together, we’re Kin + Carta — a group of connected makers, builders and creators, who come together everyday to help our clients build experiences and plot a clear path forward in today’s digital world. Carta is what we do, Kin is who we are.

Kin+ is a series that uncovers the experiences, stories and lives of the people who make our collective “Kin” exceptional.

There is no one right career path — everyone’s is different. Personal interests and learning desires shift each individual toward their own unique growth trajectory. And at Kin + Carta we support this by providing all employees with resources to own and advocate for their career. 

Some of our favorite stories come from Kin who have moved laterally across our firm. Like Andrea Miller, who’s showcased expertise across consulting and growth roles. Now as a Portfolio Lead, Andrea focuses on the growth of Kin + Carta’s agriculture clients. We’re honored to share insight into some of Andrea’s career.

Headshot of Andrea with a design that reads "Kin+ Andrea Miller"

In college, I studied Accounting and Economics. When I started looking into jobs, I quickly realized that accounting just wasn’t the right profession for me. I didn’t love that the output wasn’t always something tangible that you can point to and say ‘I completed that’. So I broadened my search and ended up doing an internship at a large tech consultancy. At the time, I honestly didn’t know what consulting was, but I did know that in my role I'd help people solve problems. And that's how I got started in the industry. 

In 2014, I was intrigued when a former client asked me to interview to join a small, mobile-focused consulting firm. After having so much fun in my interview, I was thrilled when I received the job offer from Solstice (now Kin + Carta). I started as a Product Analyst, and throughout the next four years I’d step into many different functional roles, including Scrum Master, Program Manager, and Product Lead.

My first project assignment was with a client in agriculture. I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin surrounded by farmland, but I’d never really thought about what was happening around me. My dad actually became a farmer when I was an adult, so I called him right away to talk about my new client. It turns out that being interested in agriculture runs in the family!

Andrea with her dad
Andrea pictured with her dad

Agriculture has always been an innovative industry, and digital innovation in ag is much more exciting than most people realize. Within Kin + Carta’s ag client portfolio, we have some of the most interesting projects at the company — including yield prediction, drones, and e-Commerce.  Not only have I loved working with these projects, teams across the firm do, too. I think it’s because there are really exciting projects across the industry of agriculture, and they’re solving real-world challenges. 

One of my favorite parts of each month is conducting our “Farming 1-0-Fun” course for all new joiners to our ag accounts. It’s an hour-long class where we give people a schema for agriculture — seasons of the year, machinery, crop types, and important data points. We have some further recorded trainings, including one featuring my dad talking about his farm. We also try to get people out into the field as often as possible. I find that all of this work holistically helps our teams better empathize with our customers, allowing us to continue building the best software products possible.

Andrea holding a letter A sitting next to Morgan holding a W
Andrea with Morgan Sweet at Women in Agribusiness

In 2018, after four years of working across different functional consulting roles and for different clients, I heard about an opportunity to laterally move into Kin + Carta’s Demand organization. I initially wasn't sure if it was the right fit, but I came to realize that some of my strengths as a consultant — building client relationships and understanding my clients’ business challenges — would be key strengths in this new role. 

I stepped into the position, initially focusing on generating new business, but it evolved first into a Client Lead role that spans client delivery and sales, and now into a role that focuses on the growth of our clients in the agriculture space. I’m responsible for finding new ways to partner with our clients and to ensure our teams are successful. 

When I started, I was the only woman carrying a quota at Kin + Carta. Prior to joining Demand, I didn’t often think about my gender and how it affected my work. I was now often the only woman in the room. I talked about this a lot with our Demand leadership team and emphasized why having diverse teams is so crucial to our success. We discussed ways to evolve our hiring practices to create more diversity of gender across our talent pools. The increased diversity of our team today shows the result of that commitment.

Andrea with a photo of her teammates in front of a sign that reads: FarmHER
Andrea with some of her Kin at the Iowa State Fair

I truly appreciate Kin + Carta’s commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Awareness (IDEA). I attend as many of our educational events as I can, and I encourage others to join me. I truly believe it makes us all better in our respective roles. 

I’ve also found a few ways to talk about it across my clients accounts, by doing things like:

  • Creating a new onboarding document where we review inclusion and specific ways to be inclusive on teams. 
  • Conducting interviews with team members, giving consultants an opportunity to bring up anything that is making them uncomfortable. 
  • Hosting monthly all-hands with our teams and highlighting things like how Asian American and Pacific Islander history relates to agriculture, or sharing the stories of famous Black people who have contributed to agriculture.
Photo of Andrea on a run with her Kin + Carta and client teammates
Andrea on a run with her Kin + Carta and client teammates

I’ve realized that while my trajectory hasn’t been ordinary, it’s actually all been a part of helping me to succeed. I think about all of the jobs I’ve held and see the connection between those and the path I’ve taken throughout my career. For example, I was a shoe salesperson and in that role I learned that I would never sell something I didn’t believe in. I was always honest in telling someone that a shoe just didn’t look good. Or, my job where I was a waitress, a bus girl, and a food runner. Working in the restaurant industry helped me learn how to stay calm amidst chaos. As a camp counselor, I learned that great work can be accomplished while still having a good time together. And working at my family’s asphalt plant embedded in me the value of understanding and appreciating different backgrounds.

All these experiences, among many many others, have armed me with skills and a mindset that has made me, me. They’ve helped me learn my power in creating connections between people and how, together, we can make the world a little bit better.

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