Career Tips, Darden Alumni, Marketing

Alumni in Marketing: How This Grad Creates Joy at Clif Bar

By Mary Shea Watson-
alumni-in-marketing-how-this-grad-creates-joy-at-clif-bar

As Clif Bar Brand Manager, Jeff Tang (MBA ’13) develops innovative branding strategies for the company’s extensive lineup of organic foods and beverages. Before graduating from Darden, Jeff spent his First Year summer internship with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters in Waterbury, Vermont, pioneering pre-concept research for two product launches and developing complex landscape analyses. After graduating from Darden and before arriving at Clif Bar, Jeff spent three years at General Mills as an associate marketing manager, before being promoted to senior associate marketing manager. Here, Jeff shares insights into the Clif Bar hiring landscape, tips for brand management success and more.

 

What roles do MBAs have at your organization?

Mostly within the brand organization at the manager level, but we do have MBAs across our finance, supply chain, and sales organization!

Jeff Tang (MBA ’13), Clif Bar Brand Manager

What is your current role?

Developing innovation strategies for the company, bringing projects from idea to commercialization, managing and leading teams in designing and executing marketing campaigns, developing and serving direct reports and team members.

 

What’s your “why”?

Creating joy through human-centric innovation, irresistible storytelling that connects brands and people, and fearless servant leadership.

 

What’s challenging about your work?

Dealing with things that slow or impede progress: red tape, inefficiency, analysis paralysis, selfishness, etc.

 

What advice do you have for Darden students?

Make sure you’re passionate about CPG (i.e. creating things that solve problems in consumers’ lives!), be constantly curious, and lead through positivity and unselfishness.

 

What did you want to do as a career when you started at Darden? How did that change over time?

I had no idea, until the first week of school and I heard Betsy Frost (MBA ’05) talk about Old El Paso Tacos. That’s a longer story for another time, though…

 

Which skills are most important to be successful at your work?

Kindness and honesty, strategic thinking, listening, “yes and” attitude, ability to connect with people and bring them along, ability to understand people and their wants/needs better than they do, interpreting
analytics.

 

What are your favorite industry news sources or podcasts?

 

What is your favorite business or career book?

Competing Against Luck by Clayton Christensen et. al.