Life-Changing Connections with Associate Director – Planning and Sustainability, Izzie Kalaja

Life-Changing Connections with Associate Director – Planning and Sustainability, Izzie Kalaja | A passion for progression

Something that is very important to us at Hunt & Co. is sharing the career stories and journeys of the life-changing connections our team make every day. After all, no two career paths are ever the same. Welcome to another Hunt & Co.’s #LifeChangingConnections feature with Associate Director – Planning and Sustainability, Izzie Kalaja!

In 2021, Izzie Kalaja was working closely with Hunt & Co. when a can’t-pass-up opportunity arose with FRANKiE4At the time, Izzie was working as a Senior Consultant with a Big Four firm, and was also a Sessional Academic and Master of Philosophy candidate at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), exploring how fashion brands communicate their sustainability efforts.

FRANKiE4 was looking for a Campaign and Content Strategist to support their global eCommerce business, changing the way women experience shoes. With our team’s expertise in eCommerce, we were able to put Izzie forward for the role – a match made in recruitment heaven!

But that’s not where the story of this life-changing connection ends…

After only seven months with FRANKiE4, Izzie was promoted to Sustainable Practices Manager. Then, another eight months later Izzie was promoted once again to Associate Director – Planning and Sustainability where her passion for sustainable fashion and eCommerce could really blossom!

We were thrilled to see a great candidate like Izzie Kalaja have such impressive career progression in a short period of time. There is truly no better feeling than seeing a candidate succeed, especially in a role that so perfectly aligns with their values and goals!

We were excited to chat with Izzie about her experience with Hunt & Co., career advice she has received and of course her triumphant progression from Campaign and Content Strategist to Associate Director – Planning and Sustainability at FRANKiE4!

Tell us Izzie, how did you end up working in the eCommerce industry?

I’ve loved eCommerce and direct-to-consumer brands for a long time. It started with Glossier (a tale as old as time) and I became fascinated with the crop of similar brands coming out of the US/EU when I was a student. I knew that if my career took me in-house, I would love to work for a brand with similar characteristics – a compelling founder story, a connection to the customer, and an obsession with exceptional brand experiences. 

How did you end up in your current role?

I’ve taken a fun and twisty path to my current role! I spent time consulting at a Big Four firm straight out of university which fostered my love of learning about different industries, ways of working, and technical skill sets. A couple of years in, I started a Master of Philosophy at QUT, exploring how different kinds of fashion brands communicate their sustainability efforts. I was able to use both of these experiences to take the leap to FRANKiE4, where I started in the Marketing team. I then moved into a full-time sustainability role, and have recently been promoted to my current role/team – which I’m super thrilled about!

What is it about your current role that made you transition?

My current role at FRANKiE4 is incredibly unique – it’s responsible for our global inventory capacity planning and oversight of our ESG (environmental, social, and governance) agenda across the business. It’s really the culmination of social, environmental, and financial viability, which is a really cool space to be in. I also have an incredible female leader that I report to, and learning from her is an absolute privilege every day. 

Tell us about your impressive progression from Campaign and Content Strategist to Associate Director – Planning and Sustainability.

Things happen fast in eCommerce land! I’ve loved all of the roles I’ve had so far at FRANKiE4, and am so grateful that I’ve been able to quickly progress within the company. Coming from a consulting background, I’ve been able to change roles based on what the business needs at a given point in time, as well as continue to learn about different areas of the business and develop new skill sets. My most recent move to the Commercial team has given me more exposure across the value chain, which is an invaluable learning opportunity. 

How did you enjoy your experience overall working with Hunt & Co.?

Working with Hunt & Co. was an absolute breeze. The team are so professional, and you can see the care and consideration that goes into every recruitment activity and placement they deliver. I send a virtual hug to Holly every time they comment on one of my LinkedIn updates! 

What is the best career advice you have ever received?

One of my Master of Philosophy supervisors (AKA another of my favourite humans) told me life happens in chapters. Sometimes you choose when to turn the page, and other times, the chapter chooses you. And the best books have many chapters. 

What is one tip or word of advice you would give to someone looking for a new role?

Get clear on what you want out of your next chapter. What are you looking to prioritise if you move? Is it learning about a new industry, doubling down on a particular skill set, or looking for opportunities where you can mentor and coach? Sit with it. 

What is one thing you wish everyone knew about your role?

Communication is the key! I know this goes without saying for a LOT of roles, but it’s truly an art form.

Thanks so much to Izzie Kalaja for chatting with us about your fantastic career story. We look forward to watching the rest of your story! Want to see what Izzie gets up to in her dynamic role at FRANKiE4? Connect with Izzie Kalaja on LinkedIn

Here at Hunt & Co., we are here to help you explore opportunities and open career doors, working together to find your perfect match! If you’re looking for your next role or team member in the eCommerce / Marketing space, reach out to Hunt & Co. today via our contact form here

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