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Spotlight: Jacob Swain

I’m Jacob, a Senior Client Services Associate with CSR. For the past two years, I’ve been working with clients and client managers of all sorts to add both structure and a measurable element to our engagement objectives.

  • Most helpful or practical college course you took: If we’re being honest…a liberal arts undergraduate education isn’t really synonymous with “practicality” (don’t even get me thinking about how much of my monthly student loan payment goes toward two semesters of Italian, Jazz History, and Conspiracy Theories in Politics), but the most helpful course I took was probably a course on the principles of data and evidence-based thinking, which I still draw on today. Recently in my graduate coursework, I took a class that surveyed most of the major analytics methods in practice today – a great course just for the ways it made me think about framing and approaching novel problems.

  • Biggest waste of practical time in college course: My freshman seminar was about political science fiction. The professor was an interesting (strange) guy, but the course was a huge time-sink for no reason. We had to read a novel every two weeks and write an essay on it! I had important slacking to do, and this really ate into that time. I guess I can recommend some great science fiction reading if anybody is into that.

  • First job you ever held: Barnes & Noble shelf stocker/box packer. I earned $8 an hour and I felt like the Monopoly Man every other Friday.

  • Ah ha moment with a CSR client – something important you learned from them: We previously worked with a client who had (to us) very clear needs and a clear set of actions that needed to be taken to enable their growth. Our recommendations were always politely received, but at the client’s urging the objectives we ended up focusing on always seemed to bend around these core issues. Ultimately they didn’t see the results that we both wanted, and that really drove home to me how important it is to demonstrate clear cause-and-effect when setting the strategy and how buy-in and commitment drive results.

  • Most gratifying moment with a CSR client: When a past client rebuilt their business model and adopted a revenue structure that I helped to design, it really drove home the impact that our work can have.

  • Go to skills – what you pull out time & time again with CSR clients: The ability to decompose a complex problem into its components, and piece them together in the right way, serves us well in every client engagement. It’s like a magic trick that turns something ambiguous and daunting into something concrete and achievable. It’s like, “Oh, duh! That’s all we have to do.”

  • If money was no object, you would live . . . Somewhere in the western Mediterranean. I love olives, cool breezes, and sunshine. Although I guess that means I’d have to have a winter home in the Caribbean, because I hate fog. …Who’s paying for this again?

  • People often mistake you for . . . On the flattery scale, anywhere from John Cusack to Adam Levine

  • Little known (but to be celebrated) fact about you . . . Some people who don’t know me too well might be surprised at what they hear when I pick up a guitar.

  • Favorite comfort food: I love a good BBQ plate…baby back ribs with mac & cheese and slaw

  • Childhood nickname: Not really a childhood nickname, but I somehow ended up getting called Jooski throughout college (and to certain people that I love, I’m still and always will be Jooski).

  • Favorite sport and team to cheer for: Go Braves!

Learn more about Jacob


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