The Path to CHESA and My Mentors: An Interview with Sierra O’Connor

By The Women of CHESA, an interview

About Sierra O’Connor: Sierra is a 24-year-old, Baltimore native that found herself in the IT industry right out of college. Sierra joined the CHESA sales team in 2019 and is based in Baltimore. She is responsible for developing and maintaining seamless communication between the internal team, the outside vendors, and CHESA clients as our Territory Sales Manager – East

Q: Where did you go to college?

A: Long Island University Brooklyn

Q: What was your major?

A: Business Management 

Q: First job out of college?

A: I worked at a software company, Paragon Consulting Services, which specializes in software and programming for steel companies. Fresh out of college this was a great opportunity to gain experience in both sales and marketing. I worked day to day with the Sales Director and had sole ownership and responsibility for the company’s marketing and social media presence. This was a great jumping-off point and provided me with a lot of the skills I still use today.

Q: How did you find CHESA?

A: I began at CHESA as an intern right after graduation, very new to this industry and not knowing anything about M&E. I shadowed Jessica Mantheiy, now Senior Operations Manager, for my first 3 months. At the time was the Sales Operations Manager and she taught me the ins and outs of CHESA. This industry and CHESA as a whole opened my eyes to a new world and a vast opportunity for growth. 

Q: Did your career hit a turning point that brought you where you are now?

A: The more I learned about CHESA the more I realized this is where I wanted to be. The choice to join CHESA jump-started my career. I’ve grown so much since joining this team only two years ago, and have plans to grow much more alongside my peers.

Q: Who do you look to as a mentor?

A: Jessica Mantheiy is the one who taught me everything I know. She is a huge inspiration as a respected and established woman within CHESA and the industry. I admire the wealth of knowledge that Jessica has gathered in her years and her tremendous work ethic. My mother, Shawne O’Connor, is another huge inspiration to me in the world of business. She also started in a niche industry with little background knowledge and built up her resume to become a top director in her company. 

Q: What would you like to see change/ improve in this industry?

A: I’d love to see more women take over this industry. Media and Entertainment technology is an industry constantly evolving and growing. I hope the next evolution of M&E includes diversity- diversity in age, gender, and ethnicity. 

Coffee Talk with the Women of CHESA: This Women of CHESA blog series is where we discuss mentorship, what inspires us, our professional journeys, and the challenges we face. 

Have a suggestion for a blob topic? Contact us at womenofchesa@chesa.com

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