Jennifer Olson, Senior VP, Customer Success, joined Align Technology in 2002. While working for Align, her role and career path evolved and she shares her vision on internal mobility. 

How would you describe your career path at Align?

When I joined Align, I never thought this would be a long-term career move, at the time I thought it was just an exciting sales job! However, as our company has grown, Align has afforded me opportunities that have been so dynamic, fulfilling and challenging at every step during this journey. 

It seems as though I have worked for several different companies in those 15 years, even though I have remained at Align. I started as a sales representative in the Chicago area, bringing on a new channel when we first started to sell the Invisalign system to general dentists. Over the years I’ve held a variety of positions within sales, business development and marketing, and today, I am Senior Vice President, Customer Success.  

I believe in looking for opportunities to work on projects that stretch beyond your current capabilities, that quite honestly might make you uncomfortable. Those opportunities come with a commitment to deliver above and beyond the requirements of your current job. In doing so, you are rewarded with a great learning experience, both in your successes and failures, which are invaluable for future career growth. 

Why is internal mobility important?  

I believe it is my responsibility to retain our top talent and I’m committed to providing employees with opportunities to stretch beyond their current role. In my time here, when a member of my team has had aspirations for upward mobility at Align, I’m there to support by providing them stretch assignments and feedback, and also to help hold them accountable for their aspirations.  However, it is the employee’s responsibility to take advantage and to deliver on those opportunities.  In that manner, it is a shared responsibility.    

What recommendations would you have for ambitious individuals who would like to develop themselves in a fast and dynamic environment like Align?  

Don’t be afraid to speak to your manager about taking on extra projects and/or to ask how else you can contribute beyond the scope of your current role. This is one of the things I love about Align. We move fast, but that speed enables our business to create opportunities for you to take ownership of your career growth. I would recommend you put in the time, get feedback from your peers and your manager, challenge yourself, and be open to new opportunities.    

Any last recommendations for leaders?  

It is so important to continue nurturing the expertise in your organization, and to leverage the experience of new people who join the company as well. There is such strength to be had in diverse teams. 

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