A forward thinker and fearless problem solver, Sara Hunter brings her teaching background to her work as a Senior Consultant in the Resultant Public Sector Services team specializing in Education Data Services.
“Don’t be afraid to say ‘yes’ to opportunities that scare you a little bit because that is how you grow.”
Get to Know Sara
What was your journey like going from teaching to becoming a senior consultant?
My career has truly been anything but a straight line. I graduated from Loyola Marymount University majoring in theatre with a dream to become a director-producer, along with an entrepreneurial business minor because I have always been interested in the business world. I ended up working for a school and came to realize that I had a true passion working in education. At that point, I went back to school to receive a teaching certification and Master’s in education.
After teaching for several years, I decided to challenge myself and transition into a new nontraditional role as a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) teacher and coach. This way, I was able to work with every student at the school, as well as collaborate with teachers to weave STEM into the classroom. Technology integration has always been a huge passion of mine because I love leveraging our modern technology to help our students and teachers succeed in innovative ways. I ended up working as the K-12 STEM Coordinator for an Indiana School District. This role allowed me to advocate for teachers to implement technology in the schools and to receive the professional development skills in technology that they were wanting to learn.
In my role now at Resultant as a Senior Consultant, I serve in the Public Sector team focused specifically on public education data. The project I am currently working on is called Data Exchange where I’m focused on the implementation of new processes and systems in schools across the state. I love my job because I can use my experience of working in the school system to help understand problems and translate the solutions to my clients.
Are there any skills that you picked up teaching that you still use in your consulting role today?
The power of sitting in silence. All the time in my classroom I would ask a question and there would be the same five eager students to raise their hands. Instead of calling on one of them immediately, I would wait in what some may consider “awkward silence” for a few seconds. This extra time allowed all my students to let the question resonate and develop and answer. I still use this technique when working with my clients because I value the power of listening. The best conversations happen when each party is listening to understand instead of listening to reply.
What impact are you looking to make on Resultant and our clients?
I approach every project with fearless problem solving because I know, from my experience as a public school administrator, what these clients are facing. I know that their work lives are crazy busy with more on their plate than one could imagine. I love the position that I have to be that value-added partner to help tackle their obstacles and look forward to show them opportunities for innovation.
In addition, I love the role I get to serve as a connecter. In our Public Sector services, we have a national-level view working with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), we work with the Department of Education to have a state-level view, and we also work with individual school districts and archdioceses to gain a complete understanding and see the big picture when solving problems.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I am a busy mom of two, which takes up a lot of my time. But I make the time to be one of the co-leaders of my daughter’s Girl Scout troop. I love leading inspirational conversations with young women that help to show them all the amazing opportunities they have available to them. As I have led them for a few years, it has been a joy to watch them grow as individuals and as leaders. I also get to be a Girl Scout Gold Award Project Advisor for one of my former students, which is really special to me. Her project, Spread Positivity, brings awareness to mental health issues brought about because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been fantastic to mentor her and watch her live out her goals.
What podcast or book would you recommend to career professionals?
“Coaching for Leaders” with Dave Stachowiak is a fantastic podcast that explores productivity, interactions with clients and colleagues, and several other business leadership topics. In addition, one of my favorite professional books is called Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change by William Bridges. Along with great mentors and colleagues, this book helped me navigate all the big career transitions in my journey.
What advice would you give to a young woman in the tech industry?
Be confident in what you know and assert what you know. Trust that your education and experience have led you to where you are and the opportunities that are in front of you, so take advantage of them.