Sunday, May 19, 2024

Interview with Clemence Sop from Intersystems: Overcoming Obstacles and Inspiring Success

Leaders Perception Magazine is currently running an interview series called – Pathways to Success: Exploring Unique Paths to Achievement
In a world where persistence, opportunity, and dreams define success, Clemence Sop, Head of Marketing Innovation at Intersystems, embodies these qualities in her journey to success. Born in rural Cameroon, Clemence overcame obstacles to pursue an education and create a better future for herself. In a recent interview, she shared her inspiring story of persistence and determination in the face of challenges, drawing inspiration from her mentor, Dr. Denis Mukwege. As she continues to dream big and empower others, Clemence defines success as a continuous journey of growth and impact. Join us as we delve into Clemence’s remarkable story of resilience and determination in the pursuit of success.

Interview with Clemence Sop from Intersystems: Overcoming Obstacles and Inspiring Success

Interviewee Name: Clemence Sop

Company: Intersystems

Clemence Sop’s favourite quote: “If your dreams don’t scare you – they aren’t big enough”

I love this quote by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. But I have an addition: When you dream, you have hope. You can work hard and then the universe listens. I learned that when you don’t dream – you get stuck. Dream. Hope. Work hard and do more.

The Interview

Thank you so much for joining us today! Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your backstory?

Clemence Sop : Three words define me: Persistence, Opportunity, and Dreams.

Born in rural Cameroon in the middle of Africa, I had to be persistent to achieve the opportunities an education provides. Where I come from, education is a privilege reserved for the limited few. I learned to read and write and became insatiable in my pursuit of an education.

Literacy opened up my world and inspired me to gain knowledge.

I wrote a letter every day for 4 years. I wrote the local government asking for the opportunity to continue my education. I did not give up on my dream, and eventually, my persistence paid off. I was granted the opportunity to continue my education in Monaco.

Once granted the opportunity of an education – I took full advantage. I challenged myself with a double major in business and engineering. I wanted to understand how goods move from place to place and the mechanisms behind their movements. Why some places have an abundance, and others remain poor. I was perplexed by the lack of access to food and education and wanted to understand: why.

I made sure to take full advantage of this opportunity. I walked by the bulletin board with the Dean’s List every week. My name HAD to be there. I had to be the best and prove I was worthy of this opportunity.

As a child, my dreams were to continue learning and to create a better future for myself.
Today, I continue to dream on behalf of all those girls deprived of an education and the opportunity to create a better future for themselves.

And I put those dreams to action. I collaborate with schools and organizations empowering girls in Africa. I serve as a mentor, sharing my experience and knowledge to empower these girls to dream big and accomplish more.

One of my favorite ways to empower girls is through a monthly, virtual book club. I choose inspiring stories. We read them and discuss the way to overcome adversity and achieve our dreams.

Overcoming obstacles is often a part of the journey to success. Can you tell us about a particular challenge you faced and how you navigated through it to ultimately achieve your goals?

Clemence Sop : I joined a health IT company right before the pandemic hit. What was a challenging market became an almost impossible one to crack when all the previously successful methods of marketing were no longer options. The industry instituted massive layoffs.

I was the new kid on the block, and I had to take an aggressive approach to redefining marketing and sales if the company was going to succeed in a new landscape – and if I was going to make it at the company.

The entire company was challenged to rethink B2B Marketing and Sales – but management hadn’t changed and leadership was skeptical about adopting completely new methods.

In addition to this hesitancy from above, our company is global and every country desk requires its own customization.

I had to convince a skeptical management to adopt new marketing behaviors in multiple countries at the same time – each country with their own language, different personality traits and barriers, and a shared fear of new practices.

There was a lot of rejection at first.

My manager supported me and challenged me to persuade the different department heads and country desk leaders.

I learned how to adapt my tone of voice to meet cultural norms of those in different countries. I learned that different arguments are more convincing in different regions. Most importantly, I learned how to navigate leadership. I was much younger than most of the people I had to convince. One of the only women in a department dominated by men. I learned to identify which team members were more open to my ideas, how to engage them as my “cheerleaders” and encourage the rest of the team to join the initiative.

And I was successful. The idea or work is not enough to be successful. Crossing barriers – cultural, language, gender, age barriers – that was the biggest challenge in getting the team on board and launching new marketing initiatives that put our company on the map.

Many people draw inspiration from the stories of others. Are there any individuals or mentors who have played a significant role in guiding or supporting you along your journey? How have they impacted your perspective or approach to success?

Clemence Sop : Dr. Denis Mukwege is my greatest inspiration.

Like me, Dr. Mukwege was granted the opportunity of an education in rural Africa. He has gone on to accomplish incredible things. He returned to his war-torn homeland in Congo where they now call him: The Woman Fixer. He has dedicated his life to treating victims of rape.

His life and the lives of his family are constantly under threat because he is an outspoken advocate for peace and against violence against women. It doesn’t stop him. He speaks out and acts on behalf of women who suffered the most heinous abuses.

In addition to physically treating these women, he also empowers them with knowledge and an education. He gives the most broken women hope, and a reason to overcome the past and achieve a better future. These women are incredible. It is inspiring to see them stand in their power.

I aspire to be like Dr. Mukwege. I aim to leverage the knowledge and opportunities I’ve been given in order to give back to society.

Success can mean different things to different people. How do you define success personally, and what advice would you offer to others who are striving to achieve their own version of success in life?

Clemence Sop : My success is more than anyone in my village could imagine. But I expect more of myself. The opportunity I received of an education means that I can’t stop here. I always feel like there is more that I can do.

I strive to do more professionally. Break all the glass ceilings until I reach the top.

More importantly, I want to sit on the board of directors for organizations that affect countries like the one I am from. I want to make an impact and positively influence those coming from the same background.

Leaders Perception would like to thank Clemence Sop and Intersystems for the time dedicated to completing this interview and sharing their valuable insights with our readers!

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