In healthcare, relationships are key. Whether you’re talking about patients, providers, or teammates, the same holds true. At Klara, Account Executive Mary Ellen Mathis knows that from experience. Having a fun and challenging work environment is essential to effectively educating healthcare clients and winning deals — and Mary Ellen tells us why the Klara team gets that right.
Q: What is your name and your role at Klara? Where are you based?
A: I’m Mary Ellen Mathis and I’m an Account Executive at Klara. I’m based out of the New York office, but I’m originally from Bricktown, New Jersey.
Q: How long have you been at Klara? What made you decide to join?
A: I’m happy to say I’ve been at Klara for a year now. Prior to working at Klara, I was actually in recruiting. Sales was new to me, but I heard about life at Klara and how exciting an opportunity this was…and I immediately wanted to know more. I started speaking with some members of the team, and I felt like I could just see myself finding a home here. But to be honest, what really sold me was the vision of our founders. They make it a priority to meet with all new hires during the interview process. Learning about their vision for Klara and the openness I felt from everyone on the team was key. Plus, I believe in our product. It really resonated with me, and I felt like I was actually helping to solve a problem faced by everyone — we’re all patients, right? And we all deserve quality care. My mom has worked in a doctor’s office my whole life, so I’ve heard her headaches. I saw the need in the market and how I could help solve it by finding a career at Klara, and I was excited — I’m still excited!
Q: What surprised you about Klara when you joined?
A: I was pleasantly surprised by how much everyone on the team truly has a say here. We’re always learning and growing together, and I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true at Klara. We’re peers to each other, leaders to each other, and we trust each other. There’s room for everyone to be heard.
Q: How would you describe the sales team at Klara? What does someone need to be successful here?
A: Hard working. We’re one unit here. One of the great things about Klara is that even though we’re growing so much, we still have fiercely tight-knit teams. I rely on the other Account Executives on my team for everything. You have to be able to laugh at yourself and have fun, we’re constantly messing around between calls, bouncing new ideas off each other, asking insightful questions. That’s what makes us successful. I’d say you also have to be adaptable. The most successful people here are the ones who want to play a vocal part in making our team and Klara better.
Q: What do you look for in a good teammate?
A: Someone I can bounce ideas off of. Someone who will give clear, direct, honest feedback — and who can take that in return. We’re non-judgemental, but we don’t beat around the bush. I think anyone who has worked at a start-up or who wants to work at a startup knows that you have to course correct quickly. You have to be open, thoughtful, and think of your fellow teammates as partners rather than competitors. And I mean, it’s sales, so of course there is that competitive nature. But we’re all learning as we go, we’re all figuring it out. I want someone who’s willing to jump onto the team, share in the wealth, and share in the successes and the failures so we can all grow.
Q: How does the team at Klara help empower you? Keep you motivated?
A: If I’m ever feeling discouraged or having a low day, my team is so good at putting everything into perspective. It makes you feel better knowing that we’re all in this together. And I think the reason everyone is so good at motivating and listening goes back to our openness with each other — you are constantly getting feedback and support from your teammates. If you can trust your team, that means you can listen to them when they’re giving feedback and use that feedback to improve. And when we win? We celebrate those wins really well.
Q: What’s the most important part of the culture at Klara?
A: Everyone genuinely enjoys each other’s company. On Friday, we’ll willingly sit around after hours and hang out with a glass of wine and chat and laugh because we have fun with each other. That’s rare. We’ve done a really good job finding the right people — and if you ask me, that is super important for a startup as we grow. We have an incredible set of people and we’re adding to that team every day. We’re always trying to grow the culture, yet find people that fit into Klara’s values.
Q: What are your hobbies (or passions) outside of work?
A: I love to cook. I like to scroll through Pinterest for new recipes and just go for it and see what I can do. I’ve made some good discoveries…and had some misses. But that’s how I express my creativity. I also come from a big family who live in the area, and I spend a lot of time with them, they’re a big part of my life.
Q: Describe the Klara team in three words.
A: Honest. Supportive. Collaborative.
At Klara, we’re transforming healthcare, so all patients can receive great care. Our HIPAA-compliant messaging platform makes it fast and easy for patients and providers to communicate.