DE&I

“Be hungry and driven,” Sarah Larsen from Samsung

Jan 30, 2024

Meet Sarah Larsen, Chief Marketing Officer, Home Entertainment at Samsung Electronics America. Sarah brings creativity, collaboration, and a positive attitude to both marketing and leadership. She’s a trend tracker and digital diva, taking an insights-driven approach to KPIs in everything she does. Marketing is a life-long passion for her, going back to before she even knew what marketing was. When she’s not working, Sarah spends time with her husband and two teenage children. She also explores her love for fashion, food, and mixology in her free time. 

In her Pass the Mic interview, Sarah shares the story of how she decided to pursue marketing (with a little help from her father) and her philosophy on what it takes to succeed. Take a listen to the full interview.

Pass the Mic with Sarah Larsen – Full Interview
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From her choices in music to her focus on soft skills to her leadership style, Sarah is an inspiration. Here are some interview highlights to help her stories and advice soak in.

Get outside perspective.

Get outside perspective, Sarah Larsen – Pass the Mic
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Highlight: “We get so myopically focused on what we think we know about ourselves, or what we think we want other people to see in ourselves…getting that outside perspective from a trusted source, that's super important.” – Sarah Larsen

Figure it out.

Figure it out, Sarah Larsen – Pass the Mic
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Highlight: “I don't expect someone to know everything about everything, but I do expect you to be hungry enough, and driven enough, and resourceful enough that you want to figure it out. Be curious—that's totally cool. In fact, it's going to help you in life, whether it's professionally or personally. You should be asking why, and you should be trying to figure out the context around things.” – Sarah Larsen

Take initiative and be proactive.

Take initiative and be proactive, Sarah Larsen – Pass the Mic
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Highlight: “I think when it comes to hiring, soft skills and an EQ are as important, if not more important, than IQ and your background. I want someone that's demonstrating they’re resourceful, they’re creatively problem solving, they take initiative, they're proactive. For me, I feel like if you put someone in a role who has the right mentality and approach, they will do as well, if not better than, someone that on paper just has that expertise.” – Sarah Larsen

Learn from failure.

Learn from failure, Sarah Larsen – Pass the Mic
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Highlight: “I am definitely an optimist at heart. So, I try to find that silver lining, the positive in any situation, and what can I learn from it? And then secondly, it's recognizing that failing fast, and learning from that, is a very important and good thing. I know for me, personally in my career, I’ve learned way more from the times I’ve failed, than the times I’ve succeeded. And it also sticks with you longer when you have that feeling of 'I wish I did it differently' or 'that did not turn out the way I wanted it to.' If you can turn that into a positive with, 'okay, brush myself off' and move forward on a different path, you’re going to do better. One of the best things that I love about working at Samsung is that we’re an environment that encourages failing fast and learning from it.” – Sarah Larsen

Be scared on a regular basis.

Be scared on a regular basis, Sarah Larsen – Pass the Mic
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Highlight: “When we really push ourselves out of our own comfort zone, both professionally and personally, we have the biggest gain… You need to be scared on a regular basis, because it's the scary stuff that you learn the most from. If we play it safe, we're never going to grow.” – Sarah Larsen

Don’t take everything so personally.

Don’t take everything so personally, Sarah Larsen – Pass the Mic
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Highlight: “I think my biggest piece of advice to a younger Sarah would probably be: Do not take everything so personally. Everyone has a story. And it took me a while to recognize that someone's feedback to me might include a variety of factors that have nothing to do with me. And I'm not saying discard feedback, because I think you take all of that feedback with a grain of salt, and you also take it from what positive things you can really learn about yourself. It's so important to be self-aware.” – Sara Larsen

Always choose kindness.

Always choose kindness, Sarah Larsen – Pass the Mic
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Highlight: “I think kindness matters, and I don't think there is anything wrong or anything weak with leading with kindness. You can be a kind person, and you still can be firm and hold people accountable, but you can always choose kindness.” – Sarah Larsen

Kindness—first, last, and always. We’re so glad Sarah was kind enough to sit down with us for such an empowering interview filled with amazing advice. Ready for more motivation from powerful women? Check out more Pass the Mic content.

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