Like many students, I am embarking on a new path. After 30 years in major advertising agencies, I am combining my passions for communications and the arts by giving back, and also starting a new venture: an independent consultancy to help cultural and service organizations communicate effectively and consistently, reflecting their missions and aligning all stakeholders.
My First Real Job
After graduating from Northwestern Medill, I was fortunate to begin as a “copy-contact Account Executive” at Marsteller, a full-service business-to-business advertising agency. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a copywriter or an account manager and this combined both responsibilities on highly technical accounts. I chose the management track and yet retained a love for writing. My training at Marsteller was outstanding. At a young age I got wonderful experience in all aspects of the job, such as creative strategy, project management, communications planning and integrated marketing. Bill Marsteller was still chairman, and I got to see first-hand the power of an inspiring leader.
- Pioneered industry-leading methodology of “Brand Stewardship through successful execution of a CEO’s vision, helping change the way Ogilvy & Mather conducted business.
- Repositioned iconic, dated brands with strategic insights and revitalized their sales with fresh and engaging communications.
- Implemented comprehensive instruction for client service at Corbett, a pharmaceutical agency, teaching fundamental marketing principles and management skills.
What Drives My Career
My affinity for being at the intersection of business and creativity. I enjoy understanding a business, evaluating audiences/market trends, and then collaborating with talented partners to design creative strategy and campaigns that will get results. I believe effective communication can be transformational. I thrive on continuously developing my skills to achieve.
Advice for Students
- Explore your strengths – There is a wonderful book, Now, Discover Your Strengths (Buckingham & Clifton) that I recommend for identifying yours. Knowing my own and others’ strengths has led to greater happiness and stronger teams.
- Follow your passions – Life is short, and if we put ourselves into things we love naturally, doesn’t that make work a lot less like work? Not to mention, it helps our success.
- Be true to yourself and also to others – in any relationship, personal or professional, it’s always worth listening to another person’s approach. It’s great to know our own opinions and feel confident about our knowledge, but there’s so much value gained in exchanging ideas.