I was all over the place in college. After microbiology I was headed to Manhattan to study interior design because I thought that's what I wanted to do, surely. And it, for some reason or another, things just don't work out or you change your mind about something. And I ended up just kind of falling into marketing. Kind of embarrassingly, I went back to a school that I had transferred from and I said, "What can I do to finish within a year? "I just wanna be done with school. "I just wanna move into my career, I want to advance." And he pointed me in the direction of communication studies. And while I was studying that path at school I realized all of the psychology that was involved with it. I realized all of the science that was involved with it, and it just made sense. It was nothing I had ever considered. It was nothing I ever thought I would want, but it just happens to fit my skillset absolutely perfectly. So in college I had an internship working for a large retailer, online and on air, and I worked in their Consumer Data department kind of analyzing feedback from customers on certain products. And that's where my introduction to data came from, and also where my introduction to consumer insights came from. Once I graduated I applied to a bunch of different jobs within the marketing, advertising, and public relations field and I land job as a PR specialist at a content marketing firm. And my responsibilities there started off as just communicating with journalists and editors at online publications, like Huffington Post and Buzzfeed. And we would take content that we created for our clients, that was relevant to those journalists, and ask them to write a story about it. And I excelled in that role and within nine months I was promoted to a manager of the department. From there I fell in love with Savannah. I came here on vacation and decided I didn't wanna leave. So it took some time, but I was able to move here in under a year, and I kept that job that I had in Florida and I worked remotely for a number of months. But while I was still living here in Savannah I saw a sign for DX Marketing, and I knew that I'd eventually be looking for a position locally and I reached out to the Vice President of Operations and I just sorta passed her my resume and in a friendly email just said, "I did some research on what your company does. "Here's what I do, and here's how I can help you." and we set up an interview. I met with her multiple times over the course of a couple months. Our initial interaction went so well that she was upset that she didn't have a position to offer me. But we kept in touch. I always followed up after a month or two just to say, "Hey, still interested, checking in." The more research I did on their company. They won a bunch of awards from Oracle in that time, and I just fell more in love with what they were doing. I thought it was so cool. So eventually she reached out and she said, "Hey, we have a position. "I want you to talk to these two members "of our company as well, and we'll see if they like you "as much as I do, and if so we'd love "to bring you on board." And thankfully they liked me and that's how I ended up here at DX. My longterm goals and aspirations include me eventually working for myself. As I mentioned previously, I love being in a strategic role. So being the one who gets to come up with the big picture, and be in charge of creating that picture. That's definitely an aspiration for me. That's definitely where I see myself moving. It's probably a little ambitions to say within the next five years but you never know. Someone who's interested in following in my footsteps, I would highly recommend putting a four year degree on your plan. That would be your number one. Sometimes schools offer an accelerated program where you can get your four year degree and a masters within five years. Sometimes even within four. Just because I know that that'll set you up for success right out of the gate. It'll be a lot easier to higher you and companies will definitely put your resume at the top of the pile. Pursue internships, unpaid or paid, for college credit, or not. Seek out companies that you can help. Even if it's just filing paperwork at a marketing company. Even if it's just sitting in and doing secretarial work. Anything just to get involved. Just start anywhere and offer your services so that you can build your resume and be ready when you get out of the gate. I was fortunate enough to actually work in a hiring position for a marketing and advertising role previously. So this is something I'm pretty intimately familiar with and I can tell you all about my pet peeves and things that I look for. You definitely want someone who can quantify their roles and responsibilities in how they can, basically be able to demonstrate to you their experience. So if they started as, in an entry level job, what they did and how they delivered to the client. And you want those numbers in there, so again, that's that data coming in. I want someone who can say, I worked as a social media manager and I grew our following X percent in this amount of time. I want someone who doesn't make any grammatical mistakes, who triple checks their work. I'll be blunt and say, if I ever read a resume and there is a grammatical error or a typo I'm gonna throw it out. (laughs) So that's something you just wanna make sure that the person you're hiring is detail oriented, which is the most important thing in this role. You want someone who has experience working with others and collaborating with others. You don't want someone who really worked independently just because collaboration is such an important function of this job. In the interview process itself, you want someone who is comfortable speaking with you. Obvious, nerves in any type of interview are to be expected, but you want someone who can communicate clearly despite the nerves, as expected. There are a number of different client management software that you will use, and experience in using of them is extremely helpful, just to kind of know that you understand how to project manage. It's absolutely essential that someone is well versed in Microsoft Office, with all of those programs. Having certifications in Microsoft Office is also very helpful. If you have experience in graphic design that's definitely a plus but not necessary. And it does vary vastly from position to position and company to company depending on who your clients are and what their goals are. This is a very huge industry. It's massive and you have a ton of competition. So it's so important that you start lining things up to set yourself apart and to make yourself the number one candidate that everyone wants to hire. So then you'll be able to land your dream job, instead of working in something that maybe you don't like for so long. Things to avoid when you start out in the marketing industry would be complaining or getting frustrated with the tedium of day-to-day work because when you start out there's gonna be a lot of spreadsheets. You might start to see lines when you close your eyes. And it's not gonna be your favorite part. I know that that's true for me. There's gonna be parts of the job that you don't like, but you have to start somewhere. And you're not gonna be able to get into, let's say, the strategic position that I aspire for right when you start in the industry. So just try not to get discouraged too early on, and just continue to work. Something that would also help is to identify areas, whichever company you may work for, whichever job you may have, identify areas of weakness and strategize in your free time, or your down time at work, how can you fill in those gaps? What can you do to make the processes better. Research new softwares. Research new developments within the industry. I'm subscribed to a number of different email newsletters that are industry relevant. I keep up on LinkedIn a lot, just to kinda see the trends and what's going on because you need to stay on top of this industry, it's perpetually changing.