Next Generation Leaders 2012-2013 Alumni Profiles

Sarah Alderman

Name: Sarah Alderman
School: Dartmouth College
Current Position: Strategic Consultant
Company: Epsilon

Could you give a brief description of your current job and responsibilities?

I am an associate in Epsilon’s Digital Strategy and Consulting group. I work with clients across various industries including, Healthcare, Financial Services, CPG and Automotive. My overarching responsibility is to help our clients develop effective, executable, ROI-driven digital strategy programs, campaigns and experiences.

How has your experience in NextGen helped you in your current position?

My experience in NextGen allowed me to build a foundation of essential skills to propel me forward in a career in direct marketing. In the short span of one year, I was exposed to strategy, analytics, creative, account management and business development. Beyond that, this program has taught me how to adapt and thrive in fast-paced work environments.

What kind of connections have you made through your involvement with NextGen?

The NextGen program opened doors to many networking opportunities, whether it was mingling with top Marketing Executives at The DMA, collecting advice from my mentors, or spending time with my fellow NextGen associates- I made many valuable relationships throughout the past year.

What advice would you give to someone considering participation in NextGen?

Apply for this program! This is an incredible opportunity for you to explore many angles of direct marketing in your first year out of college. This experience will open many doors and enhance your resume more than any standard entry-level position.

If you could only use one word to describe your NextGen experience, what would it be?

Rewarding


Maria Ehritt

Name: Maria Ehritt
School: Northwestern University
Current Position: Marketing Coordinator
Company: Guthy/Renker

Could you give a brief description of your current job and responsibilities?

After the program, I returned to the Digital Acquisition Team at Guthy|Renker, where I had been during my first rotation in the NextGen Program. In my current role I focus on display advertising and am responsible for the trafficking, tracking, and performance reporting on various digital campaigns for all of Guthy|Renker’s brands including Proactiv, Proactiv+, Wen Hair Care, Cindy Crawford’s Meaningful Beauty, and more. I also assist with email campaigns and affiliate partners, as well as creative development, review, and optimization.

How has your experience in NextGen helped you in your current position?

NextGen really showed me how there are numerous different areas in the marketing field, and enabled me to work in many of them right off the bat. Being able to experience and work on a range of projects helped me learn and grow my knowledge base about the industry as a whole, while simultaneously helping me to discover where my personal career interests lie. I never would have imagined I would have the job I have now before the program – in fact I didn’t even know that something like my current job existed. Something I really appreciated about the NextGen program was that it was very clearly a learning experience, and that is something I hope I continue throughout my career.

What kind of connections have you made through your involvement with NextGen?

I have made many valuable connections through my involvement with NextGen through the various networking opportunities Marketing EDGE provides. As part of the program I was privileged enough to attend I-MIX 2012, DMA2013, IMW2013, multiple Marketing EDGE Board Dinners, and industry events such as the Annual Awards Dinner, the ECHO Awards, and the Rising Stars Awards Dinner where I met many industry leaders and passionate marketing professionals. Another group of individuals that I think have been especially valuable to get to know is all of the NextGen Leaders who came before me, and with me, through the program. I am very grateful for the connections I have made, the relationships I have built, and the support I have received from my fellow NextGen Associates.

What advice would you give to someone considering participation in NextGen?

I would absolutely encourage anyone and everyone to participate. I feel very lucky to have been selected for the NextGen program, and to have had all the experiences I have had in the last year. What was special to me about the program when I applied, was that it was okay that I had no idea what I wanted to do, I just knew I was interested in marketing, and I wanted to work hard and learn more about it. And I wanted a little help along the way to figure everything out. I think the NextGen program is the ideal job for first-year college graduates because it provides amazing opportunities to learn and experience so much in a very short amount of time, while taking the time to give young professionals the support they need to build a solid base for their burgeoning careers.

If you could only use one word to describe your NextGen experience, what would it be?

Dazzling


Erin Jennings

Name: Erin Jennings
School: Princeton University
Current Position: Client Success Specialist
Company: OrderGroove

Could you give a brief description of your current job and responsibilities?

I recently accepted a job as a Client Success Specialist at small tech start up (around 40 people) called OrderGroove. The company's revolutionary Subscription Retail Platform, coupled with its team of subscription marketing specialists and data analysts, allows retailers to tap into the power of convenience to turn new and existing customers into repeat buyers. While “technically” my role is a specialist, I wear many hats at the start up (which is what I love about it!). I have complete ownership of the implementation, optimization, and retention of our technology for five different clients, all of which are multi-million dollar brands.  I am the day-to-day contact for my clients, and their trusted advisor on best practices, strategies and tactics for improving conversion, retention and ROI for their Subscription Commerce program.

How has your experience in NextGen helped you in your current position?

Before I joined the Next Gen program I had very little experience in the marketing industry. I went to a liberal arts school and had never taken a marketing class in my life- I barely knew how to use Excel! I left the program with a well-rounded knowledge of the industry as I spent six months doing strategic consulting for some of the world’s largest healthcare brands (working under some real marketing geniuses!); then I spent my second rotation creating business intelligence dashboards using web analytics for major cosmetic brands. Not only did I get to see the strategic side of marketing, but also learned how all strategies must be backed up with “big data.” In addition, outside of work, I participated in several amazing marketing conferences. I left the program with a vast knowledge of the industry, and I use the skillset I learned in NextGen everyday at my new job!

What kind of connections have you made through your involvement with NextGen?

The connections I made while I was in the NextGen program have proven to be incredible assets so far in my career and, moreso, have become close friends and trusted mentors in my life.  Not only was I able to make invaluable connections through the workplace, but the Marketing EDGE board and staff have given me connections throughout the entire industry.  It’s not everyday that someone can just sit down with a CEO of a multi-million dollar company and have a chat about life!  As I was searching for my next career opportunity after the program, I realized I had made an endless number of connections who work in a variety of fields through Marketing  EDGE.  It truly made the job search that much easier. I felt like for every company that I was applying to I had a Marketing EDGE connection that could pass along my resume, or put in a “good  word!” for me.  My connections made through the Next Gen Program truly shaped the “professional” I am today, and I plan to stay in touch with my mentor and those connections.

What advice would you give to someone considering participation in NextGen?

Do it!  As I was approaching the end of my senior year, I was considering a variety of career opportunities;  all I knew is that I wanted to be in the marketing industry. I did not truly know what I wanted to do precisely within that industry. The program is an excellent choice as it gives you the opportunity to gain experience in several different parts of the industry, and figure out what you like to do, and what you might not enjoy as much. Unlike many first jobs, the program also gives you the opportunity to decide your own career path. As a NextGen Associate, you can decide if you want to work in a certain part of a company, or ask your boss if you can join in on something he/she is working on- how cool is that! The Next Gen opportunity is truly unique, and will allow you to gain a skillset that would take 2-3 years otherwise. You will come out ready to take on the next opportunity!

If you could only use one word to describe your NextGen experience, what would it be?

Invaluable


 

Valeria Navea

Name: Valeria Navea
School: University of Southern California
Current Position: Senior Marketing Associate
Company: DIRECTV

Could you give a brief description of your current job and responsibilities?

I am a Senior Marketing Associate in DIRECTV’s Affinity Marketing group. I manage marketing initiatives with several partners including AAA, American Airlines, and United Airlines. My main responsibilities include managing marketing campaigns with partners from planning through execution, creative development, and campaign reporting and analysis.

How has your experience in NextGen helped you in your current position?

The NextGen program helped me develop a solid foundation of skills and direct marketing experience. The rotational nature of the program required me to adapt quickly to different work environments and to quickly learn new skills required for each job.

What kind of connections have you made through your involvement with NextGen?

The NextGen program exposed me to some of the most influential people in direct marketing today. NextGen Associates get the opportunity to build a very strong network through the rotation itself and through the various events. The network extends through NextGen peers, Board of Trustees, NextGen Alumni, and Marketing EDGE staff.

What advice would you give to someone considering participation in NextGen?

My advice would be to definitely apply! This program is the best way to gain valuable direct marketing experience that will give you an advantage as you begin your career.

If you could only use one word to describe your NextGen experience, what would it be?

Invaluable