Careers in Marketing Panel

“Don’t outsmart your common sense” was just one of the nuggets of wisdom a full house in the Livak Room at the Davis Center, enjoyed from the latest in our popular career panels series.

Our Careers in Marketing panel comprised of Steve Phelps ’85, EVP Chief Global Sales and Marketing Officer at Nascar, Chris Nelson ’95 President Harbor Linen and Brendan Taylor, Global Marketing Director of Seventh Generation.

The panelists were introduced by Amanda Simpfenderfer, from the Grossman career management office, followed by senior lecturer Amy Tomas, who explained the panel format; that each panelist would highlight their own career paths and insights, then talk to a specific marketing challenge from their individual experiences.

Career observations spotlighted the attitude needed to succeed in today’s workforce including the realization that career paths will zigzag, be open to change and make your own luck. To be careful with social media as reputations that took years to build can be torn down in a moment. Have a plan, but it’s okay not to stick to it too rigidly. Be yourself; meaning be authentic at work, you will be more successful and have more fun.

Some other tips were always write handwritten thank you notes (exemplified by Chris), don’t negotiate too hard on salary; the bad taste will often outweigh the reward, don’t outsmart your common sense and realize when you reach a tipping point in a position, i.e. where the job is taking more out of you than you are getting out of it, it might be time for a change.

Each panelist then described a specific example of a marketing situation and how it was addressed. Brendan gave an example of launching new products and

how Seventh Generation attracted consumers away from other brands. Steve described how by using research and data analytics his team uncovered a systemic issue that addressed the challenge of keeping Nascar relevant, while Chris spoke to the need of when tackling a new role, how imperative it is to spend time listening and learning about the business, and that people are the foundation to growth.

After the conclusion of the panel, panelists met with students in a roundtable format allowing for more in-depth conversations and networking.

Thank you to our panelists for your valuable time and sharing your expertise and experiences

By Amanda Simpfenderfer
Amanda Simpfenderfer Amanda Simpfenderfer