Seasoned Advice for Early Career Marketing Professionals

Seasoned Advice for Early Career Marketing Professionals

On January 23, AMA | Rochester hosted a “Speed Networking” event with St. John Fisher University’s AMA Chapter. Marketing, management and communications-focused students rotated amongst small groups led by local marketing professionals and AMA | Rochester Board Members.

Conversations centered upon the changing nature of the industry, professional development, growing skillsets, dealing with challenges, and more, but one question came up over and over: What advice would you give to someone just starting out in your field?” 

Below are a few of the insights gathered from our panel of professionals:

“As someone with over 25 years of experience in B2B marketing within start-ups and tech companies, my advice to new grads as you embark on your journey in the field is to embrace a mindset of continuous learning and adaptability. The marketing landscape is dynamic and ever-evolving, especially in the fast-paced world of technology. Stay curious, be open to new ideas, and cultivate a passion for staying ahead of industry trends. Networking is also crucial – build meaningful relationships within the industry and seek out mentors who can offer guidance based on their own experiences. Lastly, don't underestimate the power of creativity in problem-solving. Marketing is not just about data and analytics; it's about storytelling and connecting with your audience on a deeper level. Combine your analytical skills with a creative mindset, and you'll set yourself apart in this exciting and dynamic field. Best of luck on your marketing journey!” – Martha MacPherson, CMO, eDiscovery Assistant

“First, pick the field because you’re passionate about a part of it. You love to write, or can’t imagine your life without graphic design. Then, be willing to grow and learn, and illustrate that willingness. A degree or a few years of experience won’t cut it – you need to consume experiences and learning opportunities. Take advantage of opportunities offered by trade organizations like AMA. By constantly expanding your marketing horizons, connections and career opportunities will follow.” – Barbara Pierce, Director, Bureau of Communications & Special Events, City of Rochester

“Evolution, adversity, and changing circumstances are constants in the real world. Find power in focusing on what you can control:

    • Put in a professional effort.
    • Find lessons in every success, failure, triumph, and challenge.
    • Above all, be a great teammate.

An accountable, constantly improving professional who elevates and celebrates others will find success and stay proud of the person in the mirror.” – Derek DeSol, Executive Communications Writer, American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science

“Something I’ve learned that I think is helpful for young career professionals to keep in mind is that while the subject matter of your work is important, the environment you do it in can be even more impactful. For example, I never considered myself to be passionate about accounting or finance, but The Bonadio Group has created an environment for me that aligns with my values – flexibility, autonomy, creativity, accountability, etc. Earlier in my career, I thought the most important part of my job would be working for a company that focused exclusively on something I was really interested in (food and beverage or travel, maybe). While that certainly is important, I have found that working with people and for a company that supports the way you work best and encourages true work-life balance has allowed me to form a career that’s just as rewarding, regardless of the services/products I’m helping market. – Laura Meyers, Director of Corporate Communications, The Bonadio Group

“One of the best leadership lessons I learned from a mentor was to ‘walk the halls.’ What he meant was to make the effort to connect with colleagues, clients, and team members. Whether it’s nurturing relationships with clients/customers or building stronger bonds with your internal team members – being visible and demonstrating that you’re engaged with people on a personal and professional level can go a long way. When timelines are tight and everyone is feeling crunched, having that foundation of respect and comradery helps keep everyone on track. I think this advice is more important than ever in this new age of remote and hybrid work. It takes a little more creativity and effort to accomplish this goal, as most of us are not in a position to actually stop by someone’s office and check in. Even if you’re doing that check-in virtually or just through exchanging messages, those connections will help position you as a leader.” – Kathleen Dutton Fanning, Advocacy and Communications Marketing Manager, Baxter International

Supporting young marketing professionals is a key tenet of the AMA purpose. Please feel free to connect with any of the above professionals on LinkedIn. And if you’re interested in volunteering or collaborating on an event with AMA | Rochester, reach out to us today!