Are you interested in learning more about the marketing industry? Curious about the jobs within the field? The Starr Career Development Center enlisted the help of marketing and advertising professionals who are offering their perspectives and guidance to Baruch students looking for answers to their career development questions.
1. Could you please introduce yourselves and tell us your name, company name, job title and a fun fact about yourself?
Name: Keni Thacker
Company: CMG (Constituency Management Group)
Title: Freelance Program Manager, OBRIE (Office of Business Relevance Inclusion, and Equity)
Fun Fact: I’m a super Marvel fan and sing the Hamilton soundtrack at least one week out loud.
Name: Kelvin Estevez
Title: Paid Search Manager
Fun Fact: I rode my bike from NYC to Niagara Falls to raise money for Cancer research!
Name: Morrell Gaskins
Company: COOP Careers
Title: Recruiting Manager
Fun Fact: Was part of the bagpipes and drums club in high school and marched in the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade
2. Please describe your job and a typical day at work.
[Keni] I create experiences that are catalysts for social change and understanding. The programs I write are built to provide exposure and opportunities for those less represented in the public relations and advertising industries.
[Kelvin] I manage Paid Search ads for top corporations. Paid Search ads are text ads that appear first when someone Googles something. We want to appear on searched terms that are relevant to their business. My typical day involves managing the performance on these text ads, which means managing the ad spend, and analyzing the return of the ad spend.
[Morrell] Our main tasks consist of interviewing applicants for our apprentice programs as well as building relationships with college career centers and other non-profits to help support their graduates in their career development.
3. What are the two main skills you use most heavily at work?
Skill 1: Writing
Skill 2: Creativity
Skill 1: Excel – Excel – Excel!
Skill 2: Email and person-to-person communication
Skill 1: Public Speaking (Interviews and presentations)
Skill 2: Operations (Optimizing internal recruiting process)
4. What are 2-4 technical and soft skills that students should be developing to prepare for jobs & internships?
Technical – Excel is a must within the Paid Search space. Some examples here would be vlookup, pivot tables and data graphs illustrations. In addition, using the Google Ads and Bing Ads platform and tools are core technical skills.
Soft Skills – Written and spoken communication are skills needed – this means in-person and over conference calls.
Understanding how to communicate your strengths and areas of which you would like to grow (personally or professionally) will help you focus
on what you want to get out of the experience.
Excel, understanding basic formulas and how to make a pivot table.
Email etiquette, best practices on responding to and writing professional emails.
5. In thinking back to your time in college, what is one experience that helped set you up for success and how?
[Keni] College was bittersweet for me. But it was those bitter moments that made me who I am today. As historically black college (Lincoln University, PA the very first HBCU) graduate, your kind of growing up in bubble with very few other races present (it’s kind like Wakanda). However, it is that concentrated time in my life that made me appreciate people from all different backgrounds because I’m constantly learning.
[Kelvin] One experience was taking free marketing certifications that was available to tap into internship opportunities. In addition, connecting with the Baruch job board proved to be essential in finding my first internship.
[Morrell] Professionally, I took a professional development elective class that introduced me to how to brand myself professionally through LinkedIn, Resume and Cover Letters. Being immersed in that for a semester definitely made me aware of the tools available to support my post-grad job search as well as allowed me to begin being comfortable with talking about myself. Personally, I believe going away to school in rural Vermont helped me learn how to communicate effectively with people from different backgrounds in an environment that was little different from my upbringing and that I am able to make the best experience possible out of a situation through trusting myself but also reaching out to others for help when needed.
6. For student studying marketing, advertising, corporate communication, journalism, graphic communication, etc. – what types of internships and entry level jobs could these students apply for?
Junior art director/copywriter
[Kelvin] I recommend looking at internship opportunities in Digital Marketing Agencies in New York. They generally have different kinds of internship opportunities within the marketing and advertising space.
[Morrell] I would suggest going for roles that will help you develop a hard skill set that can potentially help you achieve your “dream/ideal career”. Additionally, if a role offers you the opportunity to work in different tools or sit in on meetings/calls I would prioritize those to help create a good professional foundation.
7. Any additional resources, tips, career advice that you would like to share with our undergraduate students?
[Keni] Being underestimated creates superheroes. You only get one origin story, so make it count.
[Kelvin] I recommend looking at Google Academy Skillshop https://skillshop.withgoogle.com/ (it’s free!) and reaching out to alumni or people in
the field that you’re interested in.
1. Do your research on what skills are in demand for the careers you are interested in and do your best to acquire fundamental knowledge in that skill either through college resources or outside learning opportunities.
2. You do not necessarily need a “huge network” to start your career, focus on finding maybe 2-3 people who are willing to help you in your development and can advocate genuinely on your behalf.