Career Secrets from a Director of Marketing

Welcome! Our amazing clinic mentor, Jenn Hayman, agreed to share her BEST kept marketing secrets. Jenn is the Director of Marketing at Zingerman’s, a family of twelve businesses located in the Ann Arbor area. She is an Eastern Michigan University alum, a CDE pseudo alum, and she is also a member of the CDE’s advisory board. Jenn has been working in Marketing since graduating from college, and she has moved up in her Marketing role with every job change she’s had. Her hard work and dedication got her to her current position today.

Top 3 Career Secrets:

1. Don’t let fear hold you back from potentially getting what you want.

In a typical work day, Jenn works in a team setting, and she is consistently in and out of meetings. Throughout these meetings, she is not afraid to ask questions and ask for what she needs. Her best advice on how she got to where she is today, “Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want/need, the worst they could say is no.” That means go for what you want regardless of your fears! Apply for that dream job! Ask for that raise! Just remember, the worst they can say is no, and if they do, switch things up and try again.

2. Invest in building relationships and never burn bridges.

Networking is one of the best ways for interns and college graduates to get their careers started. These early career experiences help us narrow down what we like/dislike and what kind of job is ideal for us. Within these experiences, we come in contact with so many people that could potentially be useful in the future. Try to meet as many people and build as many relationships as possible because investing in social capital can be helpful now and later.

“Never burn bridges. I don’t think that it can be emphasized enough that there is so much value in reaching out to people and building relationships. You can seek their advice or ask their opinion and following up with them really does go a long way.”

3. Be authentically yourself as much as you can.

This piece of advice is my absolute favorite because being yourself is the easiest thing you can do. Being yourself draws the right people into your life, and it helps you figure out what kind of job is right for you. It also helps employers determine if you are the best fit for their company. Don’t be taken advantage of either, this can be especially common when new young employees want to put their best foot forward, but end up overworking themselves. Even if there is temptation to try and portray a different image when being interviewed for you dream job, don’t. Don’t ever change who you are. Just be yourself and the rest will fall into place.

“Narrow down what job is ideal for your career. Also, interview the interviewer as much as you are being interviewed because you want to find a job that is truly the best fit for you.”

What does a typical day for a Director of Marketing look like? There is no typical day. In other words, be prepared for a new day everyday. Wearing many hats and not being afraid of gray area is exactly the type of mentality that you need for a successful marketing career.

“Everyday is different, and being able to be flexible, roll with the punches and not be afraid of wearing many hats is what I would look for in someone seeking my job.”

Jenn typically stays organized through calendars, lists, emails and notebooks. These help her find as much balance as she can in her busy work schedule. Finding balance can be difficult so Jenn’s advice is, “If you’re saying yes to one thing, it’s at the expense of another.” Prioritizing is key to managing your time correctly.

Jenn is currently taking on an alumni reconnect project with the help of Bud Gibson and CDE intern Ciara Haynes. The three of them are working hard to reconnect every CDE intern through social media. Keeping interns in contact helps build a network that interns can rely on after graduating if they ever need advice or are looking for a job. If you are currently taking on a large project, Jenn’s steps of action could be useful!

Jenn’s Strategy for the Alumni Reconnect Project:

1. Get every interns contact information
2. Establish SPARK and the CDE’s goals
3. Build a project plan to meet the goals
4. Prioritize what needs to be done (Is there any dependencies? Any ground work? Etc.)
5. Make an outreach plan to get alumni connected and engaged

A HUGE thank you to Jenn Hayman for taking time out of her day to let us interview her, and for being such a kind, helpful mentor! Stay tuned next week for our next blog post!

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