"A communication background is a plus, but is not required."
What have been the most defining moments along your career path?
Working at Cohn & Wolfe. It's a place that prides itsef on creativity. They put a strong emphasis on the creative aspects of what we do and not just generating the same ideas over and over. For example, we have emphasis on sports. We're the largest sports PR firm in the South. The Olympics are a big part of our culture. Bob Cohn was the one who started marketing around Olympic sponsorship and Bob is still very active in our office.
How did you get your big breaks?
Started as an intern after graduation. The company I worked for has ongoing training sessions that are office wide: writing, client relationships, finance, business-to-business, teaching you how to win business.
What was the best advice you received when you were first starting out in your career?
Ask questions that show creativity, originality, sincerity. Not rote. If I know something about a client and I want to work for that client, I should demonstrate that to the company. It was good advice. I tell others, "Don't just look at the Cohn & Wolfe web site. Know what this office is doing."
What have you learned from your experience?
A communication background is a plus, but is not required. Oddly enough, the majority of the people in our office did not graduate with a degree related to communications. We hire someone who has good written and verbal skills. A lot of times we just go on personality, natural affinity. That seems to be a trite statement but a lot of things we do deals with people, and a lot of the people we deal with aren't real happy. So it's good if they have good communication skills, verbal and written. A general interest in doing this is another big plus we're looking for. Someone who is interested and has enthusiasm.
What most excites you about your job right now?
I've been able to grow and accelerate at my own pace. Our team structure is such that I could grow with my piece of business. If you could demonstrate that you can grow a piece of business and grow yourself, you're going to get ahead.A lot of companies have a year to get your first promotion and then a year to get your next. That's not the case at the company I work for Cohn & Wolfe. We don't have that here.My clients are good to boot, as well.
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On a scale of 1-10, how relevant was your academic major to your career? (1=not at all, 10=absolutely essential)
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Manager of Marketing and Communications
Yeah, my job's pretty cool.
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Betty Anne Bailey,
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I had a job offer in place even before I had my diploma.
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