Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kelley Alumni Enhance the Classroom Experience

For this entry in my MBA program blog, I thought I would share a little about some of the ways we learn from our incredible Kelley alumni. Last week, both the first and second year Consumer Marketing Academy students had a chance to hear from Cie Nichols, Kelley MBA 1988. As the current CMO of Equinox Fitness and as the former CMO of Pepsico, Cie was able to share valuable insight into both managing brands and your career as a marketing professional. We spent the first part of the morning learning about some of the current projects Cie is a part of as she manages a luxury lifestyle brand and spent the second half learning more about some of the exciting experiences and career defining moments she has had while working as a marketer.
I’ve included my key takeaways, as they are helpful pieces of advice, regardless of your career aspirations.
  1. Your brand image is made of every interaction your consumer has with your brand or product, not just the traditional advertising points of contact that come to mind. The same is true of your personal brand.
  2. People skills and the soft skills are what get you places. Live by the things you were taught in second grade: play nice in the sandbox, don’t take things that are not yours, say thank you.
  3. 3. At the end of the day, all you have is your reputation. Be someone that people know they can go to listen and get the job done.
  4. You don’t have to be the one coming up with all of the ideas, you just have to be able to identify them and make them come to life.
  5. Be a consensus builder: be able to diplomatically disagree. I hear you, I understand, I disagree, here’s why, it isn’t personal.
One of the things I love the most about being a part of at one of the top ranked MBA colleges is the opportunity to hear from industry experts and learn from their experiences. I really enjoyed Cie's presentation and I hope you


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