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Career Story: Strategic Marketing Executive For A Financial Services Firm

Strategic Marketing Executive For A Financial Services Firm

Job Title: Director Strategic Marketing

Type of Company: My company is a financial services firm that caters to individual investors and institutional clients and their 401(k) plans.

Education: BA, Economics, Hartwick College (Oneonta, NY) •• MS, Education, University of Bridgeport (Bridgeport, CT)

Previous Experience: I've worked in financial services for fifteen of the last twenty years. I left the work force from 2000-2005 when my children were small and resumed work in the operations department of a large privately-held financial services firm. I then moved to implementation as a business project manager and am now a director in marketing.

Job Tasks: I work in the institutional marketing department of a large financial services firm. I analyze the trends and behavior of people who invest in 401(k) plans, looking at how much they contribute to the 401(k), how often they take loans, where they invest their 401(k) contributions, and if they roll their assets over when they leave their company. I use these trends to create marketing messages regarding the behavior and overall state of 401(k) plans. The messages I create are used to draft press releases for the media and client presentations for employers who have their 401(k) plan with my firm. The key messages that I create from analyzing the trends highlighted above are also used by the lobbyists at my firm to help inform and influence retirement policy in Washington DC. Part of my job is to ensure that multiple audiences "hear" the messages I create. The primary audiences I reach are internal associates, institutional clients, consultants, prospective clients and the media.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: I would have to say the best part of the job is working with so many different people both inside and outside my company. The exposure I get to all different types of people and jobs makes my own job exciting. The worst part of it, really, is my lengthy commute. I travel 55 miles to work each way. However, I do get to work at home two days a week.

Job Tips: The best advice I can give would be to maintain a positive attitude. Working with so many different people and personalities it especially is important to stay positive and keep an even keel. I think it would be important to take creative writing and editing courses, as well as a course in public speaking and giving and creating effective presentations. And although it maybe old school, I believe it's important to dress for success -- to dress for the job you want and not for the job you have.

Additional Thoughts: I have found that in a job it's important to market yourself to ensure that people know what you are working on and to validate that the work you do adds value. Working in a big organization, it's important that people are aware of the work you do. You need to be aware of how other people perceive you and what image you create for yourself. Your "personal brand" can make or break you. You need to know who is willing to act as an advocate for you and who is not. When decisions about promotions and raises take place you will often not be in the room, so you need to be sure you have advocates who will support you and help you get to the next level.

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