Practical Advice for the Aspiring Marketer

Familiar with the slogan ‘What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas?’

Well, so is Rachelle Maisner. In her job as an interactive producer, she worked closely with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to develop its digital marketing strategies, which included the famous Vegas campaign. Maisner is now a senior analyst for digital marketing company Digitaria, where she works with clients to develop measurement strategies to leverage data for business decisions and optimization.

Certified in reporting technologies such as Google Analytics and Adobe Omniture, Maisner is able to help her clients identify key performance indicators based on their business goals, while working with them to implement reporting technologies and solutions as a way to evaluate online sites and campaigns through website reporting, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and social media initiatives.

“My job sounds pretty technical, but really I’m just a marketer at heart,” said Maisner, who earned her bachelor’s in business administration with an emphasis in marketing from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Would you consider this your dream job?

Maisner: “I am a futurist. I think that’s why I’m good at my job. When you work in digital marketing, the rules are always changing. New technologies disrupt the industry all the time (look what happens whenever Google changes its search algorithm or when Facebook changes), so you have to constantly be looking ahead, be innovative, and be agile. I don’t think I’ll be a digital analyst forever, but this is a pretty awesome job and I really enjoy it.”

How did your business degree help you in your career?

Maisner: “Getting the business degree was the key to launching my career. I took a marketing research class, and a classmate had invited a professional market researcher who worked at her company to lecture to our class. I knew I had to introduce myself to this classmate. Turns out, my new friend was an intern at R&R Partners, and also the President of the UNLV American Marketing Association. I joined the AMA, which desperately needed a new website and I joined the board as VP of Technology. Amanda, the president, graduated a semester before me and recommended me for her vacant internship at R&R Partners. I applied immediately and I was very persistent about getting the job. After my first interview, I was supposed to have a second interview with the director of digital marketing, but he was too busy and said, ‘Just hire her, we’ll get to know her after she starts.’ And from there, my career blossomed. It’s so important to network while you’re in school, because you are surrounded by ambitious and smart people just like you, who are headed for amazing places.”

What business skills did you acquire in school that you’re able to use in the daily operations of your business?

Maisner: “The business degree is important. It’s like a prerequisite for being considered for internships and entry-level jobs in marketing. But I think I was pretty shocked to discover how much more I needed to learn in the real world. There is a lot to learn that can’t be taught in school. I think a lot of recent grads come to their first job thinking they know everything, and that’s a huge mistake. I would advise recent grads to be humble, offer suggestions with earnest but don’t be a know-it-all, and don’t waive your degree like a flag. Usually, you’re surrounded by a lot of people who also have degrees, but have years of experience on top of it. Keep your eyes and ears open, look for opportunities to make suggestions, and don’t take it personally if your ideas are shot down by people with more tenure. Just be patient and look for your time to shine.”

Do you plan on pursuing any more business degrees? Why or why not?

Maisner: “I’ve considered an MBA, and I’ve considered getting an advanced degree in something other than marketing, such as finance or statistics. The cost of education is a big barrier, and I would only pursue another degree if I was certain about a positive return on investment. So, right now I look for training opportunities at work as well as free online classes, which are easier to obtain. A master’s degree might be in my future, but not for a while.”

What advice would you offer to someone who is stuck in a job they don’t really care for, and has entrepreneurial aspirations?

Maisner: “Life is too short to be stuck in a job that makes you miserable. Nothing great comes without risks. You have to know yourself, understand what the risks are and whether you’re up for that. Some people have more to lose than others. It’s definitely easier for a young 20-something without a family to support to jump ship and take on an unconventional job, work for a startup, or start their own company. But from what I’ve experienced with people that are my age or older, if you’re not happy where you are, no amount of money is going to make it any better. Learn how to change your perspective, change how you view your current job, or just change your job.”

What are your future business plans?

Maisner: “At this point in my career, I have lots of possibilities. When you start building on success, it’s amazing how many different doors are open to you. Right now I’m focusing on narrowing my career aspirations. I’m really excited about discovering my true path to greatness – a role where I feel like I’ve achieved my highest point of contribution. I think it’s going to require a lot of soul-searching, and I’ll probably have to turn down a few good opportunities. But I think finding that kind of job, where I feel like I have perfectly matched my strengths to what is needed in an organization, would be the highest achievement.”

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