Inspired to help others

inspiredThe ’98 senior capstone class at Drake University challenged students to build a PR campaign for Kraft Cheez Whiz. I was grateful for the opportunity to build my portfolio with a national brand, but I was completely uninspired. The lesson I learned that semester set the tone for the rest of my career: product marketing was not for me. I need to direct my skills towards helping others. Because of that experience, I knew upon graduation I would focus on service marketing and non-profits.  

In fact, I landed my first job in healthcare, for the Hazelden Foundation, marrying my service and non-profit direction with a goal of helping others during a difficult time in their lives. While marketing skills are generally transferable from one industry to the next, most people need to find the product or company they are promoting interesting, or at the very least, challenging.

I’m quite confident I won’t ever take a position marketing consumables, such as food, cars, toys or clothing. The Cheez Whiz experience taught me that I’m simply not interested in the retail aspects of pricing and positioning when it comes to product marketing.

Although my skills lie in marketing, I’m careful not to confuse it with my passion. Truthfully? I am not passionate about marketing. (Okay, I am passionate about BAD marketing…) but my inspiration is in using my skills to help others. Making sure people have the right information, at the right time, to make important decisions in their lives.

Knowing my hands (and heart) have touched these folks in a meaningful way – that inspires me.

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  1. Learning the importance of how valuable passion is in what we all do is such a great lesson! Amazing that you were able to determine that so early …many don’t figure it out until much later in their career and then making the transition is more challenging.

  2. Emily and I both just left PR Writing. This post reminded me of the real-life application that is so special about Drake. This class is going to be a huge portfolio builder and a great chance to learn the technical skills that come with our future profession- we’re pumped. I love hearing about the things people take away from college- like what type of marketing you’re interested it. It makes me appreciate my education. :)

    • Morgan, I left Drake with a number of solid client experiences, as well as two great internships to round out my portfolio and real work experience. I hope you feel the same about your internships!

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