In just under a year Jana Kopp has moved from her post-college job at Sammy’s Flowers to working for an award-winning digital marketing agency, Mambo Media. The networking opportunities she gained in PSU’s CEPE Digital Marketing Certificate Program fueled her quick leap into the forefront of Portland’s marketing community.
TMMPDX.COM and PSU teamed up to honor Jana as our Student Marketer of the Year in 2013. Digital Marketing Certificate Program students are offered the opportunity to present their ideas to industry experts culminating with an American Idol-style competition at Innotech and Portland’s eMarketing Summit. Jana’s innovative and clear-cut digital strategy presentation impressed the judges and after two tough rounds of competition, she surfaced as the clear winner.
Jana freely offers up her take on how to leverage programs such as the Digital Marketing Strategy program and communities like TMM. She will also be participating in our upcoming LIVE broadcast of #tmmTV: Making the leap from student to marketing professional. Join us on Wednesday at 5:30pm and tweet your questions using the hashtag #tmmTV.Being happy with what she does and finding a rewarding career in the digital marketing industry have made HER our most recent TMM Success Story. Congratulations Jana!
1) What challenges have you faced moving from being a recent graduate of the digital marketing certificate program to a working professional marketer?
In the classroom there is a close, collaborative approach to learning and working on projects. In addition, my background is in retail marketing and on-site management. So the switch to working primarily virtually didn’t come naturally. This complete change in my work environment has been a rewarding but unique struggle. For this reason, I am especially appreciative working within an agency comprised entirely of supportive, cooperative, intelligent marketers. Client interface and team-based collaboration help someone as social and “hands-on” as myself feel at home in this profession. But I know it doesn’t come as a surprise to others in the industry to say that at the end of the day, I spend most of my time on my computer.
2) What have been the biggest factors leading to your success?
In the beginning: facing my fears. Many people seem afraid continuing their education because they worry it won’t ultimately lead to the right advantage. But every success starts with an action! I didn’t know where the DMS program would take me, but knew enough about my passions and interests to recognize it as a step in the right direction. It has created opportunities and given rewards beyond my expectations; working now as a professional marketer is only one success of many I have experienced along the way. None of this could have been possible without the brilliant people, the amazing connections, and the support I received during this journey.
3) If you had to give ONE piece of key advice to young digital marketing enthusiasts and students, what would it be?
Say YES to every opportunity! I went into the DMS program knowing I had nothing to lose. If an opportunity presented itself, I had to say yes, otherwise what was I doing there? I said yes to the “Fourth Class” presentation despite my insecurities and work schedule telling me no, and it became for me the most rewarding experience in the program.
4) What skills have you developed that were essential to your new positions?
Effective marketing requires research. Out of college for the first time, I found work as a florist for Sammy’s Flowers. As my position grew within that company, I came to understand the floral industry through and through, such that by the time I took charge of their B2C marketing, the needs of any given campaign came to me naturally.
In my current position with Mambo Media, I work with businesses across many industries. This is a new and exciting challenge for me, as familiarity and intuition can no longer drive all of my decisions. I answer this with LOTS of research. This has become the prerequisite to any task I’m given. I take the skill set I learned in the DMS program and constantly re-apply it uniquely to each new situation. I love digital marketing because it is such a diverse and ever-changing field. I work to stay ahead of the curb, to keep up with constant industry changes and advances, and to respond with effective solutions.
5) How have groups like TMM and PSU’s certificate program helped you be better at what you want to do?
Oh my! How many pages do I have? The benefits and advantages provided by groups like TMM and PSU’s CEPE courses are limitless. They breed such a supportive environment—what we always called in class the “safe zone”—for young professionals to develop their skills. This community of individuals, from all backgrounds, aspiring to a career change or a career enhancement, becomes the networking opportunity of one’s dreams. Uniting so many knowledgeable, skilled, creative professionals generates a powerful force for innovation and growth. With the support of groups like TMM and PSU’s program, I believe in myself and have the tools to take me where I want to go.
6) As you anticipate the next 5 to 10 years of your career – what do you hope to accomplish?
Quoting the inspirational words of a Mambo colleague, “We’re going to move mountains!” I’m excited to see where my future will take me and for any fears or doubts to be proved wrong. In 5 or 10 years, I want to look back and say, “Wow! We got shit done!”
7) How do YOU define success?
For me, success is solely defined on being happy with what you do. Happiness comes with challenging myself, with balance in my work and personal life, and with being truly passionate about what I am doing. With this, I can help others using knowledge I’ve gained and the skills I’ve acquired.