By Molly Loughman
Throughout the fall semester, first-year graduate students in Strategic Marketing Communication (SMC) explored the field’s core components and wide range of career possibilities. During one evening class, those possibilities came to life with a visit from eight alumni who sat in the same seats not long ago—and are now thriving professionals.
In the SMC program, students dive deep into four core areas: planning, management, research, and creativity. The new SMC program is a combination of two preceding programs, Global Marketing Communication & Advertising, and Integrated Marketing Communication.
“In order to illustrate and even allow students to imagine what other possibilities are out there, we invited alumni to share their experience. They project a potential pathway that our current students identify with.”
One of those students is Anastasia Gaudio, MA ’20, who studied economics and business administration at Plekhanov Russian University of Economics before moving to America. “This panel discussion was a great source of real-world advice and helped us see real-world examples,” said Gaudio. “We saw that we can do so much with this degree. And like the real world, this program is what we make of it.”
Read on to learn more about some of the visiting SMC alumni, and their achievements since graduating from Emerson…
Sebastien Klein, MA ’06
VP, Strategy Director
Jack Morton Worldwide
Born in Switzerland and raised in Germany, Sebastien Klein studied communications as an undergrad at the University of South Australia. He earned a master’s degree in communications, sociology, marketing, and advertising psychology from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
In 2005, he came to study at Emerson, while also serving as Vogel’s graduate assistant. During that time, Klein participated in a competition hosted by the International Advertising Association. His team’s creative awareness campaign for the United Nations surrounding issues related to electronic waste earned them first place.
After graduating, Klein joined BEAM Interactive, a marketing agency specializing in digital user experience, customer relationship management (CRM), and social media. In 2013, he moved on to MMB, a Boston-based global marketing agency, where he helped build out their digital branch for a variety of vertical markets for the next four years. In 2018, he joined another Boston-based brand experience agency, Jack Morton Worldwide, as VP, Strategy Director.
At the end of the day, experience brands reign supreme. Consumers really care about how brands behave. They understand they are there to make money, but they want to see them stand for more than just profit and sort of get involved in a cause that’s important to them—and at the same time, act the right way when they’re under fire or not behaving the way they should.
Christine Turnier, MA ’07
Segment Marketing Director
With a bachelor’s in comparative literature from Smith College, Christine Turnier began her career as an editorial assistant for Bedford/St. Martin’s publishing company, where she was drawn to the creativity of marketing. After two years, she joined Harvard Business Press as a marketing and sales coordinator — at roughly the same time that she came to Emerson. Turnier admits that she didn’t care much for sales, but loved communicating with customers about what’s important to them. She also began to grasp the influential power of an internationally recognized brand.
After earning her master’s degree, Turnier spent a few years in ecommerce with the personal savings service Upromise, before joining another start-up, Tickets-for-Charity, as its senior marketing manager. In the meantime, she co-founded a marketing and advertising consultancy business, Tidal Strategies. In 2013, Turnier joined TripAdvisor as associate director of product marketing for five years, which exposed her to the end-to-end customer experience. Now, Turnier is the director of segment marketing at Fidelity Investments.
Part of your job as a marketer, especially if you’re in-house, is working across all sorts of departments. You are working with creative teams, with your sales department, with product development, and with legal. Execution requires buy-in up and down the ladders, so you need to get the people above you to believe what you’re saying, plus the people below you and the people beside you. So you have to be this perpetual ambassador for your ideas.
Dheandra Jack, MA ’17
Assistant Manager in Advertising
Dheandra Jack’s marketing journey began as an undergrad studying psychology and sociology at Boston University. While in college, it was her passion and side hobby of running her own blog and social media pages covering fashion, food, and dating, that led her to research search engine optimizations (SEOs) to grow a following. To further her grasp of brand management for her handmade cosmetics business after college, Jack came to Emerson to study Global Marketing Communication and Advertising.
All of this, she said, helped land her first full-time job — account coordinator for Influence Central. There, overseeing 20 projects, Jack managed teams of “digital influencers” for businesses such as Amazon and Sears. Jack changed jobs and in 2018 joined TripAdvisor as their social media coordinator. There, she facilitated influencer recruitment for 1,500+ influencers in collaboration with in-house marketing agency for TripAdvisor’s social media. Last summer, Jack became assistant manager for advertising and brand stewardship at Dunkin’ Brands, where she works on multimedia marketing campaigns.
Find your niche. If you find what you’re good at and you’re passionate about, you can really lean into it and become super knowledgeable. So for me, I really lean into the social media marketing influencer. There’s so much social [media] on my resume that I’m the ‘social [media] person.’ So if there’s something you can dive into, that’s going to be very important—especially if you’re looking for a certain type of job and they see that you have so much experience in that particular space, and you like it!
Liz Goodwin, MA ’05
Associate Creative Director
Goodwin’s journey to become a user experience designer has an unlikely beginning. As an English literature major at Florida State University, she developed a passionate interest in the lives of world-renowned authors. She studied their upbringings as a means to understand their motivations and struggles, and how their experiences influenced their work.
Later at Emerson, as an IMC graduate student, Goodwin expanded that interest to human motivation and behavior.
Her passion for empathizing with challenges and motivations serves her role as an associate creative director at Publicis Sapient. There, she works closely with clients to understand their business and their customers, and guides them through what Publicis Sapient calls a “digital business transformation.” With a user-centered approach, Goodwin designs innovative solutions that meet client needs and user expectations.
Ideally, she says, her role in helping clients overcome business challenges translates into making someone’s life or job a little easier, and perhaps helping them spend more time doing the things they truly love.
Leading creative teams requires guide rails. The worst thing you can do to your design team is give them a complete open field. It causes a lot of anxiety. And that’s when the research comes in and the creativity is very much rooted in the data that you gather through this research process.
Jenni Williamson, MA ’08
Senior Brand Strategist
Jenni Williamson joined PUMA’s Global Creative Team as a copy manager in 2008, and was later promoted to copy director. In August 2016, she became the senior brand strategist for the Global Creative Team. Williamson shared four personal rules that helped her achieve her current position and thrive as a leader of creative teams.
Knowing her weaknesses helped her to rely on and trust colleagues with more experience in particular subjects when working on a campaign. Taking initiative helped her seize the vital opportunities that have allowed her to grow her career expertise. As someone who asks “way too many questions,” Williamson recommends always staying curious, as she claims it helped her avoid settling for the obvious answer.
And finally, “do you.” As part of the creative department of a business, Williamson has always trusted her gut, and she emphasizes the importance of remaining true to oneself, particularly when working in a large company such as PUMA. “When a company hires you,” she says, “they hire you because you are you.”
I always use Usain Bolt as an example because despite his success in his career, and despite being at the top of his game for so long, he’s the truest, kindest, most humble person. Take the work seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously.