Vice President of Marketing and Brand Strategy — Bellagio
Explain your career path
After interning with Boyd Gaming during my senior year at Southeast I secured a job with the gaming company's advertising agency. That led me to Las Vegas working the marketing firm that represented many of the city's casinos. From there I moved to Chicago and joined Leo Burnett working on the Walt Disney World and Disney Cruise Line brands. Since then I've worked for some of the world's biggest and best advertising agencies such as McCann, DDB and DavidandGolaith and have specialized in the travel and hospitality categories. My latest role as the Vice President of Marketing and Brand Strategy for the Bellagio brought me back to Las Vegas.
What was your major at Southeast and how would you characterize the quality of that program to prospective students?
In speaking to marketing professionals while I was in school I learned the importance of understanding marketing strategy as well as creative. Southeast allowed me to create an Interdisciplinary Studies major with concentrations in graphic design and mass communications that provided the hybrid education that I needed.
Why did you choose to attend Southeast?
I grew up in Cape Girardeau.
Who influenced you most during your time at Southeast?
My graphic design professor Louise Bodenheimer as well as Dean Martin Jones
Share your best college memory.
Getting a B in Dr. Baldwin's Mass Comm Class. I still reference court cases that I learned about in her class.
If you were in Greek Life, the Honors Program or any other student organization, please tell us about that experience and how it impacted you.
Authoring a series of research-based white papers designed to help the gaming industry better understand the needs and desires of younger players.
What is the most important thing you learned while you were at Southeast?
Collaboration. Working with other mass communications to submit a campaign into the Business Marketing Awards competition was the most painful and illuminating part of my college education. It was also the most authentic, real world experience.
Describe Southeast in three words.
Inspiring Approachable Springboard
What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?
Don't specialize too early. Learn it all. Media planning. Coding. Design. Advertising strategy. It's easier to find a job with a wide array of skills.