For my out-of-office second informational interview, I chose to interview my aunt, who is the Senior Marketing Manger for the Football category of New Era Cap Co. About a month ago, she invited me to attend a New Era photo shoot at Milk Studios in NYC for a collaboration the brand is doing with the NFL and FIT, featuring celebrity couple Sterling Shepard and Chanel Iman. All of my suspicions regarding my interest in going in-house after graduation were pretty much confirmed after spending a few hours on this shoot with my aunt. So, I figured she’d be the perfect person to help me gain additional insight into the industry, especially since I’m also interested in marketing for a fashion or sports lifestyle brand.
My aunt is responsible for all of the marketing efforts related to New Era’s NFL product line, including negotiating with celebrities to become ambassadors, directing photo shoots, determining the creative use of the results of these shoots, and activating marquee events featuring the brand (the Super Bowl and NFL Draft) with athlete appearances and New Era customization. Basically, her job sounds like the epitome of “dream job.” I was, however, surprised to learn that a big part of her job as a Senior Marketing Manager is to communicate with and establish strong relationships with celebrities and athletes. I always thought media relations was more of an agency job, or a niche position under the umbrella of a brand, rather than a prominent role under the marketing umbrella. It was refreshing and exciting to hear that although her primary role lies in the creative sector, she is still consistently involved with communication efforts and getting to know clients and brand partners on a more personal level.
My biggest takeaway from this interview, however, was her perspective on the importance of in-house experience. Through my experience at M&C Saatchi, I’ve been able to realize that in-house marketing work is the direction I want to take after college. But through my interview with my aunt, I’ve been able to realize how essential it is in gaining strong experience in the industry–my aunt dubbed it “a requirement for anyone working in marketing” as living one brand on a daily basis causes it to become “part of your DNA.” However, she also stressed the importance of experiencing the agency side of the things to learn to anticipate client needs.
This interview was extremely valuable to me, as it has cemented my interest in in-house marketing, and broadened my perspective on the importance of both in-house work and agency experience. Moreover, learning about my aunt’s responsibilities has given me an idea of what my “dream job” may look like.