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When I left my position at Goldman Sachs last year, I did so with the intention to go back to school. The American Express headquarters in New York is directly across the street from the Goldman Sachs headquarters. When I transitioned to American Express in the fall of 2010, I thought my move was one of convenience, and not just a slight change in my commute. I was proud to have secured the job, but I primarily saw the move as a placeholder in my career so that I could focus on the arduous business school application process. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy my current marketing role as much as I do. My experience over the past year has tweaked my short term plans but has also helped me to re-evaluate my long terms plans.
In the short term, I would like to return to American Express after school as an employee better equipped to usher our company into the digital age and as a confident leader who will drive change. With rapid advances in mobile technologies and the Web, the 150-year-old American Express brand is set to undergo an unprecedented transformation. In a few short years, purchases via credits cards will be replaced with virtual transactions. As such, American Express is focused on finding ways to break in to the digital commerce space and add value for our customers. Following my Kenan-Flagler experience, I will return to the company with a solid foundation in critical analysis, stronger influencing skills and also the self-confidence to help me challenge the status-quo and drive new growth.
While my professional work has been grounded in financial services, a Kenan-Flagler degree will serve as a pivotal tool allowing me to transition to a new industry or perhaps, work on the agency side of the marketing business. Kenan-Flagler’s rigorous first-year core curriculum will arm me with the cross functional management skills that I will need to succeed in either transition. By taking on a marketing role in a new industry, I’ll be learning a new business and challenging myself with different obstacles inherent to the changing landscape. Alternatively, I’m intrigued by the client-side of the marketing industry. In my role today, my team partners with creative agencies to craft innovative pieces which highlight our key differentiators from those of our competitors. So whereas today my marketing role is project-driven, with an agency role, my work would be client-driven.
Through my education and professional experiences thus far, I have garnered transferable skills and developed personal traits which will help me to succeed. However, to make real traction and to move forward within a large marketing organization, I will need to improve my knowledge-based skills and sharpen my influencing ability. By immersing myself in the Kenan-Flagler community, I will be able to draw from my world-class teachers and my peers’ extensive experiences, combine my new knowledge with refined foundational values and emerge as a solid leader equipped to tackle my short and long term goals.
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