Marketing Manager
Katrina Tolentino
Employer: IT Freedom

Position description:
My title is Marketing Manager, but what that really means is my job is to grow the company. I'm responsible for long term marketing strategy, social marketing, branding, business development, with a focus on relationship marketing.

Photo: Katrina Tolentino
How They Got There
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Undergrad degree:  Geography with a concentration in spatial analysis and the urban environment

Favorite class in college:  Spatial Analysis taught by Professor Davies changed my life! It made me see the world in a new way.

Changing majors:  I loved business, but I knew that I didn't want to go to business school. I went in to Economics but realized that it wasn't "human" enough. I took a few classes that were in majors that I was interested in, but Geography really drew me because it showed you how to quantify the world while still seeing the people that lived in it.

College to career:  My undergraduate degree wasn't as important as pursuing my interests in topics, industries, activities, and people that made me happy. I got to my job now, which rocks by the way, by doing what makes me happy and growing the skill set I needed to be successful at pursuing that.

Career influences:  I worked in residential real estate and then moved in to commercial real estate after college. I was attracted to the urban environment, but realized that the job that I was in was the wrong one. I did a lot of volunteering for non-profit fundraising events and really enjoyed the challenge of essentially starting mini businesses every time we had an event. I started to look for a job, didn't find anything that excited me so I made one. I started a non-profit that did exactly what I enjoyed doing. This beefed up my marketing, PR, and branding skills and helped me build the confidence and connections to get me where I wanted to be.

The Ups and Downs
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The pros are also the cons - I work in an unsexy industry, Information Technology (IT), but the positive side of that is that there is a huge opportunity to differentiate the company that I work for and my boss gives me the chance to try new things and be creative. I'm also a people person and the business development aspect of my job gets me out there and meeting new people everyday.

The con is that it's not a sexy industry and sometimes, bridging the communication gap between engineers and our customers can be difficult. Networking is a huge part of my job and as fun as it is, it can also be very time consuming and forces me to always be "on" at events no matter how hard my day has been. The being out and about aspect can seem glamorous, but you have to keep in mind that I also STILL have a full work day to put in as well.

Recommendations
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Figure out what's important to you and what you love to do. Don't be afraid to make your own way, if you are looking to grow a skill set or gain exposure in an industry, find a way to incorporate that in to your studies or work.

Worry less about making money, you WILL make money, it's just a matter of how, and loving what you do WHILE you make money is so much more satisfying.

Interested in This Career?
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