What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you started your career? A few weeks ago, we started a new blog series by asking that question of Ben Eddings, video production specialist. Today our conversation is with Sue Woten-Schultz, account director.
Mindy: What’s something that surprised you when you first started in client services?
Sue: Before Hanson, I worked in the traditional marketing world, with marketing people. But in the digital world, we work not just with marketing people but also IT people. Marketing and IT are different disciplines, with different training and skill sets, and often the marketing and IT departments don’t even sit near each other. So a lot of what I do is serve as the glue between the two, to help them more fully realize the impact they can have on each other as they work together in their specialties.
Mindy: So you were surprised to end up with one foot in each world.
Sue: Yes, and it’s such a great opportunity, personally and professionally. I’ve learned how to bring multiple perspectives to the table and make sure they’re talking holistically, so that everyone knows what we’re doing from a branding perspective, a technology perspective, making sure that all planned initiatives are consistent and working together and we can measure against all of them.
It takes a certain mindset to tie the pieces together. A client once told me, “You are the conductor, the person with the vision for what to do, and you’re pulling in the right people at the right time to get things done.” That description of my role has stuck with me.
Mindy: And the specifics of what you do have evolved as the industry has evolved, of course.
Sue: Exactly. I have a marketing degree, but it was traditional, not digital. And I learn new things everyday. Some of the most valuable things I’ve learned have been through trial and error, and learning how to take advice from others. You have to be able to listen, to absorb the best from the people you work with and grow.
Mindy: What’s something you wish you had known when you first started?
Sue: The value of teams. Like I said, I work with people who have different backgrounds and skill sets. We can’t all be strong in every discipline, which is what makes disciplines unique. I’ve learned the value of teaming up with people who can balance your strengths and weaknesses. It keeps all of us learning – especially in this industry, where every day is different. It keeps things interesting.