How an account executive gets down to business and makes the world a better place… an interview with Bridget Worrell.
A lifelong interest in community development led Bridget Worrell’s to business studies and a degree in marketing management at the University of St Thomas in St Paul, Minnesota.
Out in the workforce, her public relations firm account executive position with a Minnesota firm offers her the opportunity to help promote a tradition of businesses and professional development. The traits are what have built Minnesota’s community-fostering backbone, she explains.
As a public relations executive, Ms Worell promotes her clients’ strengths and she counts brushes with power a regular occurrence. The biggest was The White House; President Bush visited Minneapolis and served on a panel with one of Ms Worrell’s clients.
Ms Worrell finds many ways to involve herself in making the world a better place, and her job offers her the opportunity to act as a role model with the Big Brother/Big Sister organization.
Bridget Worell and Her Career
Tell us about your career as an account executive. What exactly do you do on a daily basis?
I meet with clients to learn about their objectives and goals. I put together marketing and public relations plans and timelines. I coordinate with designers and writers to create marketing pieces. I communicate with the media about my clients and any potential news stories.
What do you enjoy most about your career?
I enjoy being able to help clients highlight and present what they do best to the public.
What are some favorite projects you’ve completed and why?
I loved working with Best Buy, promoting a concept store they had in Chicago. It was a new thing for Best Buy and it generated lots of interest from the media.
What are some of the challenges account executives face?
It’s difficult to work with the unpredictable nature of the media. Sometimes you can have a great story to pitch and get no coverage because something big happened that day.
Managing project timelines and budgets can be difficult and time consuming. Pitching stories to the media is also a challenge, especially when I first started doing it.
What are the greatest stresses in the job, what causes you the most anxiety?
The nature of the media causes anxiety at times. Journalists are usually running up against tight deadlines and it is important to get them information quickly and communicate clearly.
What are some of your personal and/or professional goals for the future?
I would like to continue to work on exciting and growing accounts. I also hope to own my own business someday.
Education Information and Advice
Tell us about your education in marketing management. How did you decide to study the field?
I have a bachelor’s degree in marketing management from The University of St Thomas in St Paul, Minn. I decided to study marketing because I love learning about different companies, their products and how they communicate with the public. I love coming up with creative ideas and being able to measure their success with a targeted population.
How has your education benefited your career? What factors should prospective students consider when choosing a school?
Students should consider the types of programs the school offers, the school’s reputation in different departments or areas of study and the resources the school offers to help students create relationships within the community.
Consider the opportunity to specialize in certain areas of the field while in school. The types of opportunities there are for students to participate in internships and research projects, etc., is important. The real world experiences you are able to take advantage of will give you a leg up on other students and applicants.
What can students applying to schools of this kind do to increase their chances of being accepted?
Get good grades. Take the ACT or SAT.
Does graduating from a prestigious school make a difference in landing a good job in this field?
There is a possibility if you are trying to get a job with a large national corporation. Otherwise, I think GPA and internship experience outweigh the name of the school.
Job Information and Advice
What are the hottest specialties within the field over the next decade?
I think that technology (especially medical technology) and health care will continue to be important fields.
What kinds of jobs are available for graduating students in this field?
There are several different opportunities in the business world. My job with a PR firm is closely related to marketing. Marketing firms work with advertisers, designers and a long list of people that make the business world run. If you are interested in a job as a businessperson, there is no problem in finding something that will interest you.
What are the best ways to get a foot in the door?
Always keep your eyes open for opportunities to make connections. In the business world, who you know is as important as what you know. Sometimes the best way of getting into a company is by knowing someone in management, or by calling someone you worked with and asking if they have any openings.
What are some common myths about your profession and how do they differ from the actual work?
A lot of people think that marketing means creating and placing ads. That is part of it, but it is really about communicating to all of different audiences that a company has (its customers, employees, shareholders and the public at large).
What contributions do you feel your job offers to society as a whole?
My job offers the chance for companies to communicate honestly with society and also to make a positive difference in the communities in which they operate.
Do you feel that is important for someone to be passionate about this field in order to be successful on both a personal and professional level?
Yes, I do. There are a lot of successes in business, but there are also a lot of setbacks. You have to be prepared to stay positive and enjoy the work that you do.