A side benefit of working in product development is getting to use a lot of software tools.
I've built a career by combining creativity and design with technical ability. You can say that it comes naturally since both (along with music) are also my hobbies. Acquiring a new skill is like opening a door.
I was a film production major at the USC School of Cinema/Television (George Lucas, Robert Zemeckis, Caleb Deschanel). I only mention this because film studies includes almost everything you need to know in marketing: how to pitch, demographic analysis, film launch planning, writing, budgeting and accounting, contracts, distribution, production management, casting crew and talent, etc.
In my senior year, I was hired by Warner Bros to work at a startup called Warner New Media, where I had two amazing mentors. I eventually became one of the first non-linear digital video editors because of my film training, and later took over my boss' job as an interactive designer (what we now call UX). This is back when data transfer rates were measure in kilobytes and computer monitors were smaller than today's mobile phones.
I was recruited by Sony a few years later, where I designed a dozen CD-ROM entertainment titles—including one that had a 12-year shelf life (unheard of in tech). After Sony,I took a year off, during which I taught myself HTML, published a community newspaper with an online edition, got a perfect tan, and decided to change careers.
Switching from product development to marketing meant starting from scratch. Once again, I was lucky to have a great mentor at McGraw-Hill, who taught me traditional marketing and handed me the keys to the company website.
Fast forward two years: I'm a web producer at Novell in San Jose In the midst of the dot.com boom. A year later I was hired by Siebel Systems, where I had yet another great mentor (yes, a trend), and for the next six years I honed my digital marketing skills.
A startup is the perfect playground for an autodidact. Every day is different and the opportunities to learn are everywhere, which in my case meant...
I've traveled around the world and worked on some amazing projects:
And, I pass it on. The teams that I've managed always expand their skill sets because I know the importance of having a mentor who encourages continuous learning, both as a way to increase employee value to the company and to explore their interests. It also allows me to build a top-notch team at the drop of a hat.
That's it. I hope you've learned a bit about me. If you have any questions....
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