Meet Jessica – 2020 Inclusion In Digital Marketing Scholarship Recipient

We are honored to be awarding Jessica our inaugural year’s Inclusion in Digital Marketing scholarship

She is completing the final term of her undergraduate Marketing Degree at Portland State University (Go Viks!). 

Jessica has had a bit of a long and winding road on her college journey. As a DACA recipient and a first-generation college student, entry to higher education was a new path for her to forge within her family. Her interest in marketing was a slow evolution over a lifetime.

When she was young Jessica attended Caldera Arts summer camps, which runs programs to expose underserved youth to arts and the natural environment. The mentors she met during her time at the camp were essential in helping ensure her success in finding resources and getting the necessary financial assistance over the years to help her get to this point. 

As an adult, Jessica has started to give back to the Caldera Arts program as a volunteer on the fundraising committee for their annual Stories of Change fundraising Gala. And this year she’s helping them do it all through digital, what a challenge! 

Q: What impact do you hope to have on the marketing field throughout your career? 

“Throughout my marketing career, the impact I want to make is to integrate more diversity in the field. As a Latinx community member, I can attest to the continuous gap between harmful products marketed to my community versus products that could fulfill real needs. Given that technology is pushing the field towards the digital realm, I want to ensure diverse voices are heard, and proper research is done to avoid cultural appropriation in a future full of algorithms and automation.”

Q: What has been one of your favorite marketing classes so far and why?

“My favorite marketing class from my curriculum was my marketing capstone—management strategy. I enjoyed this course because it pieced all the teachings from my core courses and pushed me to think in terms of a marketing manager. For this course, my professor, Jacob Suher, made the class very interactive, thus allowing our roles as leaders to feel even more realistic. My main learning takeaway was how to build a marketing plan for the right audience and conduct proper research—which goes hand-in-hand with my career goal mentioned earlier.”

Q: What are you hoping to jump into after you graduate? 

“My goal after graduating is to kick-off my career in a more creative-oriented role within marketing. A couple of years back, I picked up a digital camera for the first time and have since been working on improving this craft. Proceed to 2019, and I landed my very first role as a Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, where I had a chance to put my content-creation skills into practice. As a result, content marketing has drawn my attention because it integrates creativity, critical thinking skills, and lots of research under one department—all things I enjoy about the field!”

Q: Has the pandemic forced you to change your plans in any way?

“The pandemic’s impact on the job market has made it more challenging to land an entry-level marketing job. As a result, my strategy for applying to jobs has changed. I am now focusing on networking and making connections with current employees from organizations I aspire to work. Although this initially seemed like a setback, I have realized that networking is a big part of marketing regardless, and thus, I am practicing a skill that will set me up for success in the future.” 

Q: What would you like to see marketing and design agencies do differently in the future?

“One change I would like to see is how marketing agencies carry out their recruiting process for entry-level candidates. As someone going through the job search process, I find that many entry-level roles at agencies either require previous experience or offer unpaid internships. These factors deter candidates who are either switching careers or cannot afford to take on an unpaid role due to financial strains. A suggested solution to this problem would be for agencies to offer mentorship programs for candidates looking to get their foot-in-the-door in the field.” 

The future is full of possibilities

We are so excited to be having individuals like Jessica coming into the marketing workforce. We absolutely need more voices like hers who will continue to push those of us already in the industry to see our blind spots and do better with more inclusive teams doing the work and better representation across the board in the advertising campaigns themselves. Can’t wait to see you take the marketing world by storm Jessica!

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