Young Professionals Career Panel

Young Professionals Career Panel
Event on 2013-04-16 17:30:00

What makes for a successful career in marketing or advertising?

Join the Young Professionals SIG on Tuesday, April 16th for a panel discussion with experienced professionals from agencies and corporate communications. Our panelists are young enough to remember getting their start in marketing, but old enough to offer seasoned career advice to those new to the profession. They will explore challenges, opportunities and lessons learned in the fields of marketing and advertising.

The focus of the panel is to provide insights into career paths within marketing. Each panelist provides a brief background on themselves and a short history of their career paths.  

Key Takeaways:

  1. Challenges and opportunities within specific career paths
  2. Unexpected rewards (and frustrations) within careers
  3. What the most valuable skills are to land the perfect job
  4. Now that I've landed, what's next?
  5. What you should be doing outside the office to be more successful inside the office


5:30-6:00 pm         Networking and Refreshments

6:00-7:00 pm         Panel Discussion and Q&A

7:00-7:30 pm         More Networking and Refreshments

Beer, wine and light appetizers will be provided.

Thank you to our sponsors, Binny's Beverage Depot and Catalyst Ranch.


Panel Members:

Vanessa Harris – Director of Marketing, WBEZ

As the Director of Marketing for Chicago Public Media, Vanessa plans and oversees marketing campaigns for WBEZ, Vocalo and the national shows working with individuals across all levels of the institution. She also leads the events team to create unique and meaningful events that extend our brands.

Vanessa began working for Chicago Public Media in October 2004 as a freelance pledge producer, later joining the staff full time as assistant director of on-air and online fundraising. Since she has worked as assistant director of development initiatives, project coordinator and then project manager for Vocalo.

She started her advertising career at Culver Brands in Milwaukee, WI as a copywriter and the "lady who does whatever needs to be done in the moment" later becoming an account executive with diverse clients including S.C. Johnson, Pepsi Co and Jim Beam Brands.

Vanessa has a B.A. in Communications from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN and resides in the West Town neighborhood of Chicago.

Melissa Williams – Director of Marketing, Advisors Software, Morningstar, Inc.

Melissa Williams has over nine years of marketing experience, primarily in the financial services industry, and is currently the director of marketing in the advisor software division of Morningstar, Inc. She recently graduated with her Master of Science Degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University.

Alex Gallegos – Manager of Community Outreach, Lincoln Park Zoo

Alex is the Manager of Community Outreach at Lincoln Park Zoo, focusing on grassroots marketing, partnership development, event management, and sponsorship acquisition. Overall, he is responsible for sharing the zoo brand with families from local communities. He has been in nonprofit communications for over 10 years. Prior to working at the zoo, Alex was an exhibit developer at the Museum of Science and Industry, founder of a teen science program, and a 7th and 8th grade science teacher at a Chicago public school. Alex is a native Chicagoan and graduated from Loyola University with a BS in Biology. Yes, a marketer with a science degree. It's possible.

 Laura Clark – Freelancer

Laura Clark is a digital media specialist with several years of experience at major advertising agencies in Kansas City and Chicago including VML, Draftfcb and Burrell Communications. With expertise including search engine marketing and multicultural, she is currently a freelance digital media consultant while completing a Master of Arts Management degree at Columbia College Chicago. Laura is a journalism graduate of The University of Kansas and in her free time (though there isn’t much), Laura loves to sing, watch sports and cook.


The Young Professionals SIG is just one of Chicago AMA’s twelve new Shared Interest Groups: Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), Digital & Social Media, Financial Services, Healthcare Marketing, Higher Education Marketing, Integrated Marketing & Communications, Market Research, Mobile Marketing, Multicultural Marketing, Nonprofit Marketing, Suburban Marketers and Young Professionals. 


Connect with the marketers in your industry who tackle the same challenges and opportunities as you. Meet other SIG members face-to-face in uniquely collaborative, conversational environments to share insights, experiences and marketing wisdom. Continue the conversation online through a variety of chapter communication channels.


SIG events and activities are open to Chicago AMA members and non-members.


Click here to join a SIG and stay informed about upcoming SIG activities, or email for additional information.

at Catalyst Ranch
656 W Randolph Street
Chicago, United States

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