Senior Bethany Boggess is prepared to work at a Chicago marketing agency when she graduates. She loves music and event promotion and those passions have grown through the marketing major at Notre Dame. Below, she talks about choosing her major and an internship that helped shape her post-graduation aspirations.
Hometown: South Bend, IN
Clubs and campus involvement: Executive director of the Student Union Board (SUB), Leprechaun Legion Board, Welcome Weekend Orientation Steering Committee, tour guide for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Mendoza ambassador
How did you decide to major in marketing?
I almost fell into Marketing sophomore year after talking with several faculty members in Mendoza about my interest in event planning and the music industry. They told me that Marketing would be the best path to my career goals, and they were right.I have always been passionate about the music industry and event planning, but my passion has grown to encompass all things marketing. I did an internship at an ad agency in New York City over the summer and fell in love with agency life!
Tell us about your internship in NYC.
I interned with Digitas in their New York City office. I was on the Recruiting team, so I was able to work on projects relating to sourcing, hiring, and onboarding candidates. My manager gave me a lot of autonomy, so I created a few of my own projects to work on with other recruiters and other interns. For instance, I noticed that there was a lack of information about their amazing internship program, so I spearheaded a few projects to generate some intern content that can be used to leverage the program.
I absolutely loved my job. Digitas' internship program is really well-developed—we had "Capability 101s" every week to teach us about the various job functions in a digital marketing agency. I learned so much about the advertising industry in general, and specifically about the job functions I might like to pursue in the future. Also, living in New York City was a huge growth experience. As someone who was born and raised in South Bend, it was an eye-opening change of pace!
How did you find out about the opportunity?
I found the specific opportunity on my own, but the Center for Career Development introduced me to Digitas as an agency! I participated in a "Career Trek" in Chicago over my Fall Break in 2017, in which myself and about 10 other students visited 5 different ad agencies in Chicago. Digitas was my favorite of the 5 agencies we visited, so I kept a close eye online for their internship opportunity.
You say that marketing was the best path for you to explore your passions for the music business and event planning—is that because you're into promoting events?
Bethany Boggess '19 (left) with a friend in front of London Bridge. Boggess studied there on a six-week summer program.
Yes, but it actually goes even further than that! There is an entire realm of marketing called experiential marketing, which is all about connecting consumers with the brands that they love through experiences. There are marketing agencies whose sole focus is planning events on behalf of brands. This is especially common in music and sports due to sponsorships. For instance, when a brand sponsors a sports team or league, a marketing agency can help that brand plan events to get fans of that team or league involved. Sponsorships are only worthwhile if people know about them, so events are a great way to maintain awareness!
What's your experience with music and how did your interest develop?
I've always been a huge fan of music and the culture surrounding it. For me, it started in middle school when I joined the band as a percussionist. I played percussion through middle and high school, eventually becoming the drum major during my senior year of high school. Along the way, I picked up guitar, as well. I love the sense of community that forms around music; I experienced it both as a member of the band, and as a fan of other artists. I attended the Vans Warped Tour (a traveling outdoor music festival) 5 summers in a row. I call it punk rock summer camp, because that's exactly what it felt like. Hundreds of people who all listen to the same genre of music come together for a hot day in an amphitheater parking lot to do nothing but enjoy their favorite music performed live. I would love to make a career helping to facilitate experiences like this, connecting fans to their favorite brands, sports teams, or artists.
In fact, you already have a job lined up after graduation.
Yes, I will be a buy analyst with Nielsen in Chicago. Nielsen is split into Buy vs. Watch segments, so Buy deals with CPG (consumer packaged goods) clients and Watch does the TV ratings and stuff everyone knows Nielsen for. I'll be on the Client Delivery team, which means I'll help conduct analyses or reporting projects to answer ad hoc business questions in real time on behalf of clients. It's a relatively new team at Nielsen, so I'm excited to see where it goes. Oddly enough, a 2018 Notre Dame marketing grad is currently an analyst on the same team, so I'm looking forward to joining her!
What advice do you have for prospective Notre Dame students?
Be yourself, always. Whether it’s on your application, in your major discernment process, or while participating in extracurriculars, it’s always best to be true to who you are and your passions.