Q&A with Marketing Professional and McCombs Marketing Alum: Jessica Callaway

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October 17, 2013 by texasbbacareerservices

TI jessica callawayQ&A with Marketing Professional and McCombs Marketing Alum: Jessica Callaway, Marketing Communications Associate at Texas Instruments

Please tell us about your career path as a McCombs alum and how you found your way to Texas Instruments:

At first, I didn’t know much about Texas Instruments (TI). Like many people, my only real experience with TI was with calculators. Then, my current manager, Donna Coletti, found my resume in The McCombs School of Business resume book and reached out to me for an on-campus interview.  During our first conversation, Donna told me about the great things TI is doing across the globe and how the company is a trailblazer in changing society on a worldwide scale with its leading-edge technology. The fact that TI products are in amazing technologies that the public uses and experiences every day was an incredible realization. For example, did you know that TI technology is in the Motorola Droid RAZR Maxx smartphone, the Hero 3 GoPro camera, Mophie Juice Pack (battery-charging phone case), Voltaic Systems’ solar backpacks, Beats Electronics and even the Mod Live Recon Goggles (GPS- and sensor-equipped ski goggles)? TI is truly all around us and it is astonishing when you realize the level to which that is true.

Something else that drew me to TI is that it is an international company that operates in more than 35 countries. As a young woman entering corporate America, I wanted to work for a company that touches a variety of cultures and offers the opportunity to travel. With the global reach I was seeking, TI is a company that is really influencing the ways of the world and I am honored to be a facet of that effort.

Finally, I will never forget the response I received when I asked Donna about TI’s environmental policy. “TI recycled more than 90 percent of waste company-wide last year,” she said. I was shocked and impressed that a company housing 33,000+ employees cares enough about the earth to watch its excess that closely. This spoke a lot about the kind of people who work for Texas Instruments and, since coming here, I can say that everyone has lived up to – even surpassed – the expectation I had of them when first starting.

What does your job entail?

My daily responsibilities at Texas Instruments involve all things marketing/communications (Marcom) around the Sitara™ processor-based BeagleBoard.org platform (a low-cost, credit-card sized computer for technology enthusiasts). Among other things, this includes crafting newsletters, webpages, e-mails, web banners and videos that promote the BeagleBoard.org platform. Furthermore, when the engineers on my team design a new product, I am responsible for managing the global product launch. For this process, I oversee everything from leading weekly meetings, to creating promotions, to partnering with distributors, to producing new web pages – and much more. I need to maintain a close relationship with the engineers I support in order to know what products are in design and what aspects of those products are important to them and their customers. In turn, I must verify the products get promoted in as many appropriate outlets as possible. Finally, I collaborate with our public relations firm, GolinHarris, to make sure our products are reaching the right audience through various channels including social media, blogs and media relations.

In addition to my Marcom responsibilities, I also support training. Specifically, I am responsible for helping with training content creation, training event logistics and uploading any recorded trainings to TI’s training site so when anyone needs to access Sitara (a TI processor) trainings, they can easily find a variety of videos we have created.

How did The McCombs School of Business help you become prepared for this job?

A lot of the classes at The McCombs School of Business use real-world case studies. Having that background coming into TI, I see a lot of similar business situations I learned about in school. Furthermore, The McCombs School of Business has incredible relationships with employers, making it easy to attend career fairs, network with representatives from a variety of large and small businesses and find opportunities for internships and full-time jobs. The networking piece of The McCombs School of Business was definitely the most beneficial aspect of attending this school. Every week there was some kind of networking dinner or career fair or representative coming into your class to talk about their company. Thanks to these events, McCombs helps students make important connections and cultivate those relationships. As a result, McCombs students become more prepared to communicate with veterans in the business force compared to their graduating peers at other colleges.

Do you have any general advice for McCombs students?

If I could do it again, I would love to learn more about Management Information Systems (MIS). Experience in MIS is valued at TI, and if you know some basic coding, your job opportunities increase. For example, someone who knows basic coding could potentially join the Customer Intelligence team within the Internet Marketing department and study customer activity on the web. Learning about what we can do to target customers more effectively and efficiently and making actionable recommendations is a highly-visible, well-respected and important internal project. This effort is something that is essential at other companies, as well. Many times, the website is the first thing customers see and experience with a company. Understanding how to navigate and lay things out on a website in order to achieve the best user experience possible for customers is a valuable skill set everyone should strive to obtain.

Do you have any advice for people who want to get into marketing/communications careers?

Knowing how to tell a story through data and numbers is a powerful proficiency that will prove to be very valuable as you progress in your marketing career. The ability to directly correlate your work as marketing professional to impact on revenue, website click-throughs or other company goals shows how you are truly making a difference to the company’s bottom line. Also, I would urge students and new college graduates alike to never limit how they think of themselves. I would say, “Don’t think of yourself as a communicator; think of yourself as a business strategist, a marketer, a coach and an advisor. You are smart and you truly can compete with those around you.” It is the people who master these abilities that gain respect, responsibility and security not only at corporations, but in the job market as a whole.

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