Cornelia Janze, CISB class of 2016, currently works as a Client Experience Manager in London for Movable Ink, a MarTech SaaS company. She focuses on digital marketing innovation and delivering personalized customer experiences across some of MI’s top UK clients, including brands: Ralph Lauren, Clarins, L’Occitane, UNICEF, and UBS.
On May 21, 2020, a group of CISB students had a chance to talk to Cornelia about her career journey moving from SF to London. Her persistence in pursuing a career in marketing after college eventually led to a role at Gap Online as an Assistant Email Producer and finally as Associate Marketing Manager. After three years at Gap, she moved to London to work for Movable Ink. Here are the takeaways from Cornelia’s presentation.
Advice on the Job Hunt and Work Abroad:
1. Craft your own personal story: Cornelia had not done any formal marketing internships while in college but started her own e-commerce fashion business to gain the skills she needed to pursue her dream career in marketing. During the job hunt for her first job out of school, Cornelia never said no to an interview, taking every opportunity to craft her story and put herself out there. Through the process, she learned how to present herself and connect with people on a personal level which helped build her network.
2. Utilize Handshake and your CISB/Foster Alumni network. Cornelia found her position at Gap Online on Husky Jobs (which is now Handshake). She also utilized the UW Alumni network for referrals and to help her get a head start on preparing for interviews. During her international job search, investing in LinkedIn Premium was critical she said, for unlimited job and people searches in different cities.
3. Your first job is an important stepping-stone. Her work experience at Gap Online allowed her to gain fundamental marketing skills and introduced her to her future employer, Movable Ink, as Gap utilizes their marketing personalization platform. She explained that the first job you land doesn’t have to be exactly what you want, but it should be a stepping-stone to your next career move and allow you to gain transferable skills. She suggested asking the interviewer: “Which cross-functional teams does your team work with and is the environment collaborative?” For example, if they mention they work closely with Marketing but the role you’re applying for is in Web Production, it is likely possible to pivot once you prove yourself internally at the company. Applying this method, she knew that the role Assistant Email Producer, at the Gap was not her dream role, but would help get her foot in the door at a fashion company she admired. She worked her way up to Associate Marketing Manager by actively pursuing the role, talking to people on the Gap Marketing team, and scheduling informational lunches to make her ambition known. She never took no for an answer, even interviewing twice for the same Marketing role internally (but got the job the second time around once she gained more experience.)
4. It is beneficial to have a global company on your resume if you want to work abroad someday. Cornelia advised students to be strategic in the first company they choose to work for. She said she would have loved to work abroad straight out of college, but gaining solid marketing experience at Gap’s SF Headquarters made her job search abroad a lot easier as the brand is well-known globally. She said it is okay to start as a contractor or entry-level worker because once you get into a company, that usually opens up opportunities to apply internally for promotion or switching roles later on. She advises students to work for a company that has a regional office in the country where they would like to work, as changing jobs internally is a lot smoother and gives you an advantage when trying to make the leap abroad. In addition, a lot of smaller tech startups usually expand to Europe first when going international.
Guest post by Rosie Sun, CISB US Track, BABA 2020