Laying the Foundation for Success

by Lauren Furgione, MBA ’10

Lauren Furgione, MBA '10

I came to Johnson excited to build upon my marketing communications background – the Strategic Marketing Immersion was the perfect choice for me. While I expected to increase my knowledge about marketing strategies and principles, I didn’t realize that the program would impart just as many invaluable leadership lessons. I believe this combination of theoretical and practical knowledge truly helped me advance my career.

During my first year, I was fortunate to land a product management summer internship with a services marketing company. The internship itself was challenging yet exhilarating. I had just 12 short weeks to learn a new business, navigate a new organization and, at the same time, deliver a solution to a current business problem. I quickly realized that my experiences in the immersion were readily transferable to my internship. In the immersion, I learned core marketing and brand/product management principles in a rigorous, fast-paced setting. As a result, I was able to climb the learning curve quickly during my internship, contributing to team discussions around our target market and P&L from the start.

I also frequently drew upon my experiences from my immersion consulting project as I worked to complete my internship projects. In the immersion, our team overcame ambiguity to identify a business opportunity and craft our strategic recommendation for our client. We also had an aggressive timeline, which helped us hone our project management skills. Finally, we learned how to leverage frameworks and create a compelling presentation. Thankfully, when I encountered the same types of challenges during my internship, I was able to draw upon these skill sets to deliver a successful project and final presentation. Ultimately, I received and accepted an offer to join the company full-time.

Recently, I relocated outside of the New York City area, and sought out my next opportunity in brand/product management – this time in the consumer packaged goods industry. I once again drew upon the marketing knowledge I gained in the immersion (from lectures, cases and the group project) to demonstrate my understanding of the consumer packaged goods industry during my interview. I also highlighted the leadership and project management skills I have continued to hone, and ultimately got the job!

Looking back on the transitions I’ve made into two different industries, I can see that the comprehensive marketing education I received, from analytics to core marketing principles to leadership and project management, helped shape me into the capable, versatile marketer I am today.