April 2016

Elizabeth McElroy
Independent Global Marketing Consultant




1. What is your current role? Were there past roles that led to your current role?
 
My entire career has been in the telecommunications/wireless industry; I started back in since 1979.Over the last 22 years, I spent my career working abroad in emerging telecom markets, more specifically, major markets such as Afghanistan, Kuwait, Emirates, Qatar, Romania, Poland, and Croatia. My last project was for Roshan in Kabul, Afghanistan where I led the early stages of the brand strategy, this ran from2004 to 2005. I have now been asked to return to refresh the brand strategy (2012). 

My passion has always been to focus on defining and building the brand strategy and communications. And, I have been quite fortunate that all my past positions included the full commercial scope of marketing, product, sales, pricing, customer care, etc. This has made me into a well-rounded Marketing professional. Most importantly, especially in the international work, my personal passion is in mentoring and developing young employees into their jobs, which to me is an important part of my career. I have managed small teams of 8 to well above 500 across the full range of marketing and sales and customer care disciplines. Within these teams, I have been able to guide younger professionals as they grow in their careers. Sharing knowledge and focusing on developing the young professionals in their careers, is the most satisfactory aspect of my job. I believe that ANY managerial position is not only focused on delivering key business objectives, but most importantly, to share knowledge and develop the young staff to take over the role(s) of the expats in their organization/country.

2. How did you get started in your career?
I started out in a junior administrative position with a large telecom company called GTE, today’s Verizon. At that time, I didn’t have a university degree. From here, my career growth was influenced by a number of drivers: 

First and foremost, I had a strong mentor; my boss-Paul J. Wills and others. He/she provided me many opportunities to build my skills by assigning numerous strategic and confidential projects, which helped me learn and grow in my career. The company I was at focused on providing programs for career development, in particular, for women. My boss also challenged me to go to university to earn a degree which propelled my career vastly. Along the way, I have had numerous mentors that guided me to where I am today. 5)

 Over the 12.5 years with GTE, I grew from a coordinator, to advertising manager, to regional marketing manager, and now finally, to regional marketing manager. My vast career experience with GTE led me to the international work. As I share with many students at DePaul, it is important to have a mentor(s) and also be personally diligent and focused to accomplish a strong and satisfying career. I highly recommend students have a mentor and work to keep their careers growing.

3. What do you absolutely love about your career in Marketing? Is there anything about our career that you wish you would have known before you began?
My passion is brand strategy and communications, but at the same time, in order to truly understand the brand platform, for me it was important to have a well-rounded expertise across the business. Every business day provides new insights into the market, thus the learning always continues.  

4. What suggestions do you have for current MBA/MS students looking to pursue a career in Marketing?
Defining a “marketing plan” for YOU to aid in being more directed at the type of work one would like to pursue. The highlight of defining and building a career plan is to assess “marketing” by addressing the core 4 P’s of building one’s own plan. Marketing of YOU is comprised by the “marketing” sections:
Product = you, define your strengths/weakness/type of work, etc.,
Pricing = assessing marketplace and industry and own salary goals,
Promotion = resume, networking, letters, samples of work (even in volunteer) etc.,
Placement = channels of distribution such as recruiters, school, digital network, etc.

Volunteering programs quite often can provide training and insights as well. AND, most of all, mentors are good to test ideas and/or provide counsel on how and where to find reliable and constructive information. On a personal level, I believe that mentoring and networking (not asking for work, but networking to learn and explore), is one of the most important tasks of any professional.

A resource to find a mentor is through the DePaul mentoring program called ASK. Students can login into their handshake account and connect with the mentor. For more information please visit this site: 

Heather Kos

Vice President of Investor Relations
and Corporate Communications at
Ingredion Inc. 


Devon Voster

Director of Talent & Engagement 
Ingredion Inc. 


Copyright DePaul Graduate Women in Business. All rights reserved.

 

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Judith Lansky

Director of Talent & Engagement 
Lansky Career Consultants