Briana Lanigan ’18

1. What was your major/minor and when did you graduate?

I received a BS in Marketing and I graduated in 3.5 years (December of 2018)

2. What is your current position (title, company, location)?  Can you describe a typical day?

I recently changed jobs and am currently onboarding as an SEM Specialist at Adtaxi (a marketing agency based in Denver). For this questionnaire, I will refer to my previous position.

  • Job Title: Digital Marketing Specialist at Big Lens, LLC in Reston, VA
  • Some background – SEM and Paid Social: My supervisor and I managed client paid media accounts across Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google, YouTube, and Microsoft/Bing
  • A typical day consists of reviewing and implementing client requests (if they are looking to update a new ad/new audience, if they are looking for specific performance report). I had to manage my time between client meetings, putting together weekly performance reports, ensuring their account budgets are on pace, reviewing the account for optimization opportunities, and implementing these optimizations.

3. How did your major prepare you for your current job?

The Marketing Curriculum and UMW prepared me mostly with time management, working with team members, and presentations. Nearly every day, I am on a client call reviewing performance, answering questions, and providing recommendations for improvement. The capstone Management 490 class was the best class to prepare me in my career path thus far. My career thus far is specialized in that the majority of what I have learned is through internships; however, there are marketing positions that are more “holistic” in approach. Overall, the curriculum helped provide a well-rounded knowledge base of marketing strategies and consumer behavior.

4. How did you become interested in your field?

In high school, I really enjoyed graphic design and website creation and I knew a Business Degree would propel me in my career; therefore, I pursued Marketing since you are able to take creative liberties in designing a strategy for the Brand, Website, Organic Traffic, and Paid Media Traffic. In addition to creative liberties, I found that I enjoyed learning about the consumer behavior and the influence certain strategies may have.

5. What’s the best career advice you ever received?

The best career advice I have ever received is to take initiative. If you need to learn something (a new tool or a new method), then take the time, the classes, the certifications to learn it and become the “go-to” person if a coworker needs assistance.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions and to provide your input.

6. Was there a professor, advisor, or fellow student who made an impression on you or helped you when you were at UMW?

Not really and one of my regrets. Although I left college with more confidence than when I began, I had focused almost too much on the academics rather than maintaining a balance in networking with my professors and classmates. I have found that even if you have great work ethic, networking is nearly and almost more important to help get your name out there in the job market as well as developing references and connections that can help you with new job opportunities, presenting new clients, or overall career advice.

7. What’s your fondest memory of UMW?

I don’t have one specific memory per se, but I enjoyed the peacefulness of sitting outside with the Autumn leaves working on my schoolwork in the company of my roommates and friends.

8. Are there any special accomplishments you’ve achieved after college that you’d like to share?

I’ve had the pleasure of managing paid search and paid social media strategic accounts across various industries and media spend from $5,000 per month to $300,000 per month. Additionally, I have recently accepted a new position with a larger marketing agency.

9. How would your family or friends describe you in seven words or less?

Always willing to help, hard-working, and kind

10. In one sentence, what advice would you give current business students? 

Not everything turns out the way that you anticipate so learn to be flexible.