Genevieve Strawderman Alas ’16


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

I received my B.S. in Business Administration, Marketing in 2016

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

After over 3 years in Out-of-Home Advertising, I am leaving to explore the world of Tech Startups. I have recently accepted a position at the B2B software company, Qotient. In this role, I will be the sole marketing employee helping the CEO and COO to develop and grow their marketing strategy, team and consumer reach.”

Previously, I worked for global out of home marketing conglomerate, Clear Channel Outdoor, as the Marketing Manager and Marketing Lead for the Western Region. I was located in San Francisco, but I managed all of our markets from Denver to Los Angeles.

My typical day consisted of one to two phone calls reviewing current projects with our senior management team and the sales associates in my region. I worked on a number of marketing presentations, including ones for Google, Uber, Lyft and WeWork.

During my time at Clear Channel I helped to develop and employ a new DAM (digital asset management) tool that archives all of our marketing collateral. I also helped with the product marketing for the release of our brand-new digital program running at San Jose International Airport, which is now the first all-digital advertising airport in the country.

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

My major prepared me because it gave me a strong and well-rounded knowledge of business and marketing. I love how at Mary Washington we didn’t just focus on one specific category of marketing, but the field as a whole.

All of my courses prepared me for where I am at today but there are a specific few that come to mind having prepared me for my specific role. I send A LOT of emails for work and do quite a bit of outreach, thanks to Business Communications I know the best way to construct a strong business e-mail and ensure the recipient can easily understands my ask. When writing e-mail’s I often think about how I should focus on the “you” instead of “me,” and will reread emails to make sure that is what I’m communicating.

Quite a bit of my job entails collecting, running and analyzing marketing data and then crafting a story for our sales team, clients and upper management to understand our target audiences and the strength of advertising methods. I believe that Professor Majid and Gentry’s courses gave me a good base understanding so that I wasn’t completely lost when I first started my career.

Of course, I believe all of my courses helped to prepare me for my career, but as I sit here now, in the advertising field, one course stands out more than the rest. Professor Summers’ course on advertising. It provided me with a well-rounded, firsthand view and understanding of a field that I have been in for over 3 years now.

4. How did you become interested in your field?

I had always been very interested in marketing, however when I first started college, I was a Psychology major. It took me almost three years to realize that wasn’t what I wanted to do. Once I had my epiphany, I took some time off of school and began to work in the business industry. After that, my passion for knowledge and the business field took off. I took a job at a small business in my hometown, which led to an internship with a Fortune 500 Company and me finishing my degree at Mary Washington.

After graduating I moved to Los Angeles with nothing but a dream. I quickly found myself working, loving and succeeding in the niche Out-Of-Home Marketing industry. I have since moved to San Francisco and continue to love and grow in the OOH industry as Marketing Manager for the Western Region.

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

You don’t have to be an expert; you just have to be willing to become one.

I was told this in a job interview once and it’s really stuck with me. The CEO told me that he didn’t expect everyone he hired to be an expert in their field, but he did expect them to be hungry for knowledge and to do what it took to become an expert.

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

Yes, Dr. Lynne Richardson and Professor Majid. Both had a huge impact on me while at Mary Washington, and I often think back to classes, conversations and advice they gave me.  When I came to Mary Washington, I was an older student because of the time I had taken off and a bit self-conscious of that. Both Richardson and Majid gave me the confidence and knowledge to not view myself as graduating from college “late,” and they gave me the resources needed to make up for “lost time.”

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

Since starting my job at Clear Channel Airports, I was promoted and have won multiple internal awards for my contributions to the company both in my region and nationally.

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

Smart, determined, perfectionist, friendly, caring, and a little obsessive

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

I have two…Always bet on yourself and don’t compare yourself to where you think you should be based on other’s accomplishments.

If you bet on yourself you may not always succeed, but 9 times out of 10 you will. And, in our world we are constantly comparing ourselves to others, just remember you are exactly where