Have you ever asked yourself the question, “what is consulting?” I certainly have as an alumna of the Master’s in Integrated Marketing Communications program who currently works in higher education. While the career prospect to become a consultant is traditionally targeted to MBA graduates, lately, that norm has been changing. To discover more, I spoke with three alumni working in the field and joined the leadership team of the Georgetown Graduate Consulting Club to connect the dots. The conversations I had demonstrated that all companies—consulting included—need an integrated marketing communications strategy to thrive.
Framework for Success
Ronique Forgie (SCS’20) completed the entire Integrated Marketing Communications program online: first from the States and then abroad. “It was a gift to myself to take time to be back in the classroom,” she said. The sense of community from the people and faculty in the program grounded her when nothing felt normal in 2020. Her goal was to gain credibility and become a stronger marketer. The course she said best prepared her for her Senior Specialist position at Bain & Company was Consumer Research & Insights. It provided a foundation to help her build better marketing campaigns and tie them together with a unique insight. Forgie also felt that the Georgetown framework helped set her up for success starting work at Bain remotely in 2021—including opportunities to share with colleagues what integrated marketing communications is all about.
Chart Your Own Adventure
With the goal to pivot from market research to marketing, Shereene Tailor (SCS’18) can testify firsthand that the Integrated Marketing Communications program “prepares you really well to add value to a project.” There is both an art and a science to marketing, and she enjoyed exploring this through two of the program’s foundation courses—Consumer Research & Insights and Brand Concept—plus Digital Analytics & Measurement. Altogether, they hardened the marketing skills she puts to the test daily when building out campaigns for clients as a Senior Consultant at Deloitte. Tailor noted that on each project there is an opportunity to chart her own adventure that is both intimidating and exciting. Due to the pandemic, “there’s [also] been a lot [more] listening and learning going on”—which she feels makes the consulting industry ripe for positive change.
Purpose in Practice
Businesses are ultimately “driven for clients and clients’ mission,” says Lauren Strayhorn (SCS '19), a Marketing Consultant for Deloitte Digital. According to her, there’s been a shift to use more digital marketing tactics via influencers, paid media, and paid search on projects—which is especially timely as brands respond to COVID-19 and social justice outcries. The need for collaboration and purposefully speaking to consumers has elevated the value that marketers bring to the table. Strayhorn is also the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Notedd—a platform she developed and refined while taking the program’s Personal Branding course.
From where I stand, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to work in consulting. As more Integrated Marketing Communications graduates enter the workforce, they demonstrate the increasing value of integrated marketing communications strategies to companies’ bottom lines. So, what is consulting? It is a melting pot of marketers and businesspeople who work across different fields to provide expert opinions that increase efficiencies and confidently contribute to elevating the mission and needs of clients.
Jessica Marr, MPS
Jessica Marr is the Program Manager of Marketing and Communications for the Department of English at Georgetown University and a proud 2019 alumna of the Integrated Marketing Communications program. She also serves as Executive Vice President for the Georgetown Graduate Consulting Club.