Alumni Consortium featured

How One Couple Is Blazing Their Own Path • The Consortium

With the drive to realize their very own definitions of success, husband-and-wife group Joe and Erayna Sargent have helped propel each other along the best way.

As fellows of The Consortium, the two first met at the group’s annual convention in Dallas, Texas, in 2008 and graduated from Kelley Faculty of Enterprise at Indiana College in Bloomington (IU) in the class of 2010. While they each went on to steer successful careers in conventional advertising — working for giant corporations throughout the country together with Nestlé, MillerCoors, Beam Suntory and others — Joe and Erayna at the moment are pursuing their respective passions: sport administration and entrepreneurship.

The couple now lives in Kansas City, Mo., where Erayna is senior advertising supervisor at Intuit on QuickBooks but can also be in the strategy of launching a wellness model. Joe, then again, is doing what he loves as director of brand name advertising for the Kansas City Chiefs football group.

The Sargents just lately spoke with us about their skilled paths, the journey into entrepreneurship, what The Consortium means to them and their experience being married and working in the same business.

At what level in your careers did you determine to pursue an MBA, and what led you to this determination?

Erayna: I was about two and a half years out of undergrad and in a rotational advertising program in the business-to-business (B2B) area, working for an office furnishings manufacturer. I was at some extent where I needed to determine what was subsequent simply by the character of the program I was in. As I began to study extra about totally different areas of selling and B2B versus business-to-consumer (B2C), I began to think about pursuing my MBA.

Each of us have been a number of the younger individuals in our program. I went in at 25, and Joe was 24. So, we have been earlier in our careers. For me, it was actually a imaginative and prescient of the place do I need to go and what do I have to do to get there that prompted me to go back for my MBA.

Joe: I truly left undergrad and continued on to get a master’s in sport management. In the means of going by way of that, I used to be, equally, making an attempt to determine precisely what I needed to do. So, in my second yr in the sport management program, I had come to the decision that I needed to be in sports activities business and sports activities advertising. I sort of plotted out the career that I used to be going for, which was finally to be the president of a sports activities staff, and I needed to determine how greatest to get there.

I felt like getting an MBA was an essential step, so I decided to remain in class. I knew where I finally needed to go, and I knew that enterprise faculty was going to be a part of that path, so I made a decision I’d relatively begin there, get all the tutorial credentials after which go into model administration and finally transition over into sports. So, that is the path I’m on.

How has earning your MBA helped you get where you’re at the moment? Are you where you thought and hoped you’d be whenever you graduated from Kelley?

Erayna: I feel my MBA was extremely essential in helping me get where I am. There are some roles and corporations you possibly can’t get to until you have got an MBA. I absolutely recognized that, and I knew I needed to get into consumer-packaged goods (CPG), so to be able to do this, I needed my MBA.

Fast-forwarding to at this time, I’m not in CPG, I’m in tech. However there are different issues that I’m aspiring towards as properly; I’m a budding entrepreneur. The MBA gave me the inspiration and the arrogance to say I can do whatever I need to do so long as I’m open to continued studying — I simply had to determine what that was after which leverage the connections that I made all through this journey to get there.

I’m not where I assumed I might be, however it’s a constructive. I assumed that I might be shifting my approach up the ladder in an enormous CPG company. But over the previous three years, I’ve transitioned. I labored at a startup for two years, which actually lit the hearth of entrepreneurship inside me; I’ve all the time had it, however I couldn’t perceive how I might do it. I founded a nonprofit 14 years in the past, but for some cause, the thought of entrepreneurship was nonetheless an elusive one. I’ve spent the past yr working in tech, which actually opened the door to me occupied with doing my own thing once more. So I’m not where I envisioned I’d be; I’m in a a lot better place.

Joe: I undoubtedly agree. I feel the MBA has been very important for me in a pair ways.

I had plotted my path, and it was model management into sports. Identical to Erayna was saying, the MBA is basically the clearest path into brand administration, so I felt like I wanted it to get the place I needed to go.

After leaving faculty, not having any prior work expertise made it just a little robust to seek out the appropriate job, but I finally did. I used to be at Altria first and then transitioned to MillerCoors and a pair different roles. Principally, the MBA was my key in, however as soon as I acquired there, I feel the MBA really set me up so that I might hit the ground operating and study the appropriate things — the lingo and the way to be a brand manager.

I lately moved into the position of director of selling for the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs, and I really feel like I’m 100 % on the path to my ultimate aim of being president of a sports group. With out the MBA, I really feel like I still might have gotten right here, however I might have needed to start in a job that I didn’t need to do. Having my MBA helps convey the proper perspective and expertise that I exploit right now on this director of selling position.

Erayna, tell me a bit about your path into entrepreneurship.

Erayna: We’re at the start of this journey. Principally, one among my job experiences prompted me to get to some extent of serious burnout. This was a very low level that prompted me to question every little thing about myself and my talent set. The constructive of it was that being in that area prompted me to re-examine what I was making an attempt to do with myself — what was my ardour, what did I take pleasure in, what did I not take pleasure in, why did I permit myself to get into this example and the way might I guarantee I didn’t discover myself in it once more?

The past 18 months has been an enormous journey for me, exploring all of that, and I’ve uncovered my ardour for self-care and wellness, which is getting a variety of consideration right now. About six months in the past, I began with an Instagram handle referred to as “Justalittleselfish,” which encourages everyone to take moments for themselves, particularly working professionals; it’s targeted on the concept everybody deserves to be just a bit egocentric — proudly owning that, recognizing it and being pleased with it.

Now, Joe and I just launched an e-store with merchandise and attire which are all targeted on sporting your self-love with delight. My entire mantra is “work hard, self-care harder.” I grew up within the Midwest and was raised with a robust work ethic, and that has gotten me to where I’m at present. But, I didn’t study till just lately how necessary it’s to care for your self along that journey.

Additionally, I’m working on a very huge concept, which is a startup within the mental well being area. I am at present refining my concept and doing numerous buyer interviews. My next step is to hunt funding. It’s an enormous hill, but I’m excited to climb it and make a constructive influence on the tradition.

How have you helped with these ventures, Joe?

Joe: I’m taking over the advertising and the launch of the e-store. Also, I’ll be doing totally different posts to attempt to take a look at self-care from a male perspective. She’ll be targeted on creating the tasks and imaginative and prescient; I’ll be doing extra of the execution on the advertising, back-end aspect, on the e-store. My foremost position is supporting her imaginative and prescient and being a motivator when she gets stuck.

Both of your current positions — and lots of of your past ones — have been in advertising or branding. Have these all the time been your focus areas and areas of interest?

Erayna: I’ve all the time been a marketer, even straight out of undergrad. Paradoxically, I began undergrad as a computer engineer and then realized that it wasn’t for me, so I modified my main my sophomore yr and have been on this advertising journey ever since.

Joe: I’ve all the time been concerned about advertising, but I’ve all the time had my eye on transitioning into sports activities advertising. It is great that I’m doing that now, however … I had some problem landing my first job because I couldn’t convey a passion for Ivory cleaning soap, for instance, as a result of I knew that was not the place I finally needed to be. So, I had to type of reframe, and I began on the lookout for jobs in CPG where I might activate sports packages.

So, at MillerCoors, I raised my hand to steer the NASCAR program on Miller Lite, and although I didn’t begin with a passion for NASCAR, I am pleased I [took on this project] as a result of I set to work intently with Brad Keselowski on the Miller Lite program — designing the automotive and the new fits and doing a digital advertising program. Tasks like these throughout my profession have been engaging on my résumé to sports activities corporations. I might say, “Yes, I was on Miller Lite, but I worked with NASCAR, I worked with HBCU football, I worked with NBA teams, I worked with 50 Cent and the NCAA” — all these sports activities and entertainment packages inside quote unquote conventional CPG brand advertising. I all the time tried to make use of that as a stepping stone to get to the precise sort of selling that I needed to be in, however advertising was all the time my focus.

What has your expertise been like being married and working in the same business? Is it challenging, or do you find that it helps you study from one another and grow?

Erayna: I feel it helps us study and develop. What’s fascinating is that although we both are in advertising and each of our degrees are from the same faculty and similar program, our advertising experiences are very totally different. As Joe has stated, he’s really targeted on doing things which are more within the activation world, getting him closer to sports. My focus has been more of the normal path, so I do a lot more work in conventional advertising management: forecasting, enterprise planning, enterprise strategy, model id, innovation pipeline. Most of my career has been in meals, so I joke [about the fact] that I get the meals, and Joe gets passes to the cool occasions.

Joe: Identical to Erayna stated, my core has been about activation and taking the brand essence and translating that to a reside event or sports activities activation. So, whereas we now have the same degree from the identical faculty, we undoubtedly took two totally different paths, which I feel retains it fascinating.

Erayna: It’s a special perspective on the identical sort of challenges. I’ll work on tasks and I might have by no means thought of it from Joe’s perspective. He’s capable of construct on my concepts and vice versa.

What do you take pleasure in most about your current positions and corporations?

Joe: I’m about three months in with the Chiefs, and up to now, I undoubtedly take pleasure in it. I have a workforce, so I’m managing their workload and making an attempt to position them for fulfillment.

Every thing that I take pleasure in doing, like fantasy soccer or just usually speaking about football, now’s market analysis. It actually has turned what I take pleasure in doing into my job, which might be what I like probably the most.

As far as the corporate itself, the Chiefs are a very well-respected group within the league; meaning I work with the NFL on numerous league initiatives. It definitely helps that the workforce is exciting and was a couple plays away from the Tremendous Bowl. It’s great to now be capable of say that every thing I was working towards, I’m now dwelling it.

Erayna: Intuit is an effective company. I feel they actually do care about their staff and doing what’s proper for his or her clients. For me, coming from CPG, I used to be intimidated by the idea of tech as a result of the job titles are totally different, and there was this lack of knowledge of how a CPG brand interprets into tech. I’m the advertising lead for QuickBooks in the retail channel, so there are lots of features of my job which might be very similar to my previous life.

While there’s additionally lot of studying and understanding of how products are built and how tech works, it means I’m capable of continue to study and broaden my information. They did an amazing job helping me understand a few of the nuances and variations, however I’m additionally valued for my earlier expertise as a result of it’s a talent set that they don’t naturally groom in tech, in order that they value my CPG conventional brand background.

What position has The Consortium performed in your professional life, and how do you stay concerned?

Erayna: I don’t assume I’d be the place I’m without The Consortium. I undoubtedly wouldn’t have gone to business faculty once I did and would have missed out on the exposure to totally different profession paths and prospects.

Joe: The Consortium was so nice. Even earlier than I started faculty, I keep in mind I went to LinkedIn and searched “Indiana Kelley Consortium” and reached out to individuals blind. So many people acquired back to me and gave me their time. Even before I obtained into faculty, I was getting caught up and studying the lingo. I undoubtedly took it without any consideration until I acquired into positions and saw people who didn’t know how you can be effective in a model management position. You must discover ways to monitor your numbers, you need to say things a sure approach and present in a relevant approach. All the issues I took without any consideration, I discovered naturally via the experience of The Consortium.

If anybody reaches out to me by way of The Consortium or simply places “Consortium” in the title of their message, I get back to them and attempt to lend them my experience. Individuals have been so useful once I started with The Consortium, so I’m comfortable to provide again to anybody who reaches out.

Erayna: We participate in networking events and panels, particularly by means of IU — they’ll have special Consortium occasions. We’ve gone again for Consortium events on campus and have served as recruiters for our corporations. We help where we will.

We hold shifting across the nation, so it’s a bit of exhausting to decide to something long term, however we undoubtedly reply emails, do informational interviews, get individuals prepped, do referrals for jobs and things of that nature.

The careers we have now at this time began because of The Consortium.