GET EMAIL UPDATES FROM POWERTOFLY
By signing up you accept the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy
BROWSE CATEGORIES
GET EMAIL UPDATES FROM POWERTOFLY
Career Advice

How This VP of Brand Marketing Found a Job at a Company with a Mission She Loves

One of Jennifer Martin's first jobs was working the front desk of the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC, where she got very good at asking one question: "How can I help you?"


She credits her earnest, honest interest in the answer to that question with her career success. "I learned everything that I ever needed to know about customer service from working at the front desk of a hotel," explains Jen. "And I quickly learned that I needed to have that guest service lens on in my career. How can I help? What can I do? How can I partner with you? I think if you're more open, people come to you because they know you're open to learning, they know you're open to relationships. They know you're open to failure."

From hospitality to client service to agency to now being an in-house marketer, Jen's career has taken her around the country and through several industries, but the role she feels most excited about is the one she has now: VP of Brand and Advertising for AI healthcare startup Olive.

Not only is she working with a company whose mission aligns with her own—discovering hidden connections that make people's lives easier—but as a mom of a child with a rare genetic disorder, she knows just how important it is to find those connections within the healthcare industry, which is ripe for innovation.

How Olive can help patients

Jen's daughter Sarah has Rett Syndrome. "She's great and healthy and thriving and beautiful—and nonverbal and works really hard to do a lot of the things that come so easily to most of us," says Jen.

Caring for her daughter has given Jen an intimate look at all of the inefficiencies and failures of the American healthcare system. "I understand from a patient perspective how difficult it is to navigate all of it," she says. "The healthcare industry is hard to understand for many people: prior authorization, claims, insurance, appointments, rattling off for the 100th time that yes, she does have an allergy to penicillin...We have so much more to do to fix the system and streamline the patient experience."

Olive is a healthcare-specific artificial intelligence solution that can help hospitals optimize administrative workflows including processing invoices, managing registration, authorizing claims, and verifying benefits. "I want to make [my daughter's] life better," explains Jen. "This is an indirect way for me to do that. I can draw a parallel if I can make another parent's experience with a hospital be more streamlined."

Staying open to new possibilities

If you'd asked Jen as she began her career where she thought she'd end up, she probably wouldn't have answered with her current role or even industry. That's been true for most of the professional transitions she's made.

While working at the Hyatt early on in her career, she started a pilot program with what was then a little startup out of Las Vegas called Expedia. Their partnership began selling 10 rooms, then 40, and then turned into a new role for Jen at Hyatt's headquarters working on building out the hotel chain's ecommerce functionality to sell their rooms directly.

Then her hospitality background was appealing to an ad agency who needed an account director for their client, United Airlines, so Jen made the switch into agencies and marketing work. She and her husband then moved from Chicago to more family-friendly Columbus, where Jen got a job with a women-owned ad agency and took on other big projects, like launching Sherwin-Williams' ecommerce business.

But when IBM bought her agency and Jen realized she was on the fast track to becoming a partner, she had a wake-up call. She was at a training retreat for to-be partners that asked participants to think through their values, and Jen realized her current work wasn't aligned with what she cared about most. "[My coworker] and I spent a lot of time talking about what we wanted in life, and it was in those moments that I realized I wanted my work to matter," she says.

She left IBM and started at a smaller, more traditional ad agency, but it wasn't a good fit for Jen's ambitions. "I knew I wanted to find something that was rooted in technology, rooted in automation—which was a passion point for me at IBM—and rooted in creating better outcomes for humans," says Jen. She also knew she wanted to be on the client side of things. "I wanted to feel good about what I was building. At the agency, you don't get to own it. You have to just build it and walk away from it. And I'm at the point now where I would like to nurture a brand and see it grow and see it become something."

A friend told her to check out Olive. "I was drawn to Olive by her mission to drive innovation within healthcare, to affect patient outcomes. Olive has a vision for how to do it and the right team in place to make it happen," says Jen.

And now Jen is overseeing Olive's major branding campaigns in cities around the country, partnering with Olive's product and sales teams to get their message out, and finally feeling really connected to the work she spends all day doing.

She left us with a few tips for how you can find work that makes you feel the same way.

3 tips for finding a company whose mission you're aligned with

1. Write down your values. "The personal has to come before the professional. Start there and really try to understand and dig deep into your own self. Figure out what matters the most to you," says Jen, who offers an example: "I can tell you that in this moment, my family matters most to me, and my daughter is certainly a huge part of that."

2. Do your research. Jen notes that she didn't follow her own advice when she left IBM for another agency. "Find the leaders within whatever company you're evaluating and follow them on LinkedIn. See what they're saying, how they position themselves, how they position their company. Find multiple leaders to get a perspective that's more holistic," she says. She also recommends looking at hashtags that matter to you and seeing which companies use those in their posts. "Look to see how diverse the leadership is. Diversity drives much better thinking within an organization, much more well-rounded thinking."

3. Be yourself. "It manifests in different ways," says Jen, who notes that especially now, in extended work-from-home setups, it's important to be able to be your true self at work and feel like others are being authentic with you, too.

Learn more about Olive, their mission, and their open roles.

Webinars

Elevating Black Women Virtual Summit: Learn more about Our Partners, Sponsors & Speakers

Learn more about our amazing speakers and sponsors at our April 2021 virtual summit Diversity Reboot: Elevating Black Women, three days of conversations and panels plus an interactive virtual career fair.

From everyone here at PowerToFly we want to extend a BIG thank you to everyone who tuned into last week's Diversity Reboot: Elevating Black Women. In case you missed a talk or you'd like to revisit one of our great conversations, don't worry, all of the fireside chats and panels will be available to watch for free on PowerToFly soon.

We were thrilled to present conversations on such important subjects as the racial wealth gap, the importance of affordable child care, how BIPOC youth are leading the way on combatting the climate crisis, the importance of black women in entrepreneurship and business, being an ally for communities outside of your own, plus tech talks, fireside chats with Black woman founders, panels with DEI leaders and much more.

We want to extend a HUGE thanks to our amazing sponsors MINDBODY, Smartsheet, NGA, Procore Technologies, S&P Global, PayPal and PwC whose support made this event possible.

Finally, don't forget to visit our Merch Store and grab yourself some PowerToFly apparel. 100% of the proceeds from our sales will be going to TransTech Social, supporting transgender people in tech.

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
S&P Global Inc

Prepare for Your Interview at S&P Global with These Tips from Recruiter Kiana Labuhn

Kiana Labuhn, Recruiter at S&P Global, shares an exclusive take on the most important tips to keep in mind when preparing for an interview.

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
Diversity & Inclusion

How Bumble’s Director of Engineering Learned to Be Herself at Work—and Encourages Team Members to Do the Same

Rose Hitchcock found out she was pregnant with her third child halfway through the process of interviewing to be Director of Engineering at Bumble.

She told the team at the social media and dating app and that didn't change their plans to hire her. "They were completely fine with it, really supportive," says Rose.

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
popular

How These 9 Companies Are Celebrating Difference This Autism Awareness or Acceptance Month

Five million adults in the U.S. have autism spectrum disorder, per the CDC. More are considered neurodivergent, which can refer to people with autism, ADHD, and dyslexia.

You've met some of them—maybe they're your family, friends, classmates, or coworkers, or perhaps you identify as neurodivergent yourself.

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
© Rebelmouse 2020