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IRi Booth Marketing Club Trek
IRi Booth Marketing Club Trek

I’m in my second year at Booth, and this was already my third Marketing Trek. I’ve never given up the chance to be on a Marketing trek since I joined! What better way to complement classroom learning, than with real time interaction with senior leaders at leading firms in Chicago.

As trek lead with fellow Booth Marketing Club co-chairs, we focused the theme of this marketing trek to be centered around Marketing in Technology. With help from Kilts Center for Marketing, we narrowed our picks to IRI, Pinterest, and DocuSign. The goal of the trek was three-fold – understand corporate culture, understand roles and responsibilities, and get a sense of marketing and business strategy at each firm, so students can gauge fit and potentially position themselves as candidates for employment. Full-time student, Maud Timmermans, also pointed out that these firms that we were visiting didn’t come on campus for recruiting. Hence, the trek was an ideal opportunity for students to learn about each firm, and to ask questions – and ask we did!

So, on October 18, in 18°C weather, 18 Booth MBA students assembled at IRI at 9:30 am, eager to kick start the trek and to meet with several Booth alumni and IRI executives. We were greeted by Jeanne Livelsberger, senior executive at IRI, who took us to the main conference room for the presentation. The presentation got down to the core principles and solutions offered by IRI that helped us understand exactly what IRI does. We touched upon key concepts, such as the distinction between a shopper and a consumer and why the distinction was important, interactions between retailers, manufacturers, media and shoppers and how this relationship is constantly changing, and much more. The presentation was also accompanied by a live demo of IRI Liquid Data – the proprietary data cloud and visualization platform that IRI clients use to draw insights from their data – to see firsthand and to appreciate the really cool work happening at IRI. We ended our visit with an engaging Q&A session with several senior leaders at IRI.

Pinterest Booth Marketing Club Trek

After a quick stop for lunch in the hustle and bustle of the French Market, we came to our second highly anticipated stop – Pinterest! We were greeted by Carrie Sweeny, ‘11, who took questions from us and hosted a very informal information exchange session. Carrie gave us a brief background on what brought her to Pinterest and her very own Pinterest story. We then touched upon various roles in Pinterest in Chicago versus San Francisco, including Product Management, Product Marketing, Engineering, Sales, Measurement, and Creative Strategy. In her talk, she highlighted various intra-corporate interactions that helped students understand work culture at Pinterest. Carrie also took several questions from students regarding Pinterest strategy, how Pinners behave on the platform, and what that meant to Pinterest for marketing and advertising. We finished our session with a fresh perspective on Pinterest and its culture.

Our final stop – DocuSign! It is one thing to read articles online and do research about a firm, and a whole other thing to live an experience and to learn about a firm by speaking with senior executives at that firm. Despite being the last stop, the visit to DocuSign was a breath of freshness and energy. We were greeted by Lavanya Ravishankar, a University of Chicago alum, who walked us in and introduced us to the leaders at the firm. As we walked in, you couldn’t help but notice the guitars on the walls, and the open collaborative spaces in which everyone worked. There was a lot of excitement in the air, and the presentation that followed lived up to it.

After Lavanya helped kickoff the presentation, Jeff Piper, COO, stepped in and talked about how the office—up until November 2018—had been SpringCM. He then shed light on positioning and strategy, the successful acquisition of SpringCM by DocuSign, and the impact this acquisition had on culture and collaboration. Justin Engelland, Senior Director and Head of Industry Marketing at DocuSign, then brought attention to Marketing and Marketing Management at DocuSign. We touched upon market segmentation, roles and responsibilities, a day in the life of a marketing manager, and touched upon the solutions offered, the agreement cloud, and the transformation that was taking place in the industry vis-a-vis the agreement process. We then got to engage with recent hires and marketing managers at DocuSign in a panel style Q&A session. Students really appreciated the clarity and depth of information that was provided.

2019 Fall Booth Marketing Club Trek
2019 Fall Booth Marketing Club Trek

We ended our trek with Jeff Piper talking to Booth students and answering questions. It was an amazing end to a long day of learning, experiencing and networking. A special thanks to Kilts Center of Marketing for providing the necessary contacts to make this trek a reality!

To learn more about future events and programming from the Kilts Center and to engage with the Chicago Booth marketing community, connect with the Kilts Center on LinkedIn.

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