On the evening of March 26, BU alumna Angela Godfrey returned to COM to give a presentation to current students on “The Power of Relationships in Advertising.” Godfrey graduated from BU in 2011 and is now the VP Marketing Director at Arnold Worldwide.
“Not long ago, I was in your shoes, so it feels extremely awkward to be on this side of the podium,” expressed Godfrey, who had been one of the first staff members at The COMmunicator. “The COMmunicator inspired me to write, which I loved, and to start my own blog. This was at the rise of Twitter. Someone had found my blog, reached out, and questioned me about being a good fit at Arnold. That helped get my foot in the door and succeed.”
After beginning her career at Arnold, Godfrey changed agencies to work as an account supervisor at Jack Morton, which bills itself as a “brand experience agency,” before ultimately returning to Arnold as their VP Marketing Director.
“Ultimately, it was my relationships at Arnold that brought me back. Throughout my journey, these relationships helped open up doors for me,” said Godfrey.
She then stressed the importance of having an internship before beginning your career. “Internships are like a trial run to find out what you love to do in life, and you meet many people along the way,” said Godfrey. “It is truly incredible what connections can do.”
The core of Godfrey’s presentation was then broken up into an analysis of four different groups of people every COM student will come across: classmates, colleagues, clients, and consumers. Godfrey went on to illustrate that regardless of which department or level you’re at, everyone should harness the power of relationships in their career.
Classmates: Collaborate, Don’t Compete
Godfrey explained to the crowd of BU students the importance of understanding how to help fellow classmates, rather than compete with them. She then offered some advice: “My rule of three when it comes to networking with classmates is try to attend events like this three times per month. These events can be critical and helpful to find out what you want to do when you graduate.”
Godfrey explained why it is so necessary for students to find a way to stand out from their counterparts. “Your ability to market yourselves as unique individuals should be conveyed in networking or interviews. It truly matters when you’re competing for a role,” Godfrey said. “For me, it works when it’s made super personal.”
Colleagues: Work Hard, Be Kind, and Coffee
Godfrey offered her ‘Rule of Three’ for working with colleagues:
- Work Hard – “Hard work doesn’t go unnoticed, but neither does laziness,” Godfrey explained. “No one is going to fault you when you’re giving it absolutely everything.”
- Be Kind – “It sounds simple and a given, but you would be surprised how often it goes overlooked,” said Godfrey. “There is no rooms for egos. They don’t survive.”
- Coffee – “When challenges arise and workplaces get hectic, I have found very few things cannot be solved over a cup of coffee,” said Godfrey.
Clients: Everyone Wants For Something
“‘Everyone wants for something’ is one of the best pieces of advice I’ve received from a former manager,” said Godfrey. “Understand what motivates your client and be fiercely dedicated to achieving those goals.”
Godfrey left the students with a few more short but sweet points when working with clients: to understand their ambition, to always be honest and transparent with them, and to bring to them solutions, not problems.
Consumer: Just Say Yes
“Our job is to understand the consumer, to take our brand and make a connection with them,” said Godfrey. “It’s hard to do, competing for attention, as everyone is hyper exposed to everything in the media.”
Godfrey also stressed the importance of simply saying ‘yes.’ “This has been my mantra throughout my career– to say yes, regardless of how challenging it is,” said Godfrey. “I’ve gotten opportunities that people who pass them up never get to have.”
Before closing out her presentation, Godfrey left COM students with one last piece of advice for any interns looking to be hired full time: “Be eager and be curious. I never expect my interns to know what they’re doing. I think those are the interns that are really successful. Go meet everyone else on different teams. You think you love account management but you might love strategy of new business — connect with everything. Being able to go above and beyond is important. Coming in with a unique perspective goes a long way.”
Maya Taylor, Staff Writer
Maya Taylor is currently a junior in the College of Communication studying mass communication. She was born and raised in Pennsylvania, but hopes to move to NYC after graduation to pursue her love of fashion.