I live in the creative, fast-paced intersection between technology, marketing, and management. It’s a bit of a tightrope walk. One day I’m sketching out wireframes and discussing docker framework with full stack developers as we manage more than 30 websites together. The next I’m brainstorming creative marketing campaigns with program directors and executives charged with 20% growth goals year over year. As a Website Marketing Manager, I walk that line every day while co-leading a team of staff and interns at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business.

 

Website UX + Strategy

I was recruited to manage the websites at the University of Utah's David Eccles School of Business in 2016, with the initial goal of migrating the sites from Drupal to WordPress. I was new to higher ed, so I spent hours benchmarking against top business school websites and creating a big picture road map. I worked closely with our web developer to design an architecture that would create a unified look and feel, while allowing programs to have their own content and navigation. Then I spent long days and nights migrating content, re-writing copy, re-shooting photos, and writing SEO in our WordPress sandbox. Three months after I started, we launched Eccles.Utah.edu. Not only was our new site responsive and optimized, but we earned a 41% increase in organic sessions and a 22% increase in organic pages per session within one year.

Marketing Strategy + Execution

I understand business goals and the pressure to continually compete against the very best. When I’m not working on websites, I meet with directors to discuss their business goals. Some come to the table with a clear idea for a marketing campaign. Others come in with nothing. 

When one of my accounts came to me for help with $2,500 recruitment budget, I knew we needed to stay lean and smart. We launched a paid advertising campaign and conducted daily analysis to optimize ads, increase lead quality and continually improve results. As a result of the campaign, six people applied to the program and to the Eccles School – an estimated 11,394% return on our investment.

Management + Leadership

One of the most rewarding parts of my current role is co-managing a fantastic team of staff and interns. Together, the Associate Director of Marketing and I have more than doubled our team in two years. I mentor each of my direct reports monthly, offering guidance for sticky political situations, and if needed, supporting them in those situations. I’m a team player, through and through.

Ten years in higher education, advertising agencies, and non-profits has offered me opportunities to learn a wide breadth of roles and responsibilities. As such, I have had opportunities to partake in a variety of roles from designing digital experiences and leading teams, to staying late to proofread an RFP or set up chairs at an event. I know what ‘all hands on deck’ means and I love being involved in every part of the creative process. 

Website Marketing Manager
David Eccles School of Business | University of Utah
02.2016 - Present

  • Lead the design, user experience (UX) and strategy for all Eccles School websites, earning a 41% increase in organic sessions and 22% increase in organic pages per session in two years
  • Develop, interpret, and execute clear marketing strategies and tactical campaigns for school-wide programs, owning implementation from ideation to execution and reporting
  • Lead and manage four direct reports, guiding and mentoring staff and interns through sticky political situations, and if needed, supporting them in those situations 

Social Media Influencer
General Mills, Inc
09.2013 – 07.2015

  • Crafted video and photo content for Nature Valley Granola Bars to help increase Instagram followers by 25% and increase engagement by 33%

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Project Manager
Colle + McVoy Advertising Agency
01.2013 - 01.2015

  • Managed award-winning print, digital, and brand campaigns for WinField, Explore Minnesota Tourism, Purina Veterinary Diet, and Land O’Lakes, using scrum framework
  • Forecasted work and provided creative solutions when problems arose, minimizing impact on quality, cost, and schedule
  • Tracked progress and created reports in MS Project

Marketing Specialist
Embracing Children Adoption Services
12.2011 – 01.2013

  • Conceptualized, planned, and directed a large scale fundraising event with 272% return on investment (ROI)
  • Directed full organizational rebrand including logo, messaging, and web presence
  • Optimized organization's website, rewriting content for more than 60 webpages, leading to a 24% increase in web sessions
  • Developed messaging standards on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, increasing reach by 40%
  • Recruited and managed two design interns

Project Manager
MLT Group Advertising Agency
10.2009 – 03.2011

  • Client facing lead project manager, overseeing more than 100 brand, web, SEO, and print projects
  • Created social media strategies and brand guidelines for clients

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AmeriCorps VISTA* Marketing Associate
Ashoka's Youth Venture
09.2008 - 09.2009

  • Recruited and mentored teenagers to launch their own non-profits
  • Co-directed inaugural fundraising event, managing peers, recruiting sponsorships and donations, and exceeding monetary goal by 28%
  • Learned HTML and used it to update company website
  • Wrote press releases, print publications, and contributed to monthly e-newsletter

Education and Certifications

Ever since I was nine years old and my parents started taking away my books as a punishment, I have loved learning. Fast forward twenty years to now, where I am pursuing my Masters of Science in Information Systems on the side. And though I don’t sneak books to bed anymore, I am sneaking in extra coding languages by teaching myself Python, Javascript, and CSS. Can't stop, won't stop.

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University of Minnesota logo

Masters of Science: Information Systems
University of Utah  |  Exp. 05.2019
Emphases: Software + Systems Architecture, Business Intelligence + Analytics
 

Bachelor of Arts:  Strategic Communication, Advertising
University of Minnesota  |  05.2008
Emphasis: Advertising

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Google Analytics Certification
Higher Ed Web Association
06.2018

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User Experience Design Circuit
General Assembly
09.2016

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MS Project Certification
Microsoft
11.2014

Sharp. Creative. Grounded. Committed. She is a quick-study, returns with useful ideas and viable strategies for implementation. Great follow-up and follow-through.
— Dave Beal | Director, United Way (Client)
Elizabeth is one of those people you have on your team that makes you want to be better. She is smart, full of compassion, has legions of followers and has a great respect for the creative process. Because of who she is, people go the extra mile on her teams.
— Shannon Davis | SVP, Publicis North America
She manages stressful projects in an upbeat and tactful way that makes working on assignments with her not only extremely productive but also enjoyable. She is the kind of person who will take on any hurdle and look at it as an opportunity to help her team, learn new skills and meet new people.
— Nicole Van Slyke | Animator
From the first phone call I had with Elizabeth, I knew she was good. She stepped into the middle of a potentially chaotic project and immediately brought a calm, clear focus. As she led the project to completion, she showed herself to be a natural collaborator who could distill many different opinions into a strong, finished product.
— Julie Rybarczyk | Copywriter
Throughout my internship, she has taught me a ton about marketing, websites, design, and more. I really value this experience and I am grateful to have had Elizabeth as my role model throughout this process. She’s the best!
— Jeff Wang | M+C Intern, David Eccles School of Business
Elizabeth has a knack for dealing with people, whether they are coworkers or clients. She was flexible in exploring alternatives that could benefit the web sites we were helping to create.
— Bob Freund | Copywriter
When Elizabeth started with the school our website was based on the Drupal platform which was antiquated and didn’t provide a user friendly mobile experience. She worked hard to roll out a strategy to transition to the Wordpress platform. Our website has never looked (and felt) so good!
— Nate Zwart | Assistant Director, David Eccles School of Business
I respect her drive and dedication and she has made me better at my job by always double checking my work.
— Eric Reynolds | Web Designer, Programmer
Elizabeth strikes an excellent balance between being personable and being professional, and works with passion to deliver excellent services and outcomes.
— Randal Thomas | Medical Director, Mayo Clinic (Client)

For seven years I had one massive, relentless dream: to climb, trek, and volunteer on a solo, open trip around the world. 

And on January 7, 2015, after a lot of saving, encouragement, and second-hand...well, everything, I finally boarded a plane to Bangkok on a one-way ticket. 

There were times on my trip when I questioned that dream, like when I couldn't stop throwing up in Thailand, or when I was pinned under a kayak in a tunnel in Vietnam, or all the times I had bed bugs, rashes, infections, heat stroke, lice, giardia, altitude sickness, and climbing injuries.

But then I thought about the time when a kind Nepalese woman invited me into her home, her generosity moving me to tears, and I swore I would forever pay that forward. Or the time I missed my bus in Slovakia and this sweet couple noticed, and brought me a cup of tea while I waited.  And all those nights spent sleeping on a Delta boat in Vietnam, when we would jump off the upper deck and swim in the bioluminescent plankton, and I thought we had to be the luckiest people in the world. Each of those moments filled me up, righting my perspective, and giving me a little more fuel to keep going.

I learned a lot that year, but after all of it the one thing that still sticks with me is this: this planet is jam-packed with unbelievably kind, playful, and generous people. For all the directions that turned into accompanying me to my bus stop, the email introductions that turned into dinner and a spare couch, the seemingly random conversations that turned into wild adventures and lifelong friendships - I'm so, so grateful.

Check some stories below or click here to read my entire blog.

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