Beginnings from Boston

Who would have thought that my journey at McGowan Marketing all started with a school project?!

Well, kind of.

It was my first semester at the University of Edinburgh as an international student from Boston, Massachusetts. 350 students, including myself, were crammed into this huge introductory class named “Global Challenges for Business”, where half of the final mark was based on a project about, well, a business and a challenge (pretty clever, right?). Even though groups only consisted of 4 students, I luckily found myself working with Lara McGowan.

What started as hours of project work soon developed into late nights at my flat eating Thanksgiving Dinner, and long, fun talks including my flatmates. The friendship further evolved when Lara posted information about her family’s business(es) on social media and I responded with a joke about hiring me for the summer.

And, as they say, the rest is history!

When I first researched McGowan Marketing, I immediately got this sense of genuine, supportive, and bright energy. It is clear that the connections present in friendships and families, especially between female generations, are very intertwined with both McGowan Marketing’s background and current principles.

I was (and continue to be) very impressed with the agency’s ability to be versatile and professional, yet, based on the case studies, thoughtful. Interestingly enough, the values that seem to drive McGowan Marketing, including loyalty and enthusiasm, mirror the values I have come to respect most in Lara (or, as I know her now, “favourite daughter”).

With that being said, it is quite easy to understand why I am very excited about joining the team! But, how will I contribute?

Luckily, I have developed a passion for market research and communications. This past semester I had the wonderful opportunity to join the University’s Investment and Trading Club, where students pick a sector, research the market, and are placed into groups to pitch a stock of their choosing to a committee of fouth years. In my group, I was in charge of the strategic analysis, where I did market research and reported on the competitive advantages of our company. Despite our pitch of Norweigan Cruise Lines not getting picked (for obvious reasons), I still really enjoyed the process.

Taking on various leadership positions in my community growing up, such as being a member of my high school’s student council, or getting to work with the head of sales at my past part-time job, allowed me to get a glimpse into the world of advertising and selling. Although these involved somewhat introductory tasks, such as using social media to publicize events or sending out monthly council newsletters, I always enjoyed my work and found myself excited to learn more!

Given my current position as a first-year student, my marketing knowledge stems mostly from self-study and my limited past experiences.

To me, marketing is identifying and evaluating the needs or wants of your customers, and utilizing this knowledge to grow and strengthen a business. As a marketing agency, McGowan Marketing helps other businesses achieve this goal, whether it be through training, brand development, event planning, etc. I think that this surface-level definition will stand true throughout my internship experience, but I also anticipate that there are a lot more complexities beyond the textbook. I have yet to pinpoint what these are exactly though…

And, last but not least, the song I chose for this blog post is “Count on Me” by Bruno Mars. The song’s upbeat rhythm, as well as its down to earth and genuine message, perfectly represent McGowan Marketing (well, as I currently know it)!

Thanks again to Emily and Lara for this opportunity 🙂 Although the marketing world is new to me, I am very excited to learn and grow as an intern at McGowan Marketing. I cannot wait to see what this experience brings me!

– Laura