What is your role as chief market officer?
My primary role is to serve my teams and provide them clear goals and objectives that align with our corporate strategies. Simply put, my role is to build a flywheel that does four things: guide, measure, inspect, iterate. From an operational level, I’m responsible for leading Bushel’s corporate marketing, product marketing, communications/PR, and customer experience functions. Bringing in the voice of our customers is a responsibility, and privilege, for my role too.
What is the best part of your job?
The people. Hands down. From my teammates, to our customers, to our partners, to our investors – it’s almost inconceivable that I get to work with such great humans who are passionate about agriculture and technology.
What were the biggest challenges of your transition from VP of marketing and customer success to chief market officer?
My career at Bushel has been an incredible growth opportunity, both personally and professionally. The hardest part of this career growth has been stepping away from “doing the doing” and doing more strategizing, analyzing, and building of systems, frameworks, and models. Seven years ago, I started as a team of one at Bushel and now I have several teams who report to me. It’s challenging because I really like “doing the doing” and being in the trenches with my teams. I still do that, but the biggest way I can help them now is by giving them clear goals and objectives and helping them navigate the fast pace of a high growth company. It’s also having the patience to work on the important, but not urgent, initiatives at work. I still have so much to learn as I take on this new responsibility at Bushel, but I have a great support system that is lifting me up, being gentle with me when I stumble, and challenging me to stretch myself even further.
How did your time at Concordia prepare you for your current work?
Concordia influenced me in two crucial ways: 1) The foundational development of critical thinking skills, and 2) The propensity and passion for lifelong learning. My liberal arts education allows me to connect more dots because I am able to simply invent more interdisciplinary dots due to my knowledge base across disciplines. I worked hard, learned as much as I could, and treated each job with respect. My critical thinking skills and love for lifelong learning helped form some important early career experiences and habits.
What is your favorite Concordia tradition?
The Concordia Christmas Concert. I love the tradition of families and friends going to that concert every year. They might go for dinner or coffee before or after, or have family and friends travel to Moorhead for the concert and make a weekend out of it. It’s a really beautiful ritual that’s specialness is augmented during the magic of the holiday season.
What advice would you give to current students at Concordia?
Definitely internships. Get your feet wet. Don’t worry about if it’s not a glamorous internship – just get experience somehow. Then I would say there is a lot of good content to read out there, but go practice and approach the work yourself. You can do this independently or you can set up your own side hustle. Ask for help, don’t wait for people to give you things to do, and go find things to do that will give you value. Just jump in, be naturally collaborative, have confidence which will really help excel you in your role. Be curious, have conversations, be curious about the business as a whole instead of just the marketing. Remember that marketers are researchers, so keep digging and be curious about the things that surround your role.
What are the benefits of staying in Fargo-Moorhead after graduation?
Fargo-Moorhead was at the beginning of its transformation when I graduated. It was great to stay here, but a lot of my classmates moved away. I am all about people getting away for a while. You should test out different places and experiences. Fargo is a fantastic place to build a career and live a life. There is such value in going to do your own things for a while. There have been more and more opportunities for people to experience their own things within the F-M area.