Michael Padula ’10

JOB TITLE: Account executive, Platform Services
LOCATION: New York, New York

What was your first position after college? My first position after college was as a high school English teacher and assistant director of residential life. After a couple years doing that, I moved into my current field, digital advertising/marketing. To gain the necessary experience in a new field, I completed a few internships in different specific areas of the industry. I was then hired as a junior brand strategist at an advertising technology company.

Has a liberal arts education helped you in shaping your career? Yes, receiving a strong liberal arts education certainly helped me develop my research, analytical, problem solving, and critical thinking skills, all of which I use on a daily basis in my current position. It played a huge role in shaping my ability to understand challenges, examine them from different points of view, and come up with creative solutions. My excellent experience at Trinity, particularly as an anthropology major, encouraged me to examine issues from multiple angles and perspectives. Specifically, in order to advance in my career, I need to be able to identify and understand the behaviors, tendencies, interests, and habits of a target group of consumers that is most likely to purchase a product I’m advertising. Without a doubt, majoring in anthropology helps me more easily place myself in the shoes of a subset of people I am trying to appeal to.

What advice would you give to Trinity students to prepare for a position in your field? My advice to someone who wants to prepare for a position in the digital advertising/marketing field is to land a meaningful, exploratory internship by networking. Then ask critical questions before you accept and/or start the internship. Make sure that the internship won’t be a waste of your or your employer’s time. Will you have opportunities to work on meaningful projects? Will you have access to people at the company who can tell you about what they do on a day-to-day basis to help you determine what specific area of the industry you may or may not like? If a full-time job offer after you complete your internship is not likely, will you still be equipping yourself with valuable experience to make yourself a more attractive applicant to other companies?

What is the biggest misconception about your field? The biggest misconception about my field is that in order to advance your career, you need to hop around from company to company, not staying at the same company for more than a couple years. While this may be true in some cases, a lot of companies look to promote from within, invest in developing their employees, and value employee loyalty when deserved.