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2017 Clearworks Student Innovator Guest Blogger: Alex Kass from Emory University

Attending a panel with Anna Fieler, the CMO of POPSUGAR


A few weeks ago, I had the honor of attending TMRE. A little over a month before that, I received an email about the sponsorship and I immediately applied. Little did I know, the opportunity would change everything I thought about where my career would take me and what I could learn from 3 (very packed!) days.


I left the conference with 3 main takeaways:

Quantitative market research and data science are going to be increasingly necessary and valuable in the future. As a Marketing and Film and Media Management concentration, I’ve prided myself on my “creative” and more humanities-based approach (I’ll be honest – I’m terrible at math). However, after discussing the subject with several session speakers and listening to Malcolm Gladwell’s and Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic’s keynotes (which truly changed my thinking about certain subjects forever), I developed a new perspective. Having hard, data-based evidence to back up claims will always be important, and a quantitative skillset will set someone in the job market apart from the others. Looks like I’ll need to brush up on my math and statistics skills after all!


If you put your genuine self out there and go into the networking mindset with an authentic desire to learn more about someone else’s job and company, rather than trying to get something out of the interaction, you will walk out with something much more valuable. Despite the landscape my peers and I compete in daily, networking has always made me nervous – what do I say? What’s presumptuous? How do I act normal?! However, I found that not thinking about it as “networking” but rather just truly learning more about someone and their work left me with much more to think about and helped fuel my interest.


It’s okay to pause and take time to reflect. Reflecting on what I’d learned in previous sessions not only prevented me from feeling overwhelmed, but also allowed me to think through all the new information I was taking in and adjust what I’d learned before. This also allowed me to build up the courage and confidence to ask questions during sessions (even if my heart was still pounding), and personally chat with the speakers afterwards.

One of the best sessions I attended – Sephora is definitely my favorite store (and main guilty pleasure), so I loved finding out more about its behind-the-scenes operations.

It’s one thing to learn about product and brand management in MKT 347 at Goizueta, but it’s another to be able to truly experience it with others from real brands and ask questions of those who apply their knowledge on a daily basis. TMRE gave me that opportunity and a better sense of the fields I hope to pursue in the future.




THANK YOU and goodbye to Orlando, TMRE, Clearworks and a life-changing experience!





Alex Kass is a 2017 Clearworks Student Innovator and a Junior at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. She received a full scholarship to attend TMRE. Click here to learn more this year’s students.





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