This year FIMSSC is excited to bring you a series of Alumni profiles to showcase what Information and Media Studies graduates have gone on to do after finishing their degree.
The second alumna we have the pleasure of introducing to you is M.I.T. class of 2002 graduate Christine Cruz-Clarke in the following interview by Jessica Pirraglia.
Christine Cruz-Clarke – Taking a FIMS Education to the Market
Bachelor of Arts – Media, Information and Technoculture
Class of 2002
What are you currently doing and how did you get there?
The FIMS internship program introduced me to my first real-world work experience at Kraft Foods working on both KraftCanada.com and the corporate intranet.
To gain broader industry experience following graduation, I decided to pursue a career in Management Consulting with Deloitte where I was part of the Customer Relationship Management practice assisting companies in Telecommunications, Health Care and Banking. While I enjoyed the ever-changing work environment and ongoing travel, my love for consumer marketing led me back to Kraft Foods to manage the award-winning ‘Recipes By Email’ program for North America. This role gave me a deeper understanding about consumer needs and the business impact you can make when you position your product in a way that consumers ‘get’ (think 3 packs of cream cheese in a cheesecake recipe). From there, I shifted gears into Brand Marketing which has given me the chance to work on a number of amazing campaigns using tactics like TV commercials, print ads, PR, social media and experiential marketing. Some of the brands I have worked on include Kool-Aid, Thinsations, Del Monte, Peek Freans and Mr. Christie. Presently, I work for The Hershey Company creating sweet Easter and Halloween treats for a portfolio of confectionery brands including Reese, Oh Henry!, Hershey’s, Twizzlers and Jolly Rancher.
What is your favorite or most memorable FIMS course and/or professor?
The course list has evolved tremendously over the past 10 years since I was last an MIT student. Thinking back, one project in particular stands out not because of the mark I received, but because of the experience I gained. Our professor encouraged learning by doing and the assignment involved taking out a simple classified ad in The Gazette, publishing a known fallacy. Without getting in to any specifics, I can tell you that the simple one line ad turned into a campus-wide controversy demonstrating how impactful media can really be.
How has your FIMS degree and experiences at Western contributed to your current career endeavors?
MIT taught me how to think critically about the impact of new media on society. This skill has served me well throughout my career as it has guided how I approach business problems and how I think of ways I can action on consumer insights.
Critical thinking is a highly transferable skill that we all continue to hone well beyond our FIMS days.
What advice do you have for current students?
Meet as many people as you can, and gain experience where you can. You never know where or to whom a path will lead.