Georgia College Front Page

Under 30: Lauren Gist

Age: 25  //

Occupation: Account Executive, iHeart Media  //

Major at GC: Marketing Minor: Management


Tell me a little bit about why you came to Georgia College.

It’s kind of funny, I had already picked another school and I thought I was going somewhere else. When I got my acceptance letter from Georgia College I hadn’t even been to visit yet, but after I got the letter, I came down and visited and fell in love with the campus. I loved the small town feel of it, how intimate it was—everything about the atmosphere was really appealing to me and not as overwhelming as some of the bigger schools. The smaller class sizes were a selling point. Being able to have those relationships with your professors where you’re not in class in an auditorium was great. 


Do you have a favorite memory from your time at GC?

The year that my Kappa Delta pledge sister and good friend won Homecoming queen – that was pretty awesome.

The other is actually graduation, which a lot of people might tell you is their worst memory from that year because it was practically monsooning outside. It was the worst weather ever, but I was really happy because my family and my friends stuck it out. People were sitting through pouring down rain for that, so I was pretty proud. That’s something that is going to stay in my mind forever.


What was your journey like post-grad?

Right after college I did a 6-month internship at Northside Hospital in Atlanta and I was in their marketing department doing copywriting and things more on the creative side. I was itching to get out of Atlanta and try something new, change the scenery, get out on my own, so I starting applying to jobs in some places that aren’t too far away, but just far enough to get away. I accepted a position in Charlotte with an industrial packaging company doing market research. It was a great learning experience because it was a smaller company and I got to wear a lot of different hats—I was in marketing, I was in sales, I was on the creative side, even in production a little bit helping with planning. But it wasn’t really what I wanted to do.

I was actually at a networking event when I met someone who hired for iHeart. I connected with her and they reached out to me about an opening they had, so I interviewed and I got it! It turned out that it was a good fit for me. I’ve been here a couple of years now and it’s a dream job. I’m grateful to be here.


What is the most exciting thing about your job?

It’s an environment that’s like no other, to say the least. We have a lot of fun while we work, which a lot of people can’t say. I actually enjoy getting up every day to go to work.

It’s kind of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We get to go to concerts and meet a lot of cool people, some celebrities.


What does your typical day look like?

As an Account Executive I’m managing accounts, selling advertising, and presenting proposals. So day-to-day is a lot of face-to-face client interaction. I spend a lot of time talking to people face-to-face or on the phone reviewing their plans and what kind of results they see, then I tailor marketing plans for those clients.


Any cool stories?

My first year here, one of our incentives was if we met a certain threshold we could win a trip to the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas. That was pretty cool because I won and I was one of the few to win. I got an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas and got to bring my best friend with me and have VIP access. It was a lot of fun.


What would you consider your biggest success?

There’s just a handful of people who work here who are around my age. Most of our team is seasoned representatives who’ve been doing this for 20-30 years. I’ve been pretty successful here: I’ve won a lot of awards, been recognized for a different things. I’m proud to be part of that millennial group that people frown upon and say we don’t like to work very hard – to kind of be one that’s proving that’s not true. I’m proud of the fact that some of us “young guns” are out here doing OK.


Any advice for current marketing students?

Stay in touch with some of those professors. Once you get out into the “real world” – and yes, our parents and teachers have always been telling us “it’s all about who you know” – but that actually is true. There are going to be a million people graduating at the same time as you, trying to get the same jobs and trying to get into the same programs as you are, so try to stay connected with your advisors and professors. I think that was something that helped me a lot: reaching back out to teachers for referrals and having them look at my résumé, staying connected to them on LinkedIn, reaching out to them about different opportunities, especially right after college when you’re on the job hunt. They do have connections and they do know people.

Take advantage of those relationships and also take advantage of the resources the business school has and resume-building classes. I know it sounds lame, but go to one of those parties they have in Atkinson that give you pizza and show you how to write a cover letter. You’d be surprised: when the time comes you’ll say “Oh. How do I do this?’ or you may not realize that someone could have helped you before. 


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