Grad calls NYC home while working for Michigan Marketing Agency: March’s aMaizeing Alumni

By Alexis Menard On March 25, 2020 3:45 PM

Alumna, Ariees Spangler, graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing. During her time at UM-Flint, she worked for the EDA University Center, 100K Ideas and participated in a wide variety of extracurricular activities such as the Cheerleading Club, Women’s Lacrosse Club, and Beta Gamma Sigma. She currently operates her own photography business and lives in New York City while working remotely for a Michigan based digital marketing agency. As our featured Alumni of the month, Ariees will give insight to her experiences at UM-Flint, how she fell into the social media world, and advice on pursuing a career in social media and marketing!

Q: Degree(s) and graduation year:
A: I received my BBA in Marketing from UM-Flint’s School of Management in December 2017.

Q: Pursuing another degree?
A: I’m not pursuing another degree at the moment, but I have plans to in the future. Education is valuable and I enjoy learning and challenging myself to grow.

Q: Where are you currently working and your title? How long have you been in this position or at this organization? What is your normal day to day?
A: I work as a social media manager for a small digital marketing agency in Howell, Michigan. I’ve worked with the agency for two years and I love what I do. My day-to-day responsibilities range from strategy development and implementation to content creation. I’m also responsible for managing online relationships and analyzing campaign data for each of our clients.

Q: Why did you choose UM-Flint for your BBA?
A: Initially, I chose UM-Flint because it was close to home. I had plans to transfer after my sophomore year but became so attached that I decided to stay. The city, my professors, and my classmates all played a role in my decision to continue my education there.

As time went on, I grew to love the grit and determination of the Flint community. Between my time at UM-Flint and my internship experience downtown, I spent a lot of time in the city. It has so much to offer and I’m happy I stayed to experience it.

Q: What is one of your favorite experiences at UM-Flint?
A: During my senior year, I had the opportunity to work for the EDA University Center. We had lots of laughs and I was happy to work in a position that kept me involved on campus. I always looked forward to my time there and built relationships that I’m still grateful for today.

Q: Why did you choose to go into the career path you are currently in?
A: Honestly, I sort of fell into it. During my senior year, I worked at 100K Ideas in downtown Flint. The organization was launching at the time, so we had no online presence. Since I studied marketing, our social media accounts became my responsibility. I enjoyed the work I did and decided to follow that career path after graduation.

Q: What is one of your proudest accomplishments so far?
A: It’s small, but one of my proudest accomplishments was building a photography business while pursuing an education and beginning my career. It wasn’t always easy, and there were times I felt like I couldn’t do it, but hard work and tenacity made it happen. I learned a lot throughout the processes, and the skills I developed were valuable to the position I hold today.

Q: What advice would you give students that are thinking of pursuing a career in marketing/social media?
A: Marketing is a dynamic, diverse field with a spot for everyone. If you haven’t already, analyze your strengths and determine what you’re passionate about. Someone who excels in content marketing may not have the skills required for a market research position. Build relationships with your professors and peers, ask questions, explore different internship opportunities, and take advantage of everything the School of Management has to offer.

To those pursuing a career in social media marketing—work on building a portfolio now. Chances are, employers want to see what you can do before they hire you. Finally, social media is an ever-changing field. Take time to stay up-to-date with trends, algorithms, and features. This knowledge will help you stay ahead!

Q: Fun Facts!
A: Last summer, I moved to New York City and had the opportunity to continue working in my position from afar. I’m passionate about photography and spend much of my free time capturing portraits for clients and experimenting with film.