Every piece of content created by a brand tells a story. Every touch point they create—every interaction a customer has—sends a message about who that company is and what kind of a product they offer.
As a digital marketer for first Vineyard Vines and now Under Armour, Elise Sondheim ’15 knows this better than most.
She has seen first-hand how important it is for companies to curate their user experience and create authentic and meaningful interactions with their audiences.
“It’s a lot of understanding what people are looking for,” Sondheim said. “You really have to understand each and every engagement you have with your audience and how each one can ladder back into building a relationship that in turn creates value for you.”
It started with a few innocuous connections between her major courses of study.
“Being able to study both psychology and organizations at a comparable level with a critical thinking mindset allowed me to see how I could apply human behavior to the business world and learn how businesses interact with consumers,” Sondheim said. “It was never something that I thought I would do professionally, but it ended up being something that I was really passionate about that I continue to examine today.”
Sondheim’s realizations are reflective of the liberal arts context in which the Gettysburg curriculum is structured. It is set up to encourage students to ask questions, challenge assumptions, and make connections between their classes and experiences. Not only does this set students up for a lifetime of innovative thinking, but it also inspires positive action in everything they do.
Sondheim built on her academic connections through invaluable internships, first with an international trade and development company while studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, and then with the College’s Office of Communications and Marketing.
After her graduation, she worked with Vineyard Vines before accepting a position at the Baltimore, Maryland headquarters of Under Armour, a brand known for their relentless pursuit of innovative performance apparel. It was a trait that appealed to Sondheim, having recognized her own ability to think in new and unconventional ways while at Gettysburg.
One such project Sondheim completed illustrates the impact innovative thinking has had on her career. After recognizing a gap in marketing to existing consumers during a high shopping time while at Vineyard Vines, Sondheim came up with an email strategy to engage them that paid dividends.
“When I pointed out this gap to my team, we were able to come up with executional steps to leverage technology that we are already using and interactions we are already having to bridge the gap and get the most value out of our assets,” Sondheim explained. “As a result, we had an incredibly successful cyber week. That is one of my biggest success moments, one that I now use as a starting point for all campaigns I create.”
While the field isn’t one that Sondheim saw herself entering into when she first started College, it’s one that she is glad she’s found. It provides her with the ability to continue learning in ways that keep her enthralled with her work.
“Everything in the industry is always changing,” said Sondheim. “Staying up-to date and ahead of the trends is essential. I’ve become really interested in the digital landscape of human interaction and the blend of social and media. I’m constantly applying what we are already doing and what we are good at to what’s coming next and where the trends are going. That’s what keeps the work so exciting and rewarding.”