The Black Glass founder/ former Deloitte partner shares game-winning tips that earned her a seat at a global agency during a market recession
The COVID-19 pandemic may mean a leaner job market for college graduates entering the marketing and advertising field. Still, award-winning industry executive Katie Klumper has the game-changing tips necessary to land a position like a pro. AdWeeks’ “Top 50 Indispensable Marketing and Media Executives” and Direct Marketing News’ listed “Top 40 Under 40” Katie Klumper is the multi-talented, self-starting founder/ managing partner of Black Glass, a New York-based, commercially focused marketing consultancy serving clients like BMW. With no 4-year degree or “formal” credentials, Klumper navigated the 2008 market crash as an entry-level associate, climbing her way up the ranks to President of KBS (Kirschenbaum, Bond, Senecal & Partners) in just seven years, followed by a Partner position at Deloitte. Now, she shares the time-tested tips that got her foot in the door of a multi-million dollar global advertising agency during one of the nation’s most devastating recessions armed with nothing but a high school diploma and an unwavering faith in herself.
“This year’s entry-level applicants will need a lot more support from all of us in the industry to overcome some of the recent job market stats,” explains Klumper. “But there are also resourceful things graduates can do right now to help increase their odds of success and prepare to take full advantage of opportunities when they arise.”
Klumper landed her first job, not from interviewing, applying to Monster.com, or attending a job fair. Instead, opportunity came knocking during a school luncheon, when her mom – an original entrepreneurial hustler selling everything from Tupperware to Mary Kay – bluntly suggested to the then-president of multinational Grey Advertising that he hire her daughter. “I literally could not crawl under the table fast enough,” Klumper recalls. “I realize now, though, how incredibly lucky and privileged I was to break into a notoriously competitive industry by pure coincidence and hustle, with nothing but a diploma in hand.”
According to educationdata.org, a total of 3,898,000 marketing and advertising graduates will enter a 2020 playing field where entry-level positions have fallen as much as 73% (ZipRecruiter.com), with internship openings declining similarly. Here are Klumper’s tips for making the most of the lean market:
Build a network – Think of everyone you know as a potential hirer—network formally through alumni, LinkedIn.com, and platforms like https://lunchclub.ai. Also, treat your neighbor, local business, and friends-of-friends as people who could open a door for you. Your network becomes a lot stronger and broader when you start to leverage both your personal AND professional circles.
Know your audience – Marketing is all about knowing your target audience. Why should looking for a job be any different? Know who you are meeting with, read their articles and posts, brush up on their interests. The ability to build a meaningful connection is the most critical asset to landing a job. Training is essential, but demonstrating insightful skills can differentiate you from everyone else.
Ask – Had my mom not asked for the job, I would have walked away from a significant lead without even following up. While not everyone is hiring, you can always ask if they might introduce you to someone who is; a good rule of thumb is always to try to leave a meeting with another meeting in hand.
Live generously – Focus on how you can help others, whether it’s reciprocating an introduction or helping with research. When you live generously, good things happen. It may not be today or tomorrow, but people remember those who lead with generosity, and that good spirit will carry you forward.
When in doubt, call mom – There are days when we get it all wrong. Lean on your family and friends to help you navigate your career path. They know you best, they will lift you, and they will be there to celebrate when you land that dream job.
Black Glass is also actively seeking interns and junior-level applicants. Learn more about Klumper and her next-level advertising and marketing approach at BlackGlassCo.com and on Instagram @KKlumper.
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About Katie Klumper:
Canadian-born mompreneur Katie Klumper is the multi-talented, self-starting founder/ managing partner of Black Glass, a New York-based, commercially focused marketing consultancy agile enough to act as a true strategic ally to a growing roster of heavy-hitting clients. For 15 years, Klumper has driven powerful industry change as one of the most underestimated forces in a notoriously competitive field. Starting from nothing, she built a name for herself by holding firm to a belief in using her voice for the greater good and playing bold to win big. In just seven years, she climbed her way up the ranks to President of KBS (Kirschenbaum, Bond, Senecal & Partners), followed by Partner at Deloitte. Throughout an award-winning career, she continues to prove that women can lead in the business world with both ambition and innovation. A steadfast “sink or swim” attitude and uncanny ability to thrive amid seemingly impossible odds have earned her a spot among AdWeeks’ “Top 50 Indispensable Marketing and Media Executives” and Direct Marketing News’ list of “Top 40 Under 40.” When she isn’t crafting insightful marketing strategies, Klumper can be found spending time with her husband and two kids. They also partner in her latest passion project: Smaak Flavor Sauce – a family-run brand breaking down cultural barriers by bringing a wider variety of tastes to the American table. Learn more about Klumper and her next-level advertising and marketing approach at BlackGlassCo.com and on Instagram @KKlumper.