Mandy Weger’s most sincere passion is to travel the world as often as she can. In order to fund that passion, she turned her writing and videography skills into a marketing career with a focus on content and storytelling. Through her career she has worked in radio, blogged while she lived in Spain, grew professionally in her four years at Campbell Soup Company and is currently working for Amazon as the Social Marketing Manager for Kindle. Mandy still puts her inner creator to work when she’s writing content, on photoshoots and in her personal life as she documents her travels.
Tell us a little about your current position and your primary responsibilities.
I recently started working at Amazon in Seattle, WA where I am the Social Marketing Manager for Kindle. I define the marketing and content strategy for our social channels based on the audiences we want to reach and engage. I work with publishers, editors and our marketing team to build a content calendar, then work with a production team and agency to photograph and shoot the images or videos. I’m always trying to find ways to make better, more engaging content that will highlight great books and features found on Kindle. One of our greatest opportunities is to connect with people over the shared love of fully immersing yourself into a good book or story. There’s a lot of fun that we can have building content that celebrates that experience.
Can you chart a path from Drexel to your current job, so we understand how you got where you are today?
I graduated right at the start of the recession in 2008 and I wanted to stay in the Philadelphia area. I was fortunate to snap up a job pretty quickly considering the overall landscape at the time. I got my start with a local radio company, Greater Media Philadelphia (now a part of Beasley Broadcast Group), where I was a marketing assistant for a few different radio stations – WMMR, WMGK, BEN-FM and ESPN. There, I found that I enjoyed writing and managing websites, which eventually led to taking another job that was more strongly rooted in web marketing and content.
In my spare time, I wrote a personal blog which saw moderate success and in 2011, I moved to Spain for my husband’s job for a year. I threw myself into creating travel content for my blog and by the time I left Spain, I was a self-sufficient content machine. I designed and built my own website, I wrote content, I shot and edited my own photos and videos and managed communications with my following via social media.
When I got back home, Campbell Soup Company in Camden, NJ was hiring and needed people like me who could create digital content. During my time at Campbell, I moved up to manage agencies, production teams and partners like Buzzfeed as the need for content became an imperative to digital marketing. I got to work on everything from commercial shoots and recipe videos to splashy PR videos with Marvel and Lucas Films for some of our character-licensed soups.
After four years at Campbell, I wanted to move on to a company where I could continue to grow and gain new experiences within digital marketing. Amazon appealed to me as a company that has changed the world on such a broad scale – I knew working at Amazon would provide some new challenges and help me hone skills in data and technology. I threw my resume into the big black hole of resumes that I’m sure Amazon gets and got a call about a month later. After a very rigorous interview process, I got the job and moved my family to Seattle.
Your job is one that didn't really exist when you graduated from Drexel. How did your time as a student prepare you for the major shifts in entertainment and social media that have occurred?
At its root, marketing is good storytelling that convinces people to buy a product they need or want. By focusing on storytelling as the foundation for marketing, I found it to be easy to transition from a screenwriting degree to a marketing profession. My time at Drexel spent on outlines, storyboards, scripts, behind the camera and in the editing room prepared me to become that content machine that was so appealing to employers. From there, it was up to me to learn the right skills that would evolve my storytelling instincts into sound marketing strategies.
I believe that there is a great need for storytellers in marketing, particularly with how much content there is in the digital space – it takes truly great storytellers to be able to cut through the clutter and connect on a human level with consumers. Recognizing a powerful story that is meaningful and relevant is one of those fundamentals that I learned at Drexel. Plus, whenever I work with copywriters or videographers, it helps that I come from a screenwriting and film background – I’m able to speak the same language and it results in stronger work.
Having the experience you do now, what's the one thing you wish you could go back and tell your undergraduate self?
I would tell myself to be more open-minded about what “success” looked like as a screenwriting major. There was an emphasis placed specifically on the film industry, which made me feel like I needed a “film career or bust” type of an attitude, but Hollywood isn’t the only industry that needs creative thinkers and storytellers. There is so much opportunity in the corporate world for a varied, interesting and lucrative career, so I wish I had spent more time thinking about how I could apply my skills outside of that very narrow definition of success.
I’ve found a lot of satisfaction in large, corporate environments like Campbell and Amazon where there are complex challenges, many teams to work with and where I’m able to see tangible and steady growth in my career. As an undergrad, I had no idea that I would find joy in that kind of an environment, but the key has been to continually challenge myself to learn new skills that are both valuable and fulfilling. That mindset of constant learning with a balance between practicality and creativity has resulted in very exciting opportunities as well as the confidence to pursue them.
Feel free to follow Mandy's adventures on YouTube: https://youtube.com/c/mandyweger
Twitter - @MandyWeger
LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/mandyweger/