Editor’s Note: This is the first in our new We are EM (Monkeys Are People Too) series.
Growing up in Vilnius, Lithuania, Ruta Jaks always wanted to study in the United States. Despite her mom urging her to pursue economics, Ruta was 21 and studying journalism when she enrolled in a work/travel exchange program that took her to the Resort at Squaw Creek near Lake Tahoe. It was a program that was supposed to keep her in the states for only four months, but she instead decided to stay and build her American Dream. She soon received a scholarship to Mills College where she took her mom’s advice and studied business and economics, which she loved, writing a thesis on behavioral finance that investigated Eugene Fama’s efficient market hypothesis as well as Richard Thaler’s work on market inefficiencies.
Financially Focused Marketing Manager
Having interned with Morgan Stanley while at Mills, she went to work there full-time after graduation, building their brand and developing digital marketing strategies. She soon moved to BGI as an online tools and data specialist focusing on their emerging iShares product. Within four years the company enjoyed extraordinary growth, allowing Ruta to take on more complex projects, including a move into sales which fulfilled her desire for closer proximity to her clients.
She then was recruited by Charles Schwab where she was a senior product marketing manager responsible for various client acquisition marketing strategies and programs while launching their proprietary exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Over two years, working closely with the sales and product teams, she managed collateral and content for three websites, direct marketing email campaigns, educational webinars, events, and international conferences. Next she was an online channel marketing manager at RS Investments before finally entering the world of consulting where she’s worked with smaller ETF companies focusing on product, marketing, and budgeting analysis.
Consulting for Conversions
Ruta’s expertise is deep and varied, spanning product messaging and positioning, awareness and lead generation, project management, sale cycle evolution, online campaign management, forecasting and reporting, and investment management. Her wealth of experience over the years has left her with a love of cross-functional work; some of her favorite projects have included those that begin by researching and understanding what is important to potential clients, evaluating and improving product offerings, creating and implementing cross-channel marketing strategies, and ensuring that the efforts of the sales, product, and marketing teams work harmoniously towards successful conversions.
Ruta is increasingly interested in exploring the tech industry and marrying her fiscal skills with their emerging financial sector. Open to both established companies and startups, she’s drawn to their open and innovative cultures and feels they would be a great place to showcase her skills. Her combination of strong character, resilience, and an exceptional work ethic make her ideally suited to their fast paced environments.
Always in Motion
When she’s not working Ruta loves to explore the beautiful natural surroundings of the Bay Area on her Trek 5000 road bike. A cyclist for the last seven years, she raised over $5,000 as part of the AIDS/LifeCycle ride, “an incredible, life-changing experience.” More locally, Nicasio Road near Pt. Reyes serves as her favorite ride, and she even had the good fortune of attending the final stage of the 2006 Tour de France in Paris. When she’s not riding, she loves to keep moving through her Bikram yoga and Ecstatic Dance hobbies. She only knows one mode: go.