Editor’s Note: This blog is part of our new “We Are EM” series, focused on a new generation of consultants. What does employment look like for Millennials, who came of age during the internet explosion and entered the workforce during an economic recession?
Mixing Marketing and Event Managing
As a retention marketing manager at Macy’s, Kendra Perry is helping the giant department store brand overcome the retail apocalypse. Keeping customers highly engaged is her charge, and she’s really enjoying being part of Macy’s comeback.
Kendra has other hidden talents. She’s a certified project management professional, so she can optimize workflows and keep complex projects on track. Additionally, one of her passions is event planning. Through EM Marketing, she has moonlighted with event teams at top Bay Area tech brands.
What’s the biggest benefit of working full time and consulting on the side? “At Macy’s, I work with a great team and have lots of learning opportunities,” said Kendra. “Taking side projects has allowed me to stay relevant in the event space and make extra money.”
How Kendra Got Started
In a past life, Kendra hobnobbed with Hollywood celebs… or at least planned their red carpet premieres and social gatherings. Over summers and in lieu of an internship during college, she freelanced with various event planning agencies in Los Angeles. She gained tremendous experience and established herself in the entertainment industry.
Once a college grad (Go Waves!), Kendra took a marketing role with Forever 21 coordinating the design and installation of window displays with teams around the world. However fun the job was, the long-distance relationship with her boyfriend was less than ideal. They both decided to move to the Bay Area (where he’s from and interesting job opportunities are aplenty).
At this time, Kendra landed her current digital marketing job at Macy’s. She also wanted to stay relevant in event planning, but not make an entire career of it. Thanks to a serendipitous Google search, Kendra connected with EM Marketing, which has brought her part-time projects with Intuit and Sumo Logic.
Why Consulting Works
With both tech companies, the event tasks she managed could be done outside of her regular work hours. For Intuit’s QuickBooks Connect, Kendra coordinated with speakers slated for the conference. For Sumo Logic, she researched places they could host events.
“This work was super flexible. I could do it all from home,” said Kendra. “Perhaps this fits with Millennial stereotypes that we all like to work on our own hours. It aids in work-life balance to be able to manage your own schedule.”
Consulting gives her the ability to grow in multiple places at once. “I feel like the world changes so fast,” Kendra said. “You don’t know what jobs are going to be around in 10 years or if you’ll still be interested in what you do in 10 years.” Working on Intuit and Sumo Logic diversified her event and marketing experience into the business-to-business world.
How EM Marketing Helps
Kendra is thankful she met with the folks at EM Marketing. “What’s key is that they’re able to source niche roles that are extremely hard to find,” said Kendra. “Rarely does a giant company or even a well-established startup post little 10-hour per week jobs.”
What’s also beneficial is that EM Marketing has connections to so many companies. Because of already-established relationships, the client is fairly comfortable with new consultants coming in through EM Marketing. “They also remove some of the legwork, by taking care of paperwork and figuring out how to best communicate with the client,” said Kendra.
Kendra envisions herself solely doing consulting down the road, especially if she has a family. “Contract roles would be perfect because I’ll want to be able to spend time with my kids. At some point, I do hope to fully transition and focus on freelancing.” When she’s ready, we can all roll out the red carpet for her!