What I Wish You Knew: Angela Hall
Director of Marketing
Written by Angela Hall, edited by Laura Schaefer
I am Director of Marketing for outdoor multi-use shopping centers in Fort Worth, Texas. I didn't really choose this industry, it kind of chose me! I have a strong event planning background combined with a marketing degree, and I was referred to this specific company for this specific job by an acquaintance. It's been a terrific fit for my skills so far!
Fulfillment through community building
Through my work, I get to be heavily engaged in my community and partner with local non-profits on events. Giving back and being involved is what gives me that sense of fulfillment.
The biggest challenge of my job is working with the tenants of the shopping center. Some are great to work with but others are a challenge. Those challenging tenants treat me like I am either working against them or I am their personal marketing expert, when my job really is to elevate the shopping center as a whole. I honestly didn't expect this kind of push back when I started because I know I am here to help them succeed. No regrets, but I do have to be cautious in the way I handle these tenants and try to re-build a great relationship so that I can help.
The value of an advanced degree
I got a Master of Science in Entrepreneurship. It followed a lot of the same path/basic coursework of the professional MBA but was more targeted to small business (starting one, running one, et cetera). I do think that having a master’s level degree has helped me stand out among competition and helped me to garner higher pay than someone without the degree. After I completed my degree, I saw a significant salary increase when I switched jobs – almost a 75% increase.
At Southern Methodist University, I also made great contacts between my cohort members and faculty. It's always good to know people, especially others that are driven like you. I can't really say that my current job has a whole lot to do with the new skills I learned in graduate school – related to entrepreneurship – but I know that my company views me as someone who is a strong self-starter, smart, and adaptive because I completed my degree successfully.
What I wish you knew
I do a lot of events, and event planners have a glamorous reputation for getting to do really amazing things. We do, I won't lie – I have great contacts and get fun access to things happening in my community. But, the thing most people don't know is that on event day, it's all hands on deck and you work your butt off! I usually tally over 20,000 steps on an event day, have scuffs and scrapes, am covered in dirt and sweat, and still have to look good because I might have to do an impromptu live television interview for the local news station! It's tough but the reward is so worth it when you see off a successful event.
The other thing I want to share is how burdened I am by advertising media. I get calls and emails every day from people wanting my money for advertising. They think I'm just a fountain of money! On one side, I want to build relationships with these outlets for possible partnerships and sponsorships, but I also can't advertise every month with them. Don't get me wrong, I wish I had a budget where I could advertise in all the local outlets every month but not many people are as lucky as that! I've learned a lot about media buying since starting this career.
This industry is fairly new for me, less than five years. I do like it and consider it a good mix of my skills in marketing and event planning. My career goal would be to be able to handle marketing for a bigger budget shopping center or possibly take on a role as a regional marketing director, overseeing the local marketing directors at each shopping center. Perhaps my company will acquire enough properties over the next few years to make that a reality.