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The Women of Online Optimism

March is International Women’s History Month, and March 8th is International Women’s day. Marketing started as a male-dominated industry, as many industries did; however, women have made their way into the industry and left their mark. The number of women in marketing was at an all-time high in 2019, with research finding that 52% of senior-level marketers were women. In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, here’s some insight from the women of Online Optimism.

Sara Bandurian, Operations Supervisor

Sara is our Operations Supervisor and has been with Online Optimism since March 2020. She handles everything not marketing-related, including hiring and onboarding new Optimists, invoicing our clients, and keeping our team’s policies and processes organized.

Sara didn’t intend to go into marketing. She went to Wagner College and majored in Theater and Costume design. These skills came in handy when she made a great Squid Game costume that won second place in our Halloween Costume Contest. 

Though marketing wasn’t the first career choice she had in mind, Sara loves this industry:  “I love that our team can see their work and the effect it has on clients, their audience, and the community as a whole! A big motivator for employees is to see the purpose behind their work, and marketing does that. I also like coming to work each day and never quite knowing what the day will present to us.”

And to women trying to get into marketing, here is what Sara has to say:

Never sell yourself short! I handle our hiring processes and sit in on the bulk of interviews. I also conduct mock interviews with all our interns. I’ve met many talented women applicants who lack confidence in their work and achievements and are quick to apologize or downplay their accomplishments. I wish I could tell every woman that the work they’ve put in is important and valid and worth touting in their job interviews!

Madison Buck, Social Media Strategist

Madison is a Social Media Strategist and has worked at Online Optimism for nine months; she was also a former Specialist. In college, she majored in Marketing and minored in Communications.

A lot of her time is spent creating weekly content calendars for clients, monthly social media ads, Instagram stories, and brainstorming fun ideas for our company’s social channels. 

Madison also did not intend to go into Marketing. Because of her love for Criminal Minds, Madison was initially interested in forensics. But unfortunately, LSU didn’t have the career path she wanted, and marketing was something she always had in the back of her mind, so that’s the path she chose. 

Madison’s favorite thing about being a woman at Online Optimism is the supportive culture: “There’s just such a supportive environment. Whatever you need, whether it’s what chapstick to buy or where to get contraception on our insurance plan, there’s always someone to give you helpful answers.

To women looking to get into marketing, she has this to say: “Do your research, know what field interests you most. If you can, try to take free online certifications to help you learn more and boost your resume. Even if you’re not 100% qualified for the job, apply anyway because you might even get it!

Kat Green, Creative Multimedia Strategist

Kat has been working at Online Optimism since June 2021. Kat’s work involves producing video and photo content for Online Optimism and our clients. That includes pre-production (brainstorming and logistics), production, and editing. 

A recurring theme from the employees here, Kat intended to work in the film industry. However, marketing allows her to be “creative with photography and video while having steady work and keeping to normal business hours, which is great for work/life balance.

Kat is most proud of our brand new podcast Online Offscript, which you can listen to on all platforms. 

Her favorite part of being a woman at Online Optimism is:  “Building relationships with the other women here. I have been introduced to so many new things from beauty tips to new music, and I’ve found other women that I have a lot in common with, like our shared love for video games and books.”

Meara McNitt, Social Media Director

Meara is the Social Media Director and started at Online Optimism in 2017 as a Specialist. Unfortunately, after her time as a Specialist ended, there wasn’t a position available, but she was then brought back in August of 2017 as a Social Media Strategist. 

Meara supervises the social team and also serves as the lead on large client accounts. Every day she optimizes campaigns, coordinates new creative, reports on social media trends to pivot into, communicates with clients, and helps her team in whatever capacities they need.

Meara majored in Film and double minored in Marketing and Hotel, Restaurant, & Tourism. Like many others, Meara didn’t intend on entering the field until she worked in the Marketing Department at UNO and ran her sorority’s social media account. Those two things lead to her position at Online Optimism, and the rest is history. 

Though Meara does enjoy marketing, she did not anticipate the amount of math she would have to do.  “I intentionally didn’t study certain degrees I was interested in to avoid doing math, but here I am with spreadsheets and equations every day. However, I love the challenge that this position and career have given me—I’m always on my toes.

Despite it all, she loves the community the women at Online Optimism cultivate. 

Cameron Geer, Business Development Strategist

Cameron has been at Online Optimism since October of 2021. She studied Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Global Studies at Georgia State University. Her intention after graduating was to work abroad and have a job pertaining to international affairs. 

Cameron’s main priorities are Business Development and growing the company’s clientele. Her favorite thing about being a woman at Online Optimism is how many women there are. “I think having a supervisor who is also a woman helps continue to cultivate trust and open communication generating a productive and healthy work environment.”

To those looking to enter the marketing industry, Cameron says, “Work with a company that has an ethical compass. Don’t wait for someone to give you the job; learn on your own, try freelance projects (no matter how minor they may seem) for others if you’re curious.” 

Claire Escobedo, Digital Designer 

Claire was a Design Specialist in the Fall of 2018 and became a full-time employee in August of 2019. 

Claire’s day-to-day is never the same. Some of her daily priorities include website projects—creating sitemaps, designing wireframes, building the actual sites, writing custom CSS, etc. She also provides support for past clients, makes updates on Online Optimism’s site, helps out with marketing clients’ websites, and so much more. 

Claire studied graphic design at Loyola University New Orleans, and while she didn’t specifically intend to go into marketing, she knew she wanted to work at an agency because she wanted to work with a variety of clients in multiple industries. After interning with different agencies and working in-house at Loyola, she was certain that an agency was the route she wanted to take.

Her favorite thing about working in marketing is the wide variety of working with different brands and industries. However, that does come with the challenge of time management and dealing with clients who change their minds or aren’t sure what they want.

Lauren Walter, Search and Content Director

Lauren Walter

Lauren started as a Digital Marketing Specialist in 2017 and then was hired as a Content Strategist in that same year. 

As Search and Content Director, her work is divided between managing the Search & Content Department, performing Search & Content work for her clients, assisting our Growth Department, and optimizing the Search & Content Department.

As one of the longest-standing Online Optimism employees, Lauren is most proud of how much she’s learned and grown as a marketer. “When our CEO or Business Development Department turn to me for my insight or opinions, and I know that I’m providing valuable information, I feel good about how far I’ve come. Likewise, when I’m reviewing campaign results with a client, and I’ve helped them meet their goals, I feel proud of my work.”

Become a Woman in Marketing

Across the board, everyone agreed that every day in marketing is different; no matter what department you’re in, there’s always something new to learn and experience. 

You don’t have to major in Marketing or even intend to join this field to be successful. Many of our employees, not just the ones listed here, did not intend to work in marketing, but they do great work every day. Women apply to 20% fewer jobs than men and are 16% less likely to apply for a job after viewing it. Don’t let the fear that you aren’t qualified enough stop you from getting your dream job. 

Online Optimism works to cultivate a supportive culture that uplifts both men and women. Check out our career opportunities if you want to be part of this culture.

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