Relevance is key to getting ahead in marketing, says Sulynn Amrhein

by Darlene Kenney

April 11, 2019

Mars senior digital manager advises students to stay up to date in Mower Advertising Forum.

Sulynn Amrhein
Sulynn Amrhein Photo by Kai Nguyen

Sulynn Amrhein, senior digital manager and eContent program leader for Mars, discussed her top tips for success in the marketing industry during a talk for the Eric Mower Advertising Forum at Newhouse March 26.

Amrhein encouraged students to know their strengths and weaknesses. “Think about your transferrable skills. [Ask yourself] what is relevant across your experiences? Do you solve problems? Do you have a good work ethic?”

Marketers must be able to adapt to change or their company will not survive, she said.

“Learn about what change means to you and what change means to your company. Know how change feels when you’re driving it. Know what you offer and what you contribute,” she said.

When asked how she stays relevant, Amrhein said she talks to her friends and keeps in touch with people. “Meet people who are doing something different than you are,” Amrhein said. She walks around her WeWork office, a shared workspace where individuals from different companies work together in one space, and asks people what they’re working on.

When a student asked about the toughest trend Amrhein had to deal with during her career, Amrhein was quick with the answer: social media. All brands wanted to be on social media, Amrhein said, but they didn’t understand it.

Companies would tell social media managers to tweet without understanding what they were asking for. To address the problem, Amrhein would take a step back and look at the brand’s communication strategy and ask, “How do these [social media] forms enable that?”

When asked which skillsets are important in her field, Amrhein mentioned several, including data science. “[It’s] important to be able to take something that could be complex and simplify it down…There is imagination in explaining a vision, that’s a great skill.”

Finally, Amrhein said that students looking to get ahead in the marketing field should be willing to be challengers in the workforce. When looking for a successful entry level job applicant she said, “I would look for someone who’s willing to challenge a lot… respectfully.”

Darlene Kenney is a senior television, radio and film student at the Newhouse School.