Whitney DrakeWhitney Drake
Social Care and Strategy, General Motors
WVU IMC graduate
Transcription:I’m Whitney Drake. I’m from Detroit, Michigan. I grew up in Michigan but have lived in Kentucky and New Jersey. My job title at General Motors is Social Care and Strategy for the enterprise. The social center for expertise at GM sets the strategies, KPIs and education for the enterprise, so we don’t need six POVs on Snapchat globally. We need one POV and then the brands can customize it, and then I also manage the team—the social care team—that replies to customers’ complaints on Twitter, Facebook and in forums. I manage the U.S. team, and then last year we rolled that out to 25 markets globally.
I always knew that I want to get a master’s degree. My mom has her master’s degree and on my husband’s side of the family, all of my in-laws and my brothers and sisters-in-laws, and my parents all have a master’s degree, but my main reason was because I wanted to teach someday.
I met with an HR specialist to talk to her about MBA programs and other programs, but at the time we had a really frank conversation about what I wanted to do with the degree, and since I wanted to teach, an MBA really wasn’t the best option for me, and then, I got a Facebook ad for the IMC program at West Virginia, and it was like “Wow, what is this?” So, I started doing research on the IMC programs both here and at other schools and I really liked how West Virginia marketed to me. I liked the curriculum, the pace of the curriculum and the professors’ resumes, and so I decided it was the right program for me.
I travel a lot for work. In fact, I’ve been to China, Singapore, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico and Germany while doing this program. I really liked connecting with the professors and my classmates. I took 621 last year, which was current topics, and so we got to come to INTEGRATE as part of the class and, for me, that was a highlight because I finally got to put names to faces and really make some deeper connections. I think the other part was being able to apply some of what I was learning in class to my every day job.
I think the most important thing I’ll take away from the program is integrated marketing. At its core, PR and marketing are coming together and in the future, we will all have to be integrated to do the best thing for the company.
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