MBI is known for the speed with which new hires get hands-on responsibilities. As Courtney Vetter recalls, “there wasn’t much of a breaking-in phase, it was more of a ‘here you go, show us what you got’ kind of thing, which I actually enjoyed. That type of beginning gave me a strong foundation on which I’ve built my career here.” And, to her relief, it was not a Darwinian, sink-or-swim environment. “When I first started working here, my mother had to have a serious medical procedure. It was a very scary and stressful time for me, and the support that I got from my new team and my managers is something I’ll always appreciate.”
Like many a graduate, Courtney was initially unsure of her direction. “Before MBI, I interned at a local news station, but found myself looking for even more creative opportunities while interning. I was interested in marketing yet was still considering something in the journalism or communications field.” Having found MBI on a job website, she got favorable first impressions while interviewing. “It seemed like a very buttoned-up establishment. All of the interviewers seemed very knowledgeable about their role and the company, and portrayed a sense of pride for what they do every day.”
Courtney recalls her rise through the ranks since joining the company in 2013: "When I first started as a Marketing Coordinator, I was involved in implementing marketing and tracking the development of the products. I would work on creative packages and help with some development decisions. As I evolved at MBI, I worked in Purchasing, where I dealt with a large variety of products and inventory analysis, and now I’m a Product Manager making decisions in the development process of products, writing plans for those products to go to market, and deciding on the creative direction for the marketing,” she proudly recounts.
Courtney’s duties epitomize the diversity that means life at MBI is never dull. “You can be juggling 5 or more projects at a time depending on what your product lineup consists of. My day-to-day includes managing handbags and a few jewelry products. This involves thinking of new concepts, writing plans, and analyzing results. At the same time, I’ll also be working on creative for new mailings, in the photography studio working to get new images for an ad, or writing copy for a product. I also interact with vendors and analyze inventory and work with the product development team for all my products.”
“There are always challenges,” Courtney admits. “Trying to mold your products and marketing to fit a target market that is different than you isn’t easy. It can be frustrating when products that you feel are fantastic don’t do as well as you hoped.” She double minored in Marketing and Business Administration, but found her Bachelors in Communication degree equally valuable in helping her prepare for those challenges. “All those interpersonal and non-verbal communication classes really translate into the work environment. Effective communication is essential when it comes to management.”
Courtney finds the ownership of her work to be the job’s most rewarding aspect. “You are responsible for the rise or fall of your projects, for all aspects from product conception through the product’s lifespan. You have a say in the product design, you are in control of the marketing and who you are marketing to, and then you get to read the results and decide the next steps. Working here means you need to have the confidence and ability to handle these responsibilities without your manager leaning over your shoulder at all times. Hard work is rewarded and each individual’s work speaks for itself,” she says.
Courtney’s well-rounded mix of academics and athletics has continued into her professional career. Previously, “I worked in the pro-shop at a golf course for 5 years, and also coached high school basketball for 2 years (one of them while also working here at MBI – it was hectic but worth it).” She plays on the company’s co-ed softball team, and calls herself “an avid participant in all of the MBI happy hours.” Courtney’s biggest surprise about her experience here at MBI? “The friendships I’ve formed while working here. I have met some of my closest friends here, and that is an added bonus I didn’t expect.”