This week, we are excited to spotlight our amazing Virginia Tech Marketing Alumnus and former CMO of PRISM, Hanna Kron! Hanna is currently a Senior Affiliate Partnerships Strategist at Power Digital Marketing. Hanna shared the most rewarding part of her career and advice she has for current Hokies! 

How did your time in PRISM both as CMO and as an Account Manager prepare you for your full-time role now?  

PRISM was single handedly the most important thing within my college experience. It prepared me for a position and career post grad. It introduced me to what agency culture looks like. It resembles the exact same format that you would see within a company as an intern or as a full-time employee. Being able to work with clients in college taught me so much in terms of communicating, emailing, setting deadlines, prioritizing. It also taught me how to delegate between my class schedule, extracurriculars, and clubs. PRISM was a really great stepping stone into real life experience. The network is so large and incredible, so I was introduced to a lot of great people and learned a lot about what my options are post grad!  

What does your day to day look like as Senior Affiliate Partnerships Strategist at Power Digital?  

A lot of my day to day is working with clients. I specifically work in the Affiliate Department, which I like to describe as a combination of PR and Influencer Marketing! We work with affiliates on a commission model. However, there are a few different aspects that we focus on. One is securing media editorial coverage for our clients, which consists of getting the brand’s products, promotions, and deals featured on top tier media outlets like CNN Underscored, Forbes, InStyle, or PopSugar to name a few. We pitch and write to editors at these outlets who help get our brands out there. We also work with a lot of influencers and content creators to gift samples to them. 

We primarily help with coordinating partnerships, communicating, and negotiating commission rates. A big chunk of my day is also meeting with clients to answer any questions they have and reporting to see how their performance is from the channel we’re driving for them. Otherwise, we have frequent internal meetings with team members to brainstorm new strategies and gearing up for brands' upcoming launches or seasonal moments. Right now, Mother’s Day is super big so that’s what we’re focusing on with most of our brands!  

How did you know that affiliate marketing was the career for you?  

When I first started looking for careers and internships, I was originally looking for something in the Influencer Marketing space. I stumbled upon an Affiliate Partnerships Internship which is a performance-based partnership model, with aspects of influencer, partnerships and PR marketing. I found myself applying to that and it worked out. I loved the team and the clients, so I stayed with it! What I like about Affiliate is that it’s creative, but also analytical. Clients essentially want to see the results generated. While there are parts of it that incorporate a top of funnel brand awareness strategy, there is also a lower funnel component to it where it’s results driven and with the goal of seeing positive ROI. It’s great to be creative, execute campaigns, and see results come from it!  

What is the most rewarding part of your job?  

The most rewarding part is definitely getting to work with really awesome clients! Being able to work on brands that I may be a personal consumer of myself or that I’ve seen on social media is amazing. It’s been rewarding to get to work with different clients of different sizes, from start-ups to brands that have been around for many years. I’ve learned from a lot of different types of perspectives in all different industries. I just started working on my dream client, LoveShackFancy ,which has been a career highlight for me.  

What is the biggest lesson you have learned since graduating?  

The biggest lesson is to leverage your network. You never know when someone you meet may be valuable to you. Whether that’s for a mentor, a job, or even something personal. Connections really do go a long way and people definitely want to help you. I try to do the same for students. It’s really great and easy to maintain those connections. Professor Wertalik has done a great job at that. People like Professor Wertalik are so experienced and know so many people. That’s been such a big aspect of starting at Power and getting other internships.  

What advice do you have for current VT Marketing students?  

Try and get as involved as possible! That doesn’t mean joining a surplus of organizations or clubs. Figure out what’s important to you, what are your pillars, and check them off. For me it was academic, social, and professional. Once you finalize those aspects, determine how you want to get involved. Something I always recommend to students is offering to volunteer in offering marketing advice, whether it’s for college credit or your own time. Starting off with something like social media is a great way to get your foot in the door to get other opportunities. Reach out and see who needs advice or support. From there, that experience will make you more of an attractive candidate when you’re applying to internships and full time.