Kasey Casella: MDA Alum, worked @ Levi Strauss & Co. as Global Program Manager, now future doctor!
Follow along to dive deeper and learn about Kasey's incredible journey!
February 20, 2023
How was your experience working for Levi's? What was your favorite part of working for them and what did you learn?
“I was able to work in so many departments and try many fields in marketing. During the 4 years that I was at Levi’s, I was really able to experience the marketing-creative production world as a whole by the time I left.
I started as Marketing Coordinator for one of the subsidiaries (Dockers). I worked on a small retail team, opened store fronts, and helped execute sports marketing events for their partnership with the Giants and 49ers. I helped the PR team write press releases, helped them execute experiential events, and managed the social channels and metrics there. Working on the Dockers team was great because I got a lot of exposure and handled many different jobs.
I was then promoted as Global Project Manager at Levi’s, managed three subsidiaries (Dockers, Denizen, and Signature), brainstormed and built creatives, managed the photoshoots for the creative, and brought the creative to regions (such as North America, South America, Asia, Europe). I worked from the creative to production, strategized processes with my boss, and learned how to manage a large label, resources, teams, and agencies. I got to take the lead as a young professional!”
Tell us about the Coca-Cola ($10k) competition that you won during your senior year. What did you have to do in the competition and what was your submission?
“The other MDA, Kasey Chau, and I worked on the "Hokies Taste The Feeling" Campaign, where we created the "My Moment" event that took place on the Drillfield. We rented a space where students created this mural as a way to engage students on the way to class. We gave free products, students were encouraged to write their favorite moment being a VT student, as well as have them take pictures in front of the mural. It was a really cool way to connect Coca Cola with being a VT student. It taught me how to properly coordinate an event as well. It takes so many minute details to produce a big picture event.”
How were you able to manage 50+ people while balancing your workload and reach your goals at the same time?
“As a project manager, you’re part therapist and part strategist. It was a learning experience to manage my time, and respect other people's time and efficiency. Anytime there is a failure, failure is the best learning lesson. I asked myself: “what can I take away from this, then externally, what can we do better as a team?” I held brainstorming sessions and critiques of our projects, then held smaller sessions within the teams. These were checkpoints where everyone could express areas where the project worked and didn't, how we can improve, etc. This brought a normalcy of having open communication and delegating responsibilities, and having others taking ownership as well. When it comes to managing large projects, be able to break down a bigger picture to make it more manageable.”
What made you decide to become a doctor? Tell us more about your thought process around this career decision.
“It is important to take a moment, at least once every year, to reflect and think: “am I on the path that I envision for myself, what are my goals and values, what are my passions, are those in line with my career?” I started questioning what things that I really enjoyed, and functional medicine stood out to me. I read much about health and wellness, listened to podcasts, and brought my knowledge of health and wellness tips to friends and family. Because I was spending a majority of my external life researching this, I thought, why don't I bring it to my career? I took 7 months to just enjoy myself, I traveled through Central America, letting myself be. The natural self belief came to me that functional medicine is a viable career, and if I ever wanted to open up my own practice, bring the budgeting, marketing aspect of the business to this field. When you make a great decision for yourself and it feels right in your heart and in your being, as soon as you push back self-limiting beliefs and boundaries, everything starts making sense and working with you in the same way.”
Do you have any advice to offer to college students like us looking for full-time positions?
- Be confident and know yourself. As you are going through the interview process, write lists, think about what skills and attributes you can bring to the workforce, and what areas that you want to develop more into. You are interviewing the companies as much as they are interviewing you!
- Being open. No company is going to match every single piece of criteria that you want. Be open to the experience, stretch yourself in various ways and be willing to take advantage of opportunities. It is beneficial when a company is invested in you and your development.
- Do your research. Make sure you’re pumped about the company you are working for. Ask insightful questions to show that you’ve done your research. Companies value your interest and willingness to understand what your future job will be.
What is the best piece of advice you've received while transitioning from college into the workforce?
"Be a sponge, be open to different people's advice, be open to different projects, be open to trying new things, while also making sure that you internally know who you are as a person and what you want. Try to have those moments of reflection where you ask yourself: "Is this aligned with who I am as a person, with what I want to do?" Also, don't be so hard on yourself, you are going to make mistakes. Take those failures as points of learning. Failure can be super imperative to personal and professional growth!"