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Updated: Feb 9, 2022

SPOTLIGHT ON Whitney Hazard, T’18

“Spend quality time with the people around you, it's the friendships you carry forward that will make Duke special 5, 10, 50 years from now.”

January 16, 2022 | By Alina O’Brien

Thinking back, what led you to join BOW?

As soon as I stepped on campus at Duke, I felt like I was hearing about the amazing community and opportunities that come from joining BOW. I wanted the chance to be part of an organization that helped women find their path in the business world, and opened their eyes to the breadth of opportunities out there. Once I learned more about the variety of events, the mentorship, and additional programming - I was sold! Being a part of BOW was one of my favorite involvements on campus, and I'm so thankful for the path it helped me find, and the community I built along the way.

What’s something that every Duke student should do before graduating?

Take advantage of all that Duke & Durham have to offer! I went to so many speaking events, basketball games, club meetings, lectures, concerts, etc. and there really is no time in your life where you have so many opportunities at your fingertips. Most importantly, spend quality time with the people around you, it's the friendships you carry forward that will make Duke special 5, 10, 50 years from now.

How did you choose marketing as an industry?

My fascination with marketing began as a consumer, always curious about what marketing around me was influential. Then, through internships and on-campus experience, I started to find myself doing more and more real world marketing work. I loved the psychology behind it, paired with the creativity it allowed me to express. Plus, as I became a more experienced marketer, I started to love the analytical side and using data to make decisions to impact my work. Ultimately, I love the key strategic questions that marketers get to solve - how do you make someone want your product, service, idea, etc.?

Could you share one piece of advice you have for those trying to enter the marketing industry?

Get some hands-on experience! The world around you is full of marketing, so start examining it with a critical eye, and then dive into it yourself! Every organization at Duke, company in Durham, and event around you needs marketing, so raise your hand and get started. You don't need any specific experience to be a great candidate for entry-level marketing roles, but if you can point to things you've worked on to demonstrate an interest in the field, that will go a long way. Remember, marketing is both an art and a science, so be creative and analytical in all that you do.

We’d love to hear a bit about your experience in London so far! How do you recommend members think about post-grad locations?

The location you live in is such a big part of your day-to-day experience, and I think this is often undervalued when people are choosing post-grad plans. After Duke, I initially moved to San Francisco to immerse myself in the tech scene and experience life on the west coast. While I loved SF for many reasons, I ultimately found I was missing some liveliness, so I started to think about what cities may be a better fit for me. When I thought about my interests - travel, culture, meeting new people - it dawned on me that moving abroad would probably be the best fit for me. I moved to London a year ago and have never looked back! I'm incredibly happy with all the city (& continent!) has to offer, and I've found a home among ex-pats in London. I definitely recommend thinking about your big picture priorities and how a city can support those!

How has mentorship factored into your path?

Mentorship has been incredibly important in both my day to day at work, plus at the pivotal decision moments in my career. In my daily work life, I try to learn from those around me with more experience, building real relationships through our work together. This has helped me develop my skill set and my network of people who I can lean on to help me improve on a daily basis. Their mentorship and feedback on an ongoing basis has gotten me where I am today! Plus, by building these relationships, you then have people to turn to when you come to a turning point in your career. Mentors who know you well will be well positioned to give you feedback when important decisions come your way.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

I collect shot glasses from all of the places I've travelled - I'm at over 200 and counting!

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I loved reading about Whitney Hazard’s experience in BOW. As soon as I saw the picture of her with the London Bridge, I knew I wanted to read more about her story. This past semester, I studied abroad in Denmark; so, I thought Whitney would provide similar insight into an amazing experience. While her exprience is post-graduation, she said the decision to move abroad was incredible and she’s never looked back. I found it interesting that she first moved to San Francisco for the tech scene, but she knew deep down that she was missing something. Thus, London had the “liveliness” and people, travel, and culture she was yearning for. I would love to learn more about Whitney’s current endeavors…

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