Charlie Beck

Credentials: Thermo Fisher Scientific

Position title: Global Market Development Manager

Charlie Beck

Major: Journalism (Strategic Communications emphasis)

Certificate: Digital Studies

Graduation Date: May 2017


How did you end up at Thermo Fisher Scientific?

Through my senior year at UW and into my first year out in the real world, I worked for a healthcare startup in Madison called Redox. When I accepted the job and helped create the marketing team, I knew very little about the healthcare industry. I was inspired by the honorable mission this team was pursuing to change an industry that had been stagnant for decades. I used this motivation to push my personal development to better the company and my colleagues through training seminars and new/optimized strategies.

When my time at Redox came to an end, I knew that I wanted to continue working in an industry that was insistent on improving the quality of life for everyone. Thermo Fisher extended a job offer to me along with an opportunity to move to Austin, TX to work with their genetic sciences solutions. Two years later, I’ve traveled the world and continued to develop my skill sets knowing that our professional efforts are making the world a healthier, cleaner, and safer place.

What does a typical day in the office look like for you?

My day typically kicks off with morning meetings to check in with our European team where we review metrics and discuss existing promotional efforts/outstanding issues in the region. When we develop a plan of action, we part ways and I rinse and repeat the process with our North American team. The afternoon leaves me enough time to get other work done, like creating web analytics dashboards, designing omni-channel marketing campaigns, restructuring the website, and developing web-based applications. Then I can develop future strategies and prioritize which regions need to apply them based on their strengths, weaknesses, and goals for the year. When the evening rolls around I have meetings with our teams in Asia and Australia to get a peek at what they need from a global support standpoint. This can be anything from conference events, to digital campaigns, all the way to CRM dashboards to visualize their lead funnel. The great thing about my day is that outside of the general structure, it’s never the same on a regular basis. New projects come around constantly which require support and allow me to develop into a flexible teammate.

How has Digital Studies influenced your career path?

Digital Studies offers everyone different benefits which makes the certificate so appealing. What I found most influential for my own career path is that the certificate grabs the attention of the resume reader. Virtually every interviewer I’ve spoken with has brought up Digital Studies in one way or another because they want to know more. As long as you have a narrative prepared and a good example of how you’re able to professionally apply it, the interviewer is setting you up to award yourself some serious brownie points. For me, the narrative went something like this: Digital Studies provides an informal certification for what I call “Software Literacy.” Every class you take for the certificate is training you to learn new software to a point above proficiency in an extremely short amount of time. And not only do you learn the software, you also find new efficiencies within it and how to apply it professionally. Employers find these skills invaluable.

Did you have a favorite Digital Studies class?

Communication Arts 346: Critical Internet Studies was by far my favorite course. Nothing against all the other Digital Studies courses, but learning in-depth about the development of (in my opinion) the most influential piece of technology the world has ever seen was beyond interesting. This class had me genuinely excited to trudge through the snow in below 0 temperatures.

Do you have any advice for current students?

Take the experiences and lessons you’ve learned and record them. It doesn’t matter if it’s in a Google doc, an iPhone note, or a spiral-bound notebook – document these memories and lessons (both professional and otherwise.) We tell ourselves that we’ll remember our everyday experiences, but sometimes they slip our minds when we need them most. Lists like these can help bring smiles on sad days, or practical answers to interview questions for your dream job. That’s something I really wish I had done a better job of during my time at UW.