Margaret Deflieze

Credentials: Zendesk

Position title: Outreach Marketing Specialist

Photo of Margaret Deflieze

Major: Communication Arts (Communication Science & Rhetorical Studies)

Certificates: Digital Studies & Graphic Design

Graduation Date: December 2018

How did you end up working at Zendesk?

I took a sales internship my senior year of college and soon after that, I was promoted to Sales Representative. I traveled all around the midwest, essentially living in a hotel by myself for 3-4 days every week and honestly, I hated it because I was so lonely. After only 9 months in the role, I quit and took a job as a BDR (Business Development Representative) at Zendesk. After a year as a BDR and making cold calls every day, I realized it was actually sales altogether that I didn’t enjoy.

But, I had an amazing manager who helped to set up a meeting with my current manager on the marketing team. I interviewed with the new department and was able to switch my career path altogether. My experience in sales was a perfect precursor for my current position because I use the knowledge that I gained as a salesperson to write content for other teams now. I love writing and I get to create fun decks for the reps to use and I’m so much happier! Since switching, I’ve been promoted from associate to specialist and now I essentially run my own program.

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

I am a copywriter! I write sales and marketing email campaigns for representatives to use to prospect their accounts. My day is filled with writing, editing, uploading, creating decks, and meeting with other marketing and sales teams at my company. Sometimes, I also train teams how to use a software called Outreach where I upload all of the content that I write.

How has Digital Studies influenced your career path?

Honestly, in today’s digital-first society you cannot go wrong with a Digital Studies Certificate. You can use the skills you learn from these classes in so many different professions, and some of these classes were the most fun I had my entire college career.

My job is entirely digital, and I am responsible for running one of our databases with the content that I write. I remember taking an LIS class for my Digital Studies certificate about databases (LIS 351: Introduction to Digital Information) that greatly helped me get started in the professional world. There are so many different softwares that companies use, and while you can’t learn them all in college, it’s great to have a basic understanding of what they are and how they work.

Did you have a favorite Digital Studies class?

Communication Arts 155: Introduction to Digital Media Production or Art 107: Intro to Digital Forms! I had so much fun taking these classes and got to learn how to use the Adobe Suite as well as many other programs. It was such a great creative outlet. I cannot recommend these classes enough!

Do you have any advice for current students?

Take that fun class that interests you, even if you don’t think it will do anything for your major. I took Art 107 freshman year for no reason and loved it so much that I decided to pursue a certificate in both Digital Studies and Graphic Design and those skills have helped me get where I am today in my current job as a marketer/copywriter.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career thus far?

I’m proud of myself for switching career paths when I figured out I wasn’t happy working in sales! It’s never too late to change your mind and pursue something that fulfills you more. I’m also proud of how successful my current work is today. Content I’ve written is attributed to several million in pipeline and that’s so rewarding.