Mckenzie Halling

Credentials: Duft Watterson

Position title: Account Manager

Photo of Mckenzie Halling

Major: Journalism (emphasis in Reporting & Strategic Communication)

Certificate: Digital Studies

Graduation Date: May 2019

How did you end up working at Duft Watterson?

After graduation, I worked as an Account Coordinator at Planet Propaganda in Madison, WI. Working on the Duluth Trading Company account gave me a lot of responsibility and room for quick growth, and I was promoted to Account Executive. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I was feeling ready for a change, so I looked up every agency that won an “Ad Age’s Small Agency of the Year” award in 2020, and signed up for LinkedIn alerts if they were to ever open account management positions. When Duft Watterson posted they were hiring an Account Manager, I was quick to apply since I knew they were recognized as an exceptional creative agency in the Northwest. Now, I am in Boise, ID working at Duft Watterson!

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

I support my clients and internal teams by overseeing strategic and creative projects across a variety of industries, including retail, tourism, healthcare, medical and industrial supplies, food and drink, nonprofits and more.

My role is partially project management and partially client services. I handle all correspondence with clients to ensure they feel like their business needs are being met with the creative work my agency produces. I work with them to strategize and problem solve new solutions to meet their goals as a company. I have managed an ever-growing list of creative projects: national TV and radio ads, branding and strategy projects, print executions, out-of-home (OOH), digital campaigns, still photography shoots, website design + development and even a children’s book. As an account manager, I am expected to tactfully keep initiatives on budget, on time and on strategy.

How has Digital Studies influenced your career path?

In the world of marketing and advertising, digital continues to rule. Traditional tactics like OOH, TV, radio and print still have strong prominence, but for smaller, scrappier or faster-moving companies, digital provides the necessary abilities to optimize creative and target specific audiences—typically, at a more approachable price. Having an understanding of digital media from my certificate has made a huge difference in my ability to guide clients to the best digital options and strategies for their goals.

Did you have a favorite Digital Studies class?

Art 107: Introduction to Digital Forms was my first (and only) introduction into digital design software. Since I have a very basic understanding of some of the programs my coworkers use every day, I have so much added respect for designers for their unique talents and skills.

Do you have any advice for current students?

Try everything. Stop stressing about the “perfect path” you need to take in order to get “where you want to be in 5 years.” Once you’re in a full time job it becomes more difficult to play around with career options, so use college as a time to try everything that interests you so you can feel extra confident about the decision you make post-graduation.

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

I am proud of the trust I have built with my clients and coworkers alike, and proud they see me as an advocate for their businesses and creative work.