From Art History Major to Marketing Manager
March 10, 2023
Ava Miller '25
As an art history major at Oberlin, Jessica Moskowitz cofounded a design studio, worked as a freelance photographer, and served as student liaison for the Oberlin Entrepreneurship Club. She completed internships in marketing and communications at the New York-based mental-health startupQuartet Health, the photography magazine Musée, and the N.Y.C. art gallery Lehmann Maupin. She graduated in 2019—adding a minor in studio art—and took on yet another internship at the International Center of Photography, also in New York.
Originally from the N.Y.C. suburb of Edgemont, Moskowitz began her career as a media planner with a client list that included American Eagle, CarMax, Warner Bros., and Procter & Gamble. These days, she works for JeffreyM consulting, where she is a paid social activation manager for Microsoft.
In a recent interview, Moskowitz helped connect the dots between her wide-ranging interests, her numerous internships, and her career trajectory thus far.
You were involved in Oberlin’s Entrepreneurship Club. What were some important takeaways from that experience?
I got involved with the Entrepreneurship Club after participating in LaunchU, which was one of my favorite Winter Term experiences at Oberlin. I participated in the startup accelerator because I had an idea to create a grocery-delivery service using reusable packaging. I wanted to create a solution, in the form of a business, to address the effects of packaging on the climate crisis. My foremost goal wasn’t to make a profit, but to create something that would make a difference in the world. I joined the newly founded Entrepreneurship Club because it had the same goals, which I thought were very Oberlin: to find new solutions to solve problems and create your own path in a sustainable and scalable way. These experiences reinforced the importance of being open to new ideas and working with people from all backgrounds. In the work world, being able to communicate and collaborate with people with different perspectives is one of the keys to success. Overall, being a lifelong learner is the most important takeaway I have from Oberlin.
During your time at Oberlin, you completed a range of internships. What was your experience like interning in the art world?
I completed an internship at Lehmann Maupin as a communications intern. In the gallery, I got to see how other people’s educational and career trajectories led them to where they are at the moment, and a firsthand look into what it is like to work in the art world.
What is the current work you do, and what led you to it?
I am a consultant for JeffreyM on the Direct Buy Team, and our client is Microsoft. My team handles their media planning and buying for their social media ads. I work on the Microsoft Store line of business, which promotes Microsoft’s e-commerce store. My job is to work with my stakeholder to buy social media ads based on their business objectives by determining which platforms and audiences to target, while taking budgets and timing into account.
How did you transition into your current role in marketing?
Throughout college, I did several marketing internships in the arts industry. Since high school, I had wanted to be a copywriter, and while I really liked art history, I realized that I could come back to it if I wanted to. After Oberlin, I took a continuing education course at the School of Visual Arts in New York City to build up my copywriting portfolio. At the same time, I was working at my first job in out-of-home marketing, working on campaigns that you see on subways, trains, airports, on the highway, etc. In my next role, I worked in operations on the Procter & Gamble account, where I learned a lot about digital billing and other types of media buying, as well as account and workflow restructuring. These skills have proved invaluable when working on various other accounts. After working on the Procter & Gamble account, I decided that I wanted to advance my skills in digital media, so I accepted a position as a social media strategist.
How have the skills you learned from art history and studio art played a part in your work since graduation?
As an art history major, we analyzed objects to learn about history and culture, and I was especially interested in the relationship between words and images. When I was applying for marketing roles out of college, I emphasized that as an art history major, I understood and could effectively communicate the importance of visual culture. I saw art history as connected to marketing, since marketing is coming up with the best way to get your message and value across to a specific audience. In marketing, I’ve learned that the right combination of visuals and words, or copy, as well as its social relevance and context, such as where and when the ad is being shown and whom it is being shown to is key to a successful ad campaign.
What advice do you have for students interested in marketing after graduation?
Oberlin gives you the skills to be a strong writer and critical thinker, which are vital skills in this industry—and all industries. Showing how you are able to clearly articulate your rationale and ideas is very important. In all jobs, understanding a client’s or user’s needs and aligning them with your job’s objectives requires clear communication. When you are looking for a job, and in your job, strategic thinking and communication are the biggest skills to showcase. All the jobs I have had, especially at the entry level, taught me the industry-specific skills I needed. If you’re open and willing to learn, people are happy to teach you, so don’t be afraid to say you don’t know something and ask for help when you need it. If you are interested in marketing and have questions or want to connect, please reach out to me!
As an art history major, I understood and could effectively communicate the importance of visual culture.
Jessica Moskowitz '19
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