October 29, 2015
Creative Conversations, Volume 1: Erin Barner
By Elizabeth Lampe
Creative Conversations: An UPBlog Interview Series
Ever wonder who’s responsible for the creative campaigns you see in the media? Creative Conversations was created to give you a glimpse into people and personalities typically involved in such efforts. In each edition, UPBrand copywriter Elizabeth Lampe interviews an agency creative, account person, or client of interest.
Volume 1: Erin Barner, Assistant Brand Manager, UPBrand Collaborative
As the newest member of the brand management team, Erin brings a new energy and fresh perspective to the table. Her “get it done” attitude has already allowed her to roll up her sleeves on a number of accounts, including Kent Precision Foods Group, Dr. Scholl’s Shoes, JBL, School of Rock, and Elsevier. This interview gives insight into Erin’s background and transition onto the UPBrand team.
1. Your major in college was Hospitality Management. Why did you choose that?
I chose Hospitality Management because of the service mentality. I’ve always been interested in serving other people, but I knew I was never going to be a doctor or a nurse, or a pastor like my mom. But I’ve always been interested in serving other people. Hosting people, and being hospitable, were things that interested me in terms of service.
2. What did you learn from your major?
I think some of the most important experiences I had in school were interacting with real clients to produce the different events on campus. This gave me the opportunity to work with different vendors—to do live work.
3. You recently transitioned from event planning to advertising. What prompted your move?
I was looking for a way to use the skills I developed through event production in a different field. Since I was just getting started in my career, it seemed like a good time in my career to consider other options. The relationship of Creative Producers Group with UPBrand through the Nitrous Effect gave me the perfect opportunity to give advertising a shot.
4. What interested you about working at UPBrand specifically?
Definitely the people. I played Ad Club Softball with the members of the UPBrand Ballaborative Team while I was at CPG, and I quickly discovered that these were people I enjoyed being around.
5. What do you enjoy most about working here?
I can’t list just one thing. I love the culture and how it’s encouraged by the leadership. It’s important to everyone here, and I think that impacts the quality of work we do. I’ve also enjoyed getting to be a part of the thinking and strategy behind the UPBrand’s work—getting to be a part of the solution.
6. What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you while working at UPBrand so far?
Going to see The Full Monty at STAGES was a pretty hilarious group experience. There’s nothing quite like seeing a bunch of male strippers in the middle of the day with your coworkers.
7. What’s the best prank you’ve ever pulled?
I’m pretty proud of the prank we pulled on McKenzie after she went on vacation for a week. Since I was still pretty new to UPBrand, and she left me in charge of her accounts while she was out, we as a team decided to convince her that a major project had gone to hell during her absence. Obviously that wasn’t anything I did single handedly, but it was a good one for sure.
8. You’ve already received a lot of positive feedback from your coworkers and clients. What qualities do you have that make you so great at your job?
I think I’m a good communicator, and communication is key anytime you’re trying to produce work with a team of people.
9. What do you consider your most significant accomplishment at UPBrand so far?
I’m proud of my ability to step in and help School of Rock produce their onsite collateral for the convention that they just had. The request was very time sensitive, and I was able to use my experience at CPG to get ahold of the right vendors and answer the team’s questions.
10. What would be the next step for you? You know, 5 to 10 years. What would you like to see yourself doing career-wise?
I don’t know that I’ve thought about this in terms of my new role. I’m absolutely enjoying this new industry and think it’s the right choice for my career, but I can’t say I know enough about it to see myself in 5 or 10 years. I’m still trying to figure out what goes on here.
11. What excites you about your job?
I enjoy getting to know clients across multiple industries and gaining a little bit of insight into what they do and their worlds. This helps me understand what we can do to help them.