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Leading Ladies - Kerry O'Shea Gorgone

LeadingLadiesKerryGorgone

If you haven't met Kerry O'Shea Gorgone, now's your chance. Think the name or the face looks familiar? It probably does as she can be found all over! Not only is she a speaker, writer, attorney, educator, host/producer for the weekly MarketingProfs Marketing Smarts podcast, she also develops marketing training courses for MarketingProfs. Phew! One impressive lady who I'm so pleased to call a friend. She has been there as a cheerleader for me as well as a wonderful example of a networker doing it the RIGHT way! Be sure to connect with Kerry on Twitter if you haven't already. 
 

HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START?

I worked in marketing while pursuing my MBA at Bentley, before I went to Suffolk University Law School. After I started practicing law, I figured my days in marketing were over, but it turned out that the law firms I worked for needed marketing and promotion, too! I worked in litigation, but also did passion projects like producing video content or working on my firm's website.

Eventually, I started teaching law at night and worked in marketing communication during the day as managing editor for a college magazine. I loved teaching, and started teaching full time at Full Sail University after relocating from Boston to Orlando back in 2008.

At first, I taught law, but when a position came up to teach New Media Marketing, I jumped on it. I started podcasting back in 2005, and had used online channels and social media for promotion when I was in higher-ed marketing.

At Full Sail, I brought in guest speakers to do webinars for the students, and found that I loved interviewing people! I mentioned that to my friend, Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs.

A few months later, when Matt Grant, who hosted the MarketingProfs podcast, left the company, she thought of me. I took over the podcast two years ago, and interview a smart marketer for 30 minutes every week. I absolutely love doing it! It's the best part of my job.

Eventually, MarketingProfs brought me on full-time to help them develop marketing training programs (and to keep up the podcast)! That's what I do now.

WHAT RISKS DID YOU TAKE?

Moving when I did was also a risky proposition. The economic downturn in 2008 rocked the job market. I had to list my house in Boston before I had another job lined up, but I knew it would work out (and it did).

If it wasn't for the move to Florida, I might never have started teaching full-time or hosting guest webinars, which set me on the path to MarketingProfs!

WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT SCARES YOU?

Regret. Even the prospect of regret. I'd rather do something and discover later that it was a mistake than pass on an opportunity and regret it later. 

LOOKING BACK ON YOUR CAREER, WHAT WAS A MAJOR TURNING POINT FOR YOU?

Leaving the legal profession comes to mind. ;) I was first in my law school class: everyone thought I was crazy to leave the practice and go into teaching and marketing. But creative work sustains me. As much as I love the intellectual challenge of law, I wasn't fulfilled doing someone else's work. I wanted to create something of my own.

WHAT ARE THREE PIECES OF ADVICE YOU'VE RECEIVED THAT YOU'VE CARRIED WITH YOU THROUGHOUT YOUR CAREER?

Don't get your facts from just one source. That advice has served me well since my history teacher drilled it into my head in 8th grade! I would add "especially when that one source is your client."

Follow your own lights. My father told me that, and he meant it. Whatever hopes he might have had for me, he encouraged me to follow my own dreams and passions.

People can't help you get the job you want if you don't tell them what you're looking for (or even that you ARE looking). Talk liberally about what you love doing. If you're in the market for a new job, make sure people know what kind of position you want. The perfect job won't find you—you have to go looking for it!

BIGGEST MISTAKE?

I don't really believe in mistakes. Things that seemed like mistakes to me once turned out to be stepping stones to where I am now. I do wish I'd been braver. I always encourage college graduates to take that "crazy," low-paying job they love, or backpack around Europe if that's what they want. Be brave!