Robyn Baldwin, B.Com. ’05, maximized her experiential experience at the DeGroote School of Business, took every opportunity that presented itself and learned as much about integrated marketing as she could. What she didn’t know then, was how the role of integration would play out in her life.
One course and one professor challenged Baldwin and changed the course of her career. Consumer Behaviour convinced Baldwin to specialize in marketing. She was fascinated by the different advertising campaigns and how the consumer was influenced. “I knew that marketing was for me,” Baldwin recalls. But, it was her experiential experience under the guidance of Professor Mandeep Malik that has had a lasting impact on her and her career.
“In my fourth year, Professor Malik approached me about helping to create MARS Apprentice. There were no student conferences or competitions for marketing at the time, so under his leadership, a team and I helped create one. It was the best thing that I could do for my career, and to see the program flourish for the past 11 years is amazing,” Baldwin remembers.
Malik knew that Baldwin was a star marketing student from the beginning, and giving her the experience of creating MARS Apprentice is something he is still proud of.
After graduating in 2005, Baldwin began her career in advertising. Focusing on the psychology of consumer behaviour, Baldwin worked on the strategic and analytical side of media in advertising for nine years. Two years ago she moved from the agency-side to the client-side, and is now the senior integrated marketing manager at Kobo.
“I started on the brand team at Kobo, working with agencies to execute campaigns,” shares Baldwin. “A year after I started at Kobo, we went through a consolidation and i was give a new role as manager, acquisition marketing. In that role I worked to find customers through strategic partnerships and helped companies bring book offers to their customer base.”
At the end of 2014, Baldwin was tasked with establishing an integrated marketing process across several departments. Baldwin and her team are working to breakdown the silos that have existed at Kobo – implementing a marketing calendar, establishing priorities across content, device and app promotions plan, ensuring alignment across all departments involved and implementing analytics tracking for all key campaigns. She is also a player in establishing a social strategy for the company that covers owned, earned and paid media. What’s important here is the integration of internal and external audiences, which defines her personal and professional life.
Baldwin has crossed so many things off her bucket list: become a fitness model, participate in fitness competitions, run races, appear in magazines, build a personal fitness personality brand, and become a published author, amongst other ambitions. She shows no signs of slowing down, working hard to achieve a robust life, both personally and professionally.
Baldwin published her first e-book, “Live like an Alpha Female” in 2012. “An alpha female in the wild, a term that can describe a female wolf, always takes care of her pack. I care about those around me. I work hard to respond to very private Facebook/Twitter message or comments on my blog. I am proactive in my relationships and partnerships. You do have the ability to do it all but you do need to prioritize what’s important to you,” she shares.
“Everything I do, both professional and personal, is complimentary. I write articles for magazines and fitness blog in my spare morning and evening hours. I have developed relationships with companies and brands as an ambassador to showcase how I use their products to live an Alpha Female life. Everything I post is how I choose to live my life. It consistently works together and make me a well-rounded but competitive individual.”
In December 2014, after a diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis, fitness has become even more important. With the support of her family, her friends and everyone at Kobo, Baldwin went public with her diagnosis.
“I am not going to let it slow me down for one second. MS will not own me or control me. I continued to work hard, Kobo was very understanding when I needed to go to appointments and I even received a promotion within four months of being diagnosed to reward all my hard work over the past two years,” Baldwin shares. “I went into a research mode right away. I went to several specialists (from my neurologist, a naturopath, a registered holistic nutritionist and family doctor). I learned about holistic medicine, researched meal plans, vitamins and supplements and experimented with different health therapies at Soul 7 in Yorkville. I practice proactive management with my health now. My energy has never been as high as it is now. MS may slow me down at times but it hasn’t stopped me.”
From her time at DeGroote to her integrated marketing role at Kobo, Baldwin’s personal and professional life have one thing in common, she is herself no matter where she is.
Baldwin shares a few pieces of advice for current DeGroote students and young alumni:
- Be forward thinking in planning job interviews and internships before you get into your third and fourth year of school.
- Don’t be afraid to have a personality outside of the office. Work really hard and showcase your productivity effort at work.
- Have a passion for what you do.
- There needs to be a balance between entitlement and hard work. Understand that you are valuable as a business student, but you have to pay your dues as well. Working in an office is a balance between learning and listening and contributing as much as possible.
- Practice being interviewed and read up on interview coaching tips to help prepare you for interview success.