Alumni Spotlight: Gabi Kinney

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A photo of Gabi Kinney, smiling and wearing a black and white shirt

Gabi Kinney (she/her)

Major: PSY BS (Spring 2020)
Position: Senior Strategist
Employer: Broadhead

What is your work like? What are your duties?

I synthesize customer, employee and industry research to develop and uphold brand strategy for clients. A brand strategy determines what the brand stands for, how to talk about the brand internally/externally, which audiences to target messaging towards, and what proof point(s) resonate the most with each audience.

How would you say your psychology degree has helped you with your current job?

My primary degree was a B.S. in Psychology, but I also finished with a Strategic Communications double-major. When applying for advertising jobs after graduation, I noticed many applicants had the same Strat Comm major, a few internships, extracurriculars, etc. Double-majoring helped me stand out amongst others applying for the same job, especially since it was in Psychology. Every single job deals with people/human behavior in some way - use that to your advantage!

In what way has your major complemented your current job?

A large portion of my role considers behavioral psychology. Brand strategists craft audience personas by researching which demographics (i.e. age, gender, location), psychographics (i.e. interests, attitudes) and media habits are linked with current and potential customers of a given product/brand. Synthesizing this information helps uncover insights that bring the audience to life, putting you "in their shoes" to understand how they make purchasing decisions. I love being able to use my Psychology background in a business/marketing setting.

How did you find your current position? 

I utilized personal connections, events via the Journalism School, Handshake, LinkedIn, academic/career counseling, and more.

Talk to your career counselors and make connections with your professors - they have great networks/advice to help get you started.

What advice do you have for our current psych students and recent grads?

There are so many paths within "Psychology" so take time during/after college to test out what you like and don't like. You don't have to magically have everything figured out on graduation day. I switched roles within my company four times post-graduation before I found where I fit best. With that being said, if exploring different roles is important to you, there are companies that value learning and will let you do that. Express what is important to you during the interview process!

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