Where are they now? Lindsey Varney '05, social media leader in the casino industry
It's time for 300 The Fenway's latest installment of "Where are they now?" This series chronicles the amazing things Simmons College women are accomplishing after graduation.
Meet Lindsey Varney, a Marketing and Economics double major from the Class of 2005. She currently works as the Regional Social Media Manager for Caesars Entertainment. We had the chance to chat with her and see what it's like to work in the casino industry.
- What is a typical day like at your job?
- There is definitely no such thing as a typical day in the digital media world or in the gaming/casino industry, but my regular day-to-day functions include project management, planning/developing new content strategies for social media and the web, and analyzing social and marketing analytics. I manage a regional team of social media specialists who are at various Caesars properties around the South to develop and execute the content for specific networks. I also work extremely close with our advertising agency and corporate digital media team to make sure our content is being optimized online.
- How was the job application process like for you?
- Networking is incredibly important--and I can't stress that enough. I recently finished my MBA at Tulane, and decided that I wanted to stay in New Orleans for a little bit longer. The only firm I was really interested in here in New Orleans and thought would be a good fit for me is Caesars (Harrah's New Orleans) because of my interest in CRM and Marketing Analytics. One of my professors connected me with a former student who is an executive for Caesars based at Harrah's New Orleans. Though there were no opening positions at the time, my new connection brought me in for informational interviews with the VP of Marketing, and VP of HR. The informational interview was extremely helpful because I was able to learn more about the organization and connect with the person who ultimately became my boss. When I my particular position was posted online, I called the VP of Marketing directly, and we spoke about the opening, and what I needed to do to make this opportunity happen for me. Before long, I was hired. It may sound like it was easy, but the process took a lot of initiative and persistence on my part. Without this networking opportunity, I think my resume probably would have been lost in the online shuffle.
- What is your favorite part of your job?
- My favorite part of my job is the seeing the results of various digital and social campaigns that we launch and its impact on the business. I also love that my job allows me to connect with many people within my company and external as well. I'm fortunate to have a lot of great exposure to many areas of the business that could be translated into other roles for me down the line.
- How did you know the organization was a good fit for you?
- One of Caesars' mottos is "We Inspire Grown Ups To Play." That was a good indicator! In a more practical sense, I think I knew that this organization would be a good fit for me because I'm able to an entrepreneur within a large corporation and develop opportunities from this experience. It's a great feeling to be a change maker in an organization and see the business impact of the projects that you bring to the table.
- What was your favorite class you took at Simmons? Why?
- Hmm...it's a tie. I loved my senior Capstone class for Marketing/Management as it was great preparation for entering the business world, but I also loved taking classes in the Economics department with Masato Aoki and Donald Basch. I loved the economics classes because of the challenging in-class discussion that would occur each session. Honestly, there weren't many classes at Simmons I didn't like.
- If you could come back and take one class at Simmons what would it be?
- If I could turn back time and be at Simmons again, I would have paid more attention in my statistics classes. I kicked myself my first year in business school at Tulane for not being more focused in that class at Simmons (even though it was probably seven years since I had it at Simmons). Aside from that, I'd probably take some Art History classes for fun.
- How has it been transitioning into a young professional?
- Transitioning into a young professional definitely had some ups and downs for me. I think it takes time as well as trial and error to find your groove, figure out what you're passionate about, and figure out how to make your way in the world. I'm definitely still working on some of these things even though I've been a young professional for a little while now!
- How did Simmons help prepare you for your career?
- Simmons helped me build up my confidence, provided me with tools to make an impact in the world, and provided me with an introduction on how to navigate the business world as a woman.
- Where do you see yourself in ten years?
- I'm not entirely sure! I'd like to be a marketing executive, of course. I enjoy working for large organizations, and I could see myself at an agency someday, too. I definitely would like to end up back home in Boston in the near future, too. Who knows - life is an adventure! I never would have guessed as a graduate in 2005 that almost eight years later I would be living in New Orleans and working for a gaming/entertainment company.
- What advice would you give to the current Simmons undergraduate students?
- Network, network, network! The power of the Simmons network will amaze you, but you have to work it to make it work for you. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Dream big!