Ask the Expert

Are you seeking answers to your marketing career or hiring questions?  Well then just ask the expert! We now have a rotating expert, where your questions will be answered by a different expert each month. To submit a question to our expert, send us an email at

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June's expert :Tracy Sinclair

Tracy Sinclair is the Director of the Marketing Practice at Aquent, a talent agency for marketing and design talent. Prior to Aquent, Tracy was a Brand Manager at Procter & Gamble and a strategy consultant for Zyman Group. She has a BA from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Cornell University.


Recent Questions Answered By Tracy: 

It is extremely difficult to get my foot in the door because nobody wants to hire somebody without international experience.  But how am I supposed to get International experience if nobody hires me?  I graduated in 2004 and I haven't been able to get in that field yet! What do you suggest I do? 
I have noticed more and more Marketing positions focusing on SEM experience. Is this a skill that has become mainstream? If so, do you recommend a place where one can get certified while continuing to work full time?  What other additional skills would you recommend learning to stay ahead of the trends in Marketing these days? 
My question is with regard to the IMC degree. How is it being received in the industry? Are there jobs for graduates with this degree. Do you think it would achieve my goal of adding marketing skills to my solid design skills with the goal of amplifying my abilities as a creative marketer? 
I am being promoted and have been give the opportunity to choose between "Marketing Specialist" and "Marketing Associate" for my new job title. Does one imply a higher standing than the other? What does a job title really mean? 
May's expert : Joanne Hall
I came to the Aquent Marketing team with 9 years of International Brand Management experience within packaged goods and the film and entertainment industries. I now use my hands on knowledge of marketing in my role as an Account Manager, placing the cream of the marketing crop with the biggest and brightest players in brand, communications, analytics and public relations.
Recent Questions Answered By Joanne: 

I have a bachelors degree in marketing.  Which advanced skills do you suggest I obtain to increase my value as a marketer?  

I am currently an engineer for an oil company in Houston, TX and have been working full-time for a little over a year. I hold a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering.  
However, I am very interested in pursuing a marketing career focusing on brand and/or product management. I am not sure how to get my career going in that direction without a background in marketing or marketing experience. Any suggestions? 

Resumes are primarily submitted electronically via websites or e-mail.  Could I help set my resume apart by submitting an electronic version and a duplicate hard copy enclosed in a presentation folder through the mail?  Or, do resumes that arrive through postal mail seldom arrive in the hands of the appropriate hiring manager or have no additional impact at all?  

We are a team of transcribers who have been providing outsource work for major marketing research companies and pharmaceutical/medical companies throughout the United States for over ten years; previously as an outsource for other transcription companies and as of last May, we became incorporated as FEM Services Inc.  Our question:  what is the best way to get our name out there as a credible experienced company?  Is a website necessary for a transcription company?  We already have an FTP site for uploading files.  Your input would be greatly appreciated.   

April's expert :Tracy Sinclair

Tracy Sinclair is the Director of the Marketing Practice at Aquent, a talent agency for marketing and design talent. Prior to Aquent, Tracy was a Brand Manager at Procter & Gamble and a strategy consultant for Zyman Group. She has a BA from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Cornell University.


Recent Questions Answered By Tracy: 

How do you know what work at home jobs are not scams?

The problem I’m encountering is that most companies looking to hire a Director of Product Development want an MBA. I am very willing to complete my MBA, however the curriculum doesn’t seem to include much marketing. Do you have any suggestions?

What is the common marketing organizational structure for consumer products companies?

Do you have any tips on obtaining positions in states that you currently do not reside in?

Past Ask The Expert :

Matt GrantMatthew T. Grant, PhD started his career with Aquent 13 years ago. After spending time as an agent/recruiter in their Boston office, Matt established and ran Aquent’s corporate training department. In 1999, Matt moved into marketing communications overseeing internal communications and speaking on Aquent’s behalf to professional associations around the globe. Matt edits Aquent’s two corporate newsletters, produces podcasts and, when inspired, writes songs for the company.

Prior to Aquent, Matt was an Associate Professor at Middlebury College. He holds a PhD in German Studies from Cornell University.

How do I explain my absence in the work force to future employers?

Can you recommend a marketable web certification that would add to my credentials and potential sources for achieving this certification?

Is there a possibility a company won’t hire me (even if I have a Masters Degree) just because they do not think the University I went too meets the “top-of-the-line” criteria?

What is the best way for a job seeker to follow up after he or she submits a resume?

I would like to start taking courses to expand my marketing skill set and knowledge base but am not sure what direction to go in. I know that everything is going digital so I was thinking of SEO, HTML or learning the basics of graphic design software systems. Do you have any recommendations?

Do you think that an online university program (i.e. University of Phoenix) will be taken as seriously as a 4 year brick and mortar university?

What kind of job can I get in marketing with a 2-year degree in General Business?

What do you recommend to use to manage my buys?

Do you have any information about marketing jobs that companies will be demanding in the future? 

What is the common organizational structure of a marketing agency (brand service oriented)?

I have been approached about becoming a COO for a start up venture. What kind of a package should I be looking for?

With an MBA in International Marketing from 20 years ago, what professional degree or certificate programs can you recommend in the field of green or sustainability that would refresh my skills?

Do you have any suggestions for resume writing? Also any suggestions on what to join and what to do to make myself more attractive to employers?

 Can you offer some advice on getting marketing certifications? Can you guide me? What are your thoughts on the usefulness of a MBA in Marketing?

 Do you have any advice or suggestions on avenues I can take to get a social/health marketing position while in pursuit of my graduate degree?

 What is the best way to get approval to add marketing staff?  What points to I need to cover and what information do I need to include in my request?

I have over 15 years of Marketing product experience but would like to move into the healthcare industry - Healthcare marketing (specifically sales & marketing to the over 55 communities). I have seen numerous positions available but can't seem to get their attention. Can you offer any advice?

On top of my full-time job, I usually have three to five consulting gigs on the side.  Is it helpful or hurtful to have them on my resume when I am applying for a new position?

I am relocating to the state of Texas and would like to know which of the following 3 cities have the most marketing opportunities: Austin, Dallas, or Houston?

I wanted to know how to get certified or trained in software applications most commonly used by marketing professionals without paying a hefty penny. Is there a way I can train myself?

What is best for a marketer who has about 18 years experience in all kinds of marketing areas: To stay a generalist and become a knowledge center for others or to specialize in a specific area and become an expert?

I am an AMA member and wondering if there are resources available or that can be recommended to develop top-notch resumes for professionals?

How should I prepare myself to jump into the for-profit industry? What classes should I be taking and which magazines should I be reading?

What is the effectiveness of staffing agencies and maybe suggest a few good ones that recruits for the marketing field?

Can experience in media research be applied to find a job in "True" Marketing?

How do I land a job when I don’t have the experience they are looking for?

What does one do to distinguish a resume from the rest?

How do I confront my manager for a promotion?

As a new consulting firm should I accept subcontracting work?

Where can "Traffic Coordinators" or "Production Managers" best network?

What is the cost/benefit of getting an MBA?

How do I become a manager without managerial experience?

How do I break into marketing without a marketing degree?

How do I get my first job in marketing?

Is age a factor in hiring?

How do I transition from adverting sales to a marketing position?

Why didn't the employer follow up?

Why can't I get an interview?

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