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Gene Zlotnikov

Gene Zlotnikov

Blue Chip Marketing Worldwide

Sr. Account Executive

Personal Information

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School: University of Illinois at Chicago

Major: Communications

Years at College Works: 2009 to 2010

Career Information

Company You Work For Now: Blue Chip Marketing Worldwide

Title: Sr. Account Executive

Industry: Marketing

Brief Description of Duties / Responsibilities

My main responsibility includes serving as the day-to-day account lead for a variety of clients, overseeing marketing campaigns and developing new business presentations and proposals.

What Has Been Your Proudest Accomplishment Post-CWP?

I've built a lot of great relationships and friendships at my current job. I've been very dependable and have been praised and rewarded for my work ethic. I'm proud of being able to translate my success from CWP to the success I've had in my current role.

CWP Career Impact

In one sentence, what has CWP meant to you?

I wouldn't be as confident, as dependable, as committed, as smart and as fortunate without my experience at CWP.

How did your CWP experience impact your career? Immediately after graduation? Now?

CWP impacted my career in several ways. First, it helped me realize what I wanted to do. After my experience at CWP, I immediately did a few internships and realized that I wanted to work for a marketing agency. Second, I learned all aspects of business. Whether it was managing people, working with clients, setting the right expectations, building rapport with people and sales techniques, these were all very valuable skills that I use today. Lastly, I learned what I was capable of accomplishing. Most importantly, this experience gave me a lot of confidence and this confidence has gotten me where I am today.

What do you want to tell your clients about what it meant to work with them and how it has helped you get to where you are today?

I wouldn't say this was my "favorite" client, but it was definitely the most valuable client experience I had. I painted the Randolph's house in Lake Forest in 2009. It was a difficult house to paint, but looked beautiful when it was done. We ran into many issues -- delays because of weather, poor initial work from my team and communication issues. While at the time that experience was frustrating and hard, looking back on this job, I learned a lot and it helped set the tone for the rest of my CWP experience.

What was the greatest lesson you learned from your CWP experience?

When you fail, stay positive, stay confident and keep going. When I was a manager, I started my year off well and was poised to finish the year strong. In the middle of the summer I hit a cold streak and my business came to a halt. Not only were sales not going well, but several clients weren't happy with how production was going. This stretch of time was the hardest part of CWP for me. But what I realized was that listening to the advice of others, maintaining confidence and a positive attitude and not giving up just because things got hard would help me get through those tough times. I finished the year strong and was one of the top managers in the state.

How has the friendships and networks you built during CWP affected you?

I've worked with several CWP teammates at other jobs. I've been to my DM's wedding. I've connected with CWP alumni I didn't know to build my network. The friendships and CWP network are extremely valuable to me.

If you had to come up with an one line slogan for CWP, what would it be? :)

Work hard. Play Hard.

Advice

What advice do you have for potential CWP participants? Current CWP participants?

Potential CWP participants: Don't think twice about passing this up. It'll be the hardest and most rewarding experience of your life. There is no way to describe what you will be in for, but CWP will give you lasting friendships and valuable skills for the future. Current CWP participants: Think big picture. It's hard right now. It'll continue being hard. But in the end, you will look back and say, "I can't believe I did all of that".

Many college students struggle to choose between an internship specific to their target industry or doing CWP. What advice would you give them on this subject if they wanted to enter your career field?

Do both. I did CWP for 2 years (sophomore and junior year) and my senior year I did two internships that were more specific to the field I was interested in. CWP helped give me confidence and experience to be able to not only get those internships, but succeed in those positions.

What's your best advice for someone interested in entering your career field?

Find a company where you can grow as a leader and are exposed to many parts of the business. Many positions don't allow for much flexibility besides the day-to-day duties that are requirements of the job. Find a company where you can lead a variety of projects and have work where you are constantly doing something new.

What's your favorite memory from CWP?

There were far too many to count. We had a lot of great times playing "Mafia" during my DM year.

Last words of wisdom

There are two quotes that I will always remember that I believe describe why CWP is a great choice for young people: "Work hard. Play hard." "Do what you have to do now, so you can do what you want to do later."

Gene Zlotnikov