Since graduating from both the Lundquist College of Business and the UO School of Law, Kristin Harrer, MBA ’08, worked with Wieden + Kennedy and Nike before accepting a position as head of creative brand marketing at Samsung North America. We recently caught up with the Warsaw Center alumna to find out what she’s doing now.
Describe your current position and role.
I am head of creative brand marketing at Samsung North America. I oversee a team driving strategy, integrated marketing, and creative for all Samsung product lines ranging from mobile, TV, and tablets, to wearables, home appliance, and services. We are Samsung's resident storytellers.
How has your Warsaw Center experience shaped your professional career?
I started the JD/MBA program at UO as a former collegiate athlete and 1L, passionate about women's sports. I thought I would take the bar and do Title IX civil litigation, but I met people during my time at Warsaw who made me think differently about my professional interests—Jim Warsaw and Dan Wieden included. Ultimately, I realized I was more passionate about using creative storytelling to shift culture than I was about forcing change through policy. That was a big "ah-ha" Moment. It changed my path definitively in the best way possible. My focus is now much broader than women's sports, but I love what I do.
What key business trends are you following right now?
Using data to develop better, more personalized, 1:1 brand experiences with consumers; the idea of membership; and mobile payments.
What is your favorite social media platform for personal use and what social media platform is best for your business purposes?
Your personal brand is your personal brand, no matter what platform you're using. To me, personal and professional is one in the same. What I post on certain platforms may differ, but I have family, friends, and colleagues on all of them.
What do you miss most about Eugene?
College football and the running community. Eugene turned me into a marathoner. My first marathon was Eugene in 2007. Since then I have run Boston twice, New York City, Chicago, and London. My fifteenth was this past September in Berlin, and I am running Los Angeles in February.
—As told to Whitney Wagoner, Warsaw Sports Marketing Center