You don’t have to be smartest person in your class or the curve buster on exams; nor do you need to score the finest internships to land your dream job, says Mary Ascher, BSBA’21. But you do have to be dedicated to hard work, willing to network and, most importantly, believe in yourself.
“You get out of it what you put into it,” Ascher says. It’s a maxim that she applied to sorority life, academics and her overall Creighton experience. “I would never have ended up where I am now if I didn’t give it my all.”
And where did Ascher end up? Just in the country’s third oldest advertising agency, the venerable Foote, Cone and Belding (FCB). Its client roster reads like a Fortune 500 Who’s Who. Levi’s, Coca-Cola, Walmart and Anheuser-Busch are just a few of its heavy-hitting clients.
Having relocated to Chicago from her home in Olathe, Kansas, Ascher is an assistant account executive on a pharmaceutical account and will work in both direct-to-consumer (DTC) and health care professional (HCP) advertising. She believes her passion for health care advertising, diverse work experience as an undergrad and various leadership roles at Creighton distinguished her from her peers.
Ascher, a marketing (strategic communications track) and management (entrepreneurial track) double major, held marketing internships with numerous employers: Heider College of Business, Markel Corporation, the benefit platform Maxwell and Camp Tekakwitha. She learned how to build a brand strategy in the new Agency Practicum, and her brand building skills were awarded with Most Creative Contributor at the Murphy Cup Marketing Competition.
As president of her social sorority Gamma Phi Beta, Ascher honed her leadership skills. During lockdown she discovered a passion for entrepreneurship when she established a small business creating and selling prints.
When Ascher interviewed at FCB Chicago, she discovered the firm was looking for someone with experience, the right personality for the team and the “passion to bring new ideas to the pharmaceutical advertising space.”
“They also told me that they could see a fire in me with how much hard work I put into networking with individuals in the industry,” she adds.
And work hard, she did. At the beginning of her senior year, Ascher met with Heather Doering, director of business career programs at Creighton’s John P. Fahey Career Center, to establish a job hunt game plan. Doering promised Ascher that if she networked with 50 people, she would have a job that she loved by graduation.
“If I didn’t hit 50, I came very close. After spending day after day calling whoever would let me, I learned so much about what it was I wanted to do,” she says. “If I could give any senior business student advice it would be to network as much as you can in order to learn all that you can.”
Ascher is grateful she chose Creighton out of all her college options, saying that the University “built me into a more confident, outgoing, conscious and hardworking individual.”
“Ultimately, I chose Creighton University because I felt that I was seen as an individual there. And I appreciated that I was given scholarship funds because of my hard work, leadership experience and service in high school, rather than just my GPA and ACT score,” she continues.
Plus, she says she wanted a college environment that was intimate, friendly and community-driven, a place where she could “be someone who walked around campus and had a million people to say ‘Hi’ to.” She found that at Creighton.
“My favorite Creighton memory consists of the day-to-day interactions found on the mall, in Skutt and in Harper,” Ascher says. “That is what I think I miss most – running into a friend and accidentally talking for an hour. I love the way that Creighton fuels friendship.”