Our guest today was Anna Barcelos, the Director of Marketing for the international software company, Vector Software Inc. The Life Skills class host of the day who welcomed Anna to Hope High and introduced her to the Life Skills class was Cris Quenes.
Anna began her story describing her company, Vector Software Inc, and her responsibilities there.
“Vector is a software company.
I know you’ve spoken about software in this class before. In fact, I was told you have a rising software expert in this class named Fernando Perez. Software, for those of you who don’t know, are mathematical formulas. From operating instructions for our phone, microwave or car to programs that collect and organize
‘data’ about who is watching what on the internet or what a person is buying at CVS or listening to on Pandora,
software is part of most things we use today.
software has a specific purpose: it tests safety and quality elements in important places like airplanes, hospitals and railways to make sure these places are safe environments for people to be and efficient and effective operations for the companies that own them. Our headquarters are in East Greenwich, Rhode Island with other offices and support staff all over the world. My marketing responsibility at Vector is essentially telling a story and observing the reaction to it.
Marketing starts with collecting, organizing and analyzing ‘data’ which are happening in different places. Once ‘data’ is analyzed and people discover what it means, marketers then create messages based on what they’ve learned in the data. After a message is sent, marketers then measure the effectiveness of the message.
In other words, how did the recipients of the message react or respond to the message? Did anyone hear the commercial or open the email or read the postcard? Did anyone buy the product, make the donation, attend the event that the message was encouraging people to do? Marketers like me constantly measure what we do. It’s a challenge to create a good commercial,
brochure, email message, billboard, or augmented reality that makes people curious and interested in a product. It’s also a lot of fun! Collaborating, working in teams, using our imagination, being creative and testing and measuring results, it’s all part of marketing. It’s an exciting job! I love it! And today, companies and organizations are looking for good marketing people.
Our messages are usually in the form of advertisements, commercials and social media. The data I analyze identifies who I should send the message to and what the message should say and look like. My objective is create messages that resonate with the person receiving and viewing it. Creating messages that instill confidence in Vector services, make people curious and want to learn more and eventually consider using Vector software for their company is the purpose of our marketing. I know you speak about ‘brand’, your personal brand, in this Life Skills class. Just as you work hard to promote and protect a positive personal brand,
my goal is similar to yours only I’m promoting and protecting a business brand, the Vector Software Inc brand.”
Anna also shared her immigration story, from her birth in Madeira and arrival in America at 5 years old to her eventual studies in marketing at Bryant University. “My parents didn’t speak English and neither did I so we spoke Portuguese at home. When I first went to school, I was scared. Everyone spoke English but me!
Unfortunately, my school was not as diverse as Hope.
If my school was as diverse as Hope High, my transition in America would have been a calmer, less anxious process. But I persevered; it quickly worked out and I fit in with my classmates.”
The conversation soon turned to mistakes and failure. “Of course,
I make mistakes. Everyone does along the way.
I still do. But, I don’t get discouraged. I find a lesson in each mistake to improve and be better the next time. If you persist, you will eventually be successful.”
Manny Rivas added the word “resilience” to the conversation.
“You can’t give up; if you want to be successful, you must be resilient!“
The class ended with our Life Skills networking session as students exchanged business cards with Anna to add her to their network.