“It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.”
Emily DeLozier is one of the most creative marketers I know. With an MBA in Marketing and Supply Chain from the University of St. Thomas and a B.A. in Art and Art History from the College of St. Catherine, she currently works as a Global Product Manager at Pentair. Prior to this position, she was my classmate at St. Thomas in the Full-time MBA program while working as a Customer Service/Merchandise Presentation Lead at Banana Republic and as a Marketing/Account Manager at Prime Circle Technologies. She also worked as an MBA Marketing Research Consultant for Minnesota Public Radio, and as a Purchasing and Merchandising Manager at Buckwick Organix.
Her first job out of college was working as a Sales Associate/Cashier Lead. Emily spent a semester studying abroad in India at the University of Hyderabad and her concentration in college was in South Asian Art. She is an avid swimmer and painter and speaks conversational Hindi.
What does a typical day in your role look like?
I usually like to start my day by checking my products' sales numbers and drinking a gigantic latte. As a product manager, meetings, emails, and phone calls are a given. But I manage the full product lifecycles of two industrial product lines, so no two days ever look the same. Today I will write copy and create training presentations for a new product launching later this summer. Next week I will be hosting an innovation event to help me build a business case for a new product line. And the next week, who knows? I may pour over spreadsheets to analyze sales trends or travel across the country to talk with customers and see my products in the field. The fact that I do not have a typical day is one of the things I like the most about my job.
What are you passionate about?
I love that I’m at a point in my career where I have more time to do the things I’m passionate about. For the first time ever, I have work-life balance, and it is glorious. What do I do with that free time? I love inventing new recipes or just trying something new in the kitchen. When work gets busy, or I am not sure about a decision, I stress bake. Cookies, cupcakes, breads, you name it. It’s a creative outlet for me that I get to share with my friends and family.
What do you find most challenging about your job/career?
Managing products from their inception to obsolescence and prioritizing my time between promoting existing products and creating new ones can be tricky. And even when I think I have my day planned out, all it takes is one phone call about a quality issue or customer opportunity to change everything. One trick I’ve learned is to schedule me-time into my day to handle the things that just pop-up or even just to think!
What do you find most enriching about your job/career?
I work with the most amazing people. Product management is highly collaborative, and when you work with people who actually want to work as a team, it’s incredibly empowering. The other product managers and engineers I work with making even the most challenging of days enjoyable.
How did you find yourself in your current career?
It was definitely not a straight path. I graduated undergrad with a degree in art history and worked as a fashion merchandiser, among other things. When I started a full-time MBA program, it took me a while to figure out how to link that to the business world. But I started at Pentair as an MBA product management intern. They took a chance on me and, it turns out, I had quite a few transferable skills that have served me well in product management. In art history, I learned how to analyze images and objects within a given context. Product management is almost the reverse, creating a product and then trying to anticipate how customers will perceive them.
Words of advice for anyone who wants to pursue this career?
The best advice I can give is to always be curious. It does not matter if your products are for industrial automation or consumer goods, I think if you can be curious you will be engaged and moved into action. Curiosity leads to creativity, innovation and ultimately the best solutions for your customers.
If you would like to learn more about Emily and her incredible career journey, click here!
Thanks for reading!