Beth Ann Kaminkow

#BethAnnSpeaks: Valuable advice from an SU alumna

By Lindsey Silverman, Newhouse/iSchool ’15

Beth Ann Kaminkow ’89 speaks to students in Watson Theater

Last Wednesday evening, Beth Ann Kaminkow ’89 packed a large audience of ambitious students into Watson Theater as she discussed her journey to becoming successful in the advertising and marketing industries. She is now the President and Chief Executive Officer of TracyLocke, but she reminded everyone that she started out in the same position as many of us sitting in the crowd. As a Syracuse alumna, Beth Ann knows the ropes and is in the perfect position to give advice to students who are wondering how we can achieve the same level of success.

Be an Architect
This first point that Beth Ann really stressed is that you have the power to pick the direction of your career. She told the students to “think of yourself as the builder and architect of your career.” If you sit back and don’t do anything, nobody will magically create a successful career plan for you. You have to put in the work and create your own personal brand. This is where she pointed to the subject of social media, an area of interest for many Syracuse students. Beth Ann talked about taking the digital tools that we use everyday and transforming the way we use them in order to brand ourselves. All of our social media platforms together allow us to be the curator of our own brands. Beth Ann urged us to “start thinking about yourself as the agency of your own brand.” No matter what point in time, you can still design and change your brand. You are the architect.

Image courtesy of

“Pyramid of Success”
Beth Ann alluded many times to John Wooden as she talked about his “Pyramid to Success.” She continued to urge us to research advice given by Wooden and referred to one of his quotes that seemed to really resonate with us. The quote? “Nothing will work unless you do. “



One of the last points that stood out to me was when Beth Ann discussed the concept of reinventing yourself. She referred to the prime example of Madonna and explained that if you plan to remain in your industry for a long time you must remain relevant. You need to always be on the lookout for a void in society and think of ways you can fill it. Life is constantly changing, so you must love the change and embrace it.

A Student Perspective

From our report

I only decided to attend this event at the last minute, but I am so happy I took the time out of my midterm studying to hear Beth Ann speak. Her energy and story were inspiring and made me so excited to start a career in the advertising industry. Everything she said was relatable and valuable, plus it was great to hear her in such a relaxed setting. Students were given time to personally ask her any questions about her story and about the industry in general, and all throughout the event students and faculty were communicating through social media. The hashtag #BethAnnSpeaks on Twitter generated nearly 200 tweets and reached an audience of more than 11,000 people.

I encourage every student to take the time out to hear speakers who you are interested in because you never know what you could learn. Beth Ann made me confident in the fact that I just added a new major in the Newhouse school. With hard work, success is definitely in reach.

The Alumni Speaker Series is a joint program by Career Services and the Office of Alumni Relations. Mark your calendars for Friday, November 9 when alumna Rachel Chang G’ 03, Editor-in-Chief of J-14 Magazine, will take part in a panel discussion with Newhouse professors Corey Takahashi and Aileen Gallagher on the future of the magazine industry. That takes place at 1:00 p.m. in Schine 304ABC. On Monday, February 11, 2013, we will welcome Jeff Connors ’98, Director of Global Marketing at The Rockport Company, as part of the Alumni Speaker Series. Stay tuned for additional speakers in Spring 2013! For details, contact Kim Brown (