Posted on Jan 11, 2021 in Alumni News, Career/Life, and News
We’re highlighting Jayhawks who serve as mentors to fellow alumni and students to celebrate National Mentoring Month.
Caitlin Ungerer, j’17, lives in Chicago where she works as an influencer marketing manager for Octagon. She began working at the agency in 2017 and has worked her way up through a number of different positions in creative and digital.
As a student at KU, Caitlin majored in journalism. She was involved with Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and volunteered with Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA).
Caitlin can assist students and young alumni with choosing a major, career and industry trends, transitioning to life after school and more.
Connect with Caitlin on KU Mentoring.
How did you end up in your current career? What is an achievement you’re proud of?
My post-grad plan was always to start my career in broadcast. My studies focused on courses within the news and information branch of the J-School and it was really all I knew. As senior year rolled around, I realized I wasn’t passionate enough about news to pursue a long-term career. This was a scary but freeing realization!
I scrambled to search for other job openings that would align with both my passions and my skills. Professor Utsler, who was one of my mentors at the time, shared a job opening for a fellowship at Octagon he thought I might be interested in. Octagon is a sports & entertainment marketing agency that services both brand clients and talent personalities around the world. I knew it would be a longshot given I had no direct marketing experience, but I at least had to try.
The cards ended up working in my favor because I landed the fellowship that eventually turned into a full-time position on the digital strategy team focusing on all things influencer marketing. I feel very fortunate about how things worked out. Sometimes you just have to take a chance on yourself!
I’m proud of the roster of clients I’ve had the opportunity to work with thus far, some of which include Michelob ULTRA, Budweiser, Mastercard, JBL, and PlayStation.
What advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
One piece of advice for my younger self would be to never miss an opportunity to make meaningful connections. In the hustle and bustle of college, and really just life, it’s easy to simply go through the motions but you never know when a connection you made months or even years ago could pop back up in your life and impact you! Take the time to slow down and have meaningful conversations. You won’t regret it.
What do you like to do outside of work?
When I’m not working, I try to get outside as much as possible. Fresh air can cure almost anything. In COVID-times, I’ve found that exploring Chicago on foot has been one of my favorite activities. There’s so much to see and so many great food spots to grab a bite to go along the way.
I also enjoy traveling, cooking, cute animal TikToks, and reality TV.
Need a mentor? Want to serve as a mentor? KU Mentoring is open to students, alumni, faculty and staff, and friends of the University of Kansas. Professionals who are looking for opportunities to connect with KU and provide assistance to Jayhawks are also welcome. Learn more about KU Mentoring.