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Executive-in-Residence Program Brings Insights from Leading Marketing Executive

April 23, 2010
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Nadal and studentCreative employees make a great firm stand out from the rest according to Miles Nadal who heads up the world's ninth-largest marketing communications company. Nadal, who is the chairman and CEO of MDC Partners, spoke to the School's students April 22 as part of its Executive-in-Residence program. His company is a network of advertising and other marketing firms that have been behind some of the most recognized campaigns. During his presentation, Nadal showed videos of some of his favorites, including Domino's, Burger King, and Volkswagen, and discussed some of MDC's strategies before opening the floor for questions.

Nadal said that what makes his company and any great corporation stand out is its ability to bring in talented employees who can think creatively.  This creativity includes making the most out of difficult circumstances.  Nadal said that because of his company's creative thinking, it has been able to navigate the financial crisis with minimal damage. 

"When everyone thinks times are bad, I tend to be happy about the situation and when people are really pleased about things, that's when I tend to be a seller," said Nadal.

Nadal also discussed the rapidly changing identity of the media and marketing world.  He explained that social media is changing the way that brand building works by placing an emphasis on interactivity between customer and company.  Nadal said that the key to maintaining success during a time in which technology shifts so quickly is being able to adapt to new trends.

"The key is to constantly try new things," Nadal said.  "No batter bats 1,000, but the key is to keep trying and to invest in what works and change quickly what doesn't work."

Nadal closed his talk by offering advice to students about their future career paths.  Nadal encouraged students to focus on what they love, rather than financial gain, because he said that if you love something, you will become successful at it.  Nadal also encouraged students to be patient and not always expect to find the perfect job right away.

"Do something that you love to do [because] you will spend more time working than doing anything else in your life," he said. "It's also important to have a game plan.  It may take you a few steps before you get to the ultimate destination."

In addition to Nadal, the  School's Executive-in-Residence Program has featured Ralph Alvarez (BBA '76), the president and chief operating officer of McDonald's Corp.; Joseph J. Echevarria, Jr. (BBA '78), the U.S. managing partner and chief operating officer of global accounting giant Deloitte LLP; Matthew Rubel (MBA '80), the chairman, CEO, and president, of Collective Brands Inc., the parent company of Payless ShoeSource; Stuart Fraser, Cantor Fitzgerald's vice chairman; Patrick Barron (BBA '75), the first vice president and chief operating officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; and Fred Reynolds, former CFO and Executive Vice President of CBS and former CEO and President of Viacom, who currently holds board positions with Kraft Foods, Inc and AOL.

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