Featured Women Leaders: Tiera Montgomery

In October we celebrated National Business Women’s Week and the Career Center reached out to several female campus leaders to ask about their experiences and seek out their advice. Today we feature senior Tiera Montgomery, a Strategic Communications major from Kansas City, Missouri. Tiera is former President of Sigma Gamma Rho sorority, Director of Marketing for Campus Activities Programming Board and Digital Specialist for the Office of Student Affairs to mention just a few of her many roles.

What kinds of experiences have you had in your field and do you think that being a woman has affected or influenced them?

“I think that the most influential experience that I’ve had has definitely been working for an internship in VML over the summer. I had a wonderful experience just being able to have my first experience in my field, network with other young professionals l like myself, but also getting to network within the company. I actually found a mentor that really just took me underneath her wing, found me in the hallway and waved me down, and just wanted to talk to me and know my name. She just found it important as a person that is a part of the company to make sure that, as a black woman, I felt comfortable being in that space and letting me know that there was someone there that understood what it was like to be in this atmosphere.”

Who have your mentors and champions been and do you have any advice for other women interested in marketing and advertising?

“My first mentor is definitely my mom. She is the strongest woman that I know, she really just puts her all into everything that she does. She’s able to go after her dreams no matter what they are. She was my first role model, for sure, putting herself through college and raising me and my sister at the same time. She always just showed us if you have a dream it’s achievable and that you can find a way to make it work no matter what other responsibilities you have, and that’s something I’ve definitely started to identify with as I’m college, working, and also being a part of other student organizations. I’ve really had to manage my time and I think that definitely from a young age, watching my mom be able to maneuver all her different hats and still provide for me and my sister has definitely helped that.”

What do you love about your major and field, and how do you feel like you are playing to your strengths?

“I am a journalism major, but I specifically want to go into advertising and marketing because I really like the aspect of being able to work on different projects. When you work in an advertising agency you’re able to work on different brands, so that could be clothes, food, music, so I really think that plays into my interest in being just a very fun and open person so I come to work everyday excited because I don’t know what I’m going to do or who my next client will be. That always presents new challenges but also new opportunities, so that’s something to look forward to.

Another thing that I really love about the advertising industry is it’s very team-oriented so you’re always working in a team in order to complete a project and that allows me to use my leadership skills that I’ve developed over the years and communication. That also provides a new challenge of being able to work with people who may not come from the same background as me so it presents itself with an opportunity to learn more about what else is out there in the world and how people can be different, but also similar because we obviously have the same interest in advertisement.”

How does a week dedicated to working women make you feel?

“I think that having a dedicated week towards working women is extremely important, not because recognition is something that others should seek out or desire, but because it’s important to feel seen. It is important to know that what you’re doing is contributing to the work as a whole and that other people see what it is that you’re doing. A lot of times and, historically, women have contributed to some of the biggest movements and didn’t get the recognition that they deserved while other people took credit for what they may have done. I just think that it’s important for us to recognize the fact of where we came from and how we got to this point today.

I’d love to see more and more successful women in leadership positions. It’s extremely, extremely important because we need to be able to have a different voice especially within my field because its dominated by white males and they sit, normally, in the highest positions. There’s not enough turnover or young professionals don’t stay in the industry long enough in order to get to that point where they can have a higher position, so most women in the field feel ignored, they get discouraged so it’s easy to feel like you’ll never make it to the top. I think that it’s really important to stick it out and help one another to be able to reach those avenues. I think that having a week dedicated towards women should be something that all people do should be, something everyone recognizes and celebrates and it’s not to isolate between women and men, but it’s just to recognize that you do things successfully and so do I and we should both get recognition for that.”