Spring is in the air and prospective college students aren’t the only ones receiving acceptance letters.
With media in her DNA, Jessie Wisel Lebwohl has held positions at media giant Time Inc., representing many of its respected properties including InStyle, People, and Hello Giggles, an online community for women. In her new role as Sales & Business Development Associate, Jessie brings tremendous experience assisting her clients in building brand relationships across multiple media platforms. At first meeting, Jessie’s infectious energy, creativity and customer service focus made her the perfect addition to Barnes & Noble College Marketing’s growing team.
We recently sat down with Jessie to learn what excites her about this new position, how being a TV junkie can help on the job, and why she’s so excited to go back to college.
Why did you decide to join Barnes & Noble College?
As a proud Penn State Alum [We Are!], I visited the Penn State Bookstore all the time as a student. I was really intrigued by the opportunity to join Barnes & Noble College and bring my experience to a completely new market. Barnes & Noble College offers brands unique access to the college market — no other media channel can offer that. Their on-campus and digital access to college students connects them to brands in a way that other marketing platforms can’t. Barnes & Noble College is the ideal solution for brands that have been targeting this audience and have found it so challenging to make strong connections.
In your view, what’s the biggest challenge facing brands today?
Consumer behavior has changed dramatically, especially with Gen Z and Millennials. They’re consuming content on multiple devices daily — so it’s getting much more difficult for brands to effectively reach and engage with their target consumer. Barnes & Noble College builds relationships directly on college campuses as well as digitally, and their deep-rooted understanding of the 18-24-year-old audience translates into greater brand engagement with this challenging demographic. This is the one-of-a-kind benefit Barnes & Noble College has to offer for marketers.
What does your experience tell you that students are looking for in their interaction with brands?
Every millennial study tells us that college students want authenticity and transparency. They don’t like invasive, non-organic advertising or anything they consider to be corporate-speak. They have big demands and high expectations for brands — and they want those brands to demonstrate that they understand them, and know what they need and want.
Tell us about your college days and your favorite memory from that time.
I loved college! I graduated with a degree in Communications from Penn State, but my favorite memory was attending THON — the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. Thousands of students help raise money to support children with cancer through fundraising, marketing, sales, communications and advertising. This is a huge deal on campus, which culminates with a 46-hour dance marathon in February. The experience is truly amazing and gratifying.
What do you do in your spare time?
Beyond spending time with my family, I do love to watch TV. I’d call myself a TV junkie. I watch every genre. TV culture is a great icebreaker and it’s fun getting into conversations about shows like The Bachelor — or something more serious like Homeland. Someone always wants to talk about a popular show.
What are you most excited about as you enter this new role?
I get to go back to college! I’ll be able to immerse myself in that world again, but this time I’m doing it from a new perspective. Now, I’ll be able to help my clients gain a deeper, more relevant understanding of college consumers, so they can build deeper relationships. It’s like handing my clients the keys to the castle!
To learn how Jessie can help your brand “head back to college” this coming school year, contact her at email@example.com.