Married Marketers Pursue Paths

Kevin and Karlin Ramussen study marketing together, are graduating this April together, will start their careers at Nelson Professional Marketing in Cincinnati together, and get to celebrate their second wedding anniversary in May together.

Although they’ve shared a significant portion of their experiences and interests with each other, the field of marketing is diverse, and their passions and career paths are unique. Each grew up in different parts of the Midwest, but came to marketing and business by very different paths.

“Originally, I really wanted to go into psychology,” Karlin says. “I like to understand how people think and make decisions. In high school, I got involved in DECA, which is this nerdy business competition. It was natural for me to go into marketing because it was a blend of psychology and business.”

Kevin was inspired by church leaders in his youth, two brand managers at General Mills who are now members of the BYU Marketing Advisory Board. Their mentorship led Kevin to better understand himself and what facet of the industry would best play to his strengths.

“According to StrengthsFinder, I’m an activator, which means I’m really good at getting things going,” Kevin explains. “One of the down sides to that is if I’m in something too long, I can get a little bit bored.”

That’s why being a member of the innovations team at Nelson is such a good fit.

“The great thing about innovations is that it’s a quick turnover of projects and a lot of different things,” Kevin says. “We could work on diapers for three weeks and then barbeque sauce. When people are thinking of new ideas, bringing new products to the market, or changing a product in a significant way, I’ll run tests on it to see if it’s a viable idea.”

On the other hand, Karlin enjoys digging in and spending time on a single project.

“For me, I like to do something and see results,” she says. “And then, if there’s something wrong, identifying that, making changes, and looking for results again. It’s this, ‘What’s wrong and how I can I make it better?’ mentality. That’s very motivating for me.”

Karlin will be on Nelson’s sales effectiveness team, spending her time measuring the impact of a sales strategy and its ability to positively impact clients.

“When you walk into a grocery store and you see a display of chips—the chip company paid for that space and we can actually measure how likely it is for you to purchase those chips,” Karlin says. “We measure how that placement will impact your purchase.”

“And she loves grocery stores,” Kevin replies.

“Yes, I really, really love grocery stores, so I’m excited for this job,” Karlin says.

While the Rasmussens’ professional lives have and will remain in separate departments, they’ve enjoyed sharing their Marriott School education over the past two years.

“It’s been fun,” Karlin says. “We took the entire junior core together. This semester we’re in two classes together. It’s been a really great experience for us to learn how to work together in a professional way towards a common goal.”