GlaxoSmithKline, a science-led global company has a deep awareness of the role its products play to improve the lives of its consumers. Besides developing and producing vaccines and medicines for a wide range of medical disciplines, for more than 160 years, GSK has been responsible for some of the world’s most renowned consumer healthcare products, including Advil, Centrum, Emergen-C and Tums. With operations in over 100 countries, this pharmaceutical giant’s image is well-known, and that’s what drew Carrie Salmon, NYU Stern MBA ’19, to the company.
Carrie Salmon, who currently works with the Sensodyne portfolio as an Associate Brand Manager, hasn’t always been in the realm of healthcare, however. After five years of working in the media and entertainment industries, Carrie decided to pursue an MBA to pivot into a career in marketing and strategy. Upon completing a summer internship at Pfizer, Carrie Salmon received an offer to join the company’s brand management team full time. Pfizer’s consumer healthcare division, which later became a part of GSK Consumer Healthcare through a joint venture, provided her the opportunity to learn and grow in a structured marketing rotational program.
NYU Stern’s ample internship experiences, paired with its cross-functional courses, helped her to make the transition for a dynamic career in brand management. Read on for her story in this edition of Real Humans: Alumni.
Carrie Salmon, NYU Stern ’19, Associate Brand Manager, Sensodyne Franchise at GSK
Hometown: Plainview, New York
Undergraduate Institution and Major: NYU Steinhardt, School of Culture, Education, and Human Development: Vocal Performance
Graduate Business School, Graduation Year and Concentration: NYU University, Stern School of Business Class of 2019: Specialization in Marketing, Strategy, and Product Management
Pre-MBA Work Experience: 5 years, talent management, casting and production
Why did you choose to attend business school? After working in entertainment and media at companies such as Creative Artists Agency, DreamWorks Animation, and Sony Music Entertainment, I realized I wanted to pivot into a career in marketing and strategy. Pursuing an MBA would give me the opportunity to improve my quantitative prowess, network, and develop a broad set of strategic skills to navigate new experiences and work cross-functionally.
Why NYU Stern? Which factors influenced your decision? I was attracted to NYU Stern’s curriculum, student body, professors, and access to its alumni network. I was eager to be a part of the Stern community while being a few subway stops away from epicenters of culture and commerce. Stern’s students, faculty, and staff embody the IQ+EQ mindset. I was thrilled to be admitted to Stern as a Consortium Fellow.
What was your internship during business school? How did that inform your post-MBA career choice? I was lucky to have the opportunity to do several internships while pursuing my MBA at NYU Stern. Since I was hoping to switch into a new industry, I did an internship each semester, in addition to the summer. My first year at Stern I interned at the social-impact startup Grapevine, where I consulted on marketing and digital strategy. I was able to walk to the company’s co-working space in Soho and work with the founder on projects in between classes. My summer internship was at Pfizer, working on the ChapStick brand. I was responsible for working with marketing, design, finance, supply chain, and innovation teams, culminating in a final project and presentation. In my second year at Stern, I interned at NBC Universal in their Client Strategy group, where I worked on data analytics and a final project on advertising and sales strategy.
Why did you choose to work for your current company? Upon completion of my summer internship at Pfizer, I received an offer to join their brand management team full time. Pfizer’s consumer healthcare division, which later became a part of GSK Consumer Healthcare through a joint venture, would provide me the opportunity to learn and grow in a structured marketing rotational program. The opportunity to learn from colleagues all over the world who worked on brands such as Advil, Centrum, Sensodyne, Emergen-C, and Tums was exciting, and I quickly accepted.
How did your MBA experience prepare you for your current career? Working in marketing, it is necessary to work cross functionally. My classes at NYU Stern in operations, strategy, finance, and branding prepared me for a dynamic career in brand management. My involvement and leadership in clubs at Stern such the Graduate Marketing Association, Student Government, and the Association of Hispanic and Black Business Students made me comfortable taking on leadership roles at GSK. Currently, I am a part of GSK’s Women’s Leadership Initiative, the Diverse Reverse Mentoring program, campus recruiting team, and I am an #IamRemarkable workshop facilitator.
How has COVID impacted your industry/career plans? This has been a very interesting time to work in consumer healthcare! Across all industries, we have seen the importance of ecommerce and accessibility. Consumers are now taking a more proactive approach to managing their health, and brands have needed to be agile in their messaging and innovation pipelines.
What advice would you give to a current MBA student? Stay curious and take advantage of the incredible network you have at your fingertips by connecting with fellow students, faculty, and alumni. Your peers and professors are wonderful resources to learn from, and an alum may be the person to guide you to your next role!
Learn about more business school alumni like Carrie Salmon by exploring our Real Humans: Alumni series.