Recently, Newman University alum Anthony Navarrete ‘19 and Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing and Communication Zach Brake were named two of the Wichita Business Journal’s 2023 Young Marketing Professionals. This series highlights up-and-coming professionals ages 25-40 who are the next generation of city and community leaders.
Finding a calling in marketing
For Navarrete, who works as marketing coordinator for Hinkle Law Firm, the recognition is both an honor and humbling.
“I felt that my workplace valued me and felt that I was deserving of the recognition,” he said. “I always joke to my supervisor about how we need to happily accept our ‘flowers,’ so it was a nice feeling accepting mine.”
Navarrete has been with Hinkle Law Firm since October 2021, when he started as a marketing assistant, a new position at the firm.
“My supervisor said I could make the role whatever I wanted,” he shared. “After about a year in the role, she felt I was deserving of a promotion. I basically got to write my job description, which was fun.”
As marketing coordinator, Navarrete wears multiple hats, especially since the law firm’s marketing department consists of just two team members.
“On any given day I could be making updates to one of our websites, creating a social media campaign, planning events, writing our firm’s internal newsletter or coordinating client gifts,” he said. “I never get bored.”
Navarrete feels his time at Newman prepared him well for his career.
“There are a lot of things that take me back to my days at Newman,” he said. “Honestly, being on the Campus Activities Board helped me get my current job, as my supervisor was intrigued that I had event planning experience. I don’t get to do large-scale events like the Welcome Back Bash anymore, but our firm still puts on quite a few events a year that I have a hand in coordinating.”
Prior to his job at Hinkle Law Firm, Navarrete did some freelance work and had a brief role in banking before he found a full-time position at a Wichita news station, where he worked as a web and social media reporter.
“I learned a lot in this role, and one of those things happened to be that a career in news was not for me,” he said. “I was intrigued by the world of marketing and figured a lot of the skills I had gained could be transferable.”
Navarrete continued, “I discovered the job at Hinkle and foolishly thought, ‘Oh, I read affidavits for work all the time! Easy peasy.’ For the record, I currently have nothing to do with affidavits and just laugh at myself every time I look back on that moment. But I’ve been with Hinkle for almost two years now, and I’ve loved every moment of it.”
For current Newman students looking to enter the field of marketing, Navarrete advises they learn how to network.
“Skills and experience are an important thing to have, but learning to be comfortable with networking can introduce you to mentors or help you get the interview that jumpstarts your career,” he said. “If you can, attend some professional development events. There’s AMA (American Marketing Association) Wichita, PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) Kansas, and Wichita Professional Communicators to name a few. These organizations typically have a monthly event and students either get to attend for free or at a discounted rate.”
Networking is one thing Navarrate was able to jumpstart himself at Newman, especially because he was taught by experienced professors.
“I really enjoyed my time at Newman, and being a few years removed now, I really appreciate the attention I was able to get from my professors,” he said. “Each of them seemed genuinely interested in my success and overall well-being, and I’m thankful for that.”
‘The people are the job‘
Brake, who serves as Newman’s assistant athletic director for marketing and communications and earned an MBA in data analytics in 2021, was proud when he heard he was named one of Wichita Business Journal’s 2023 Young Marketing Professionals.
“We took some big steps as a department here, and it was cool to see some recognition in our local community,” he said.
Brake began working at Newman three years ago. For him, “the people are the job.”
“The people I meet and work with daily never cease to amaze me as to what’s possible with collaboration,” he said. “I continue working in this field because I haven’t met a bad day yet. Too frequently, we get bogged down with to-do lists or negative results, but I truthfully enjoy the learning process that is then transformed into results.”
Brake shared that, like Navarrete, one lesson he learned early on in his career is “your network is your net worth.”
“To expand upon that, no matter how brilliant we are individually, we can do so much more with the help of others,” he said. “My advice to current Newman University students of any discipline, but especially marketing, is to form your relationships and cultivate them. People are any organization’s greatest assets. I find this especially true in small college athletics.”
Earn a marketing degree from Newman University
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