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Cailyn Hudspeth (IMC18)

Lead, Global Consumer Insights at Under Armour

After a devastating sports injury as an undergraduate student rower at Boston University, Cailyn Hudspeth (IMC18) developed an interest in helping athletes improve. Through the Medill IMC Full-Time program, she knew that she would have the opportunity to drive innovation and positive change in the sports and fitness industry.

The month after graduating, Hudspeth started a job as global consumer insights analyst at Under Armour. She’s enjoying the chance to use her IMC skills while pursuing her passion for assisting athletes.

Tell us about your career journey.

At Boston University, I studied advertising and communications and worked with the school’s student-run ad agency as an account planner. During the summer of my third and final college year, I interned at APCO Worldwide with the global marketing team. This led to my interest in marketing and my pursuit of an IMC degree at Medill after graduation. Medill’s program gave me the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of brand strategy, consumer insights, and data analytics. I also gained more sports experience at Northwestern as the women’s coach for the NU Crew team.

What are your main responsibilities at Under Armour?

My role sits within consumer insights, part of the global strategy team for Under Armour. I provide data-driven consumer insights to the various teams within UA to assist in making informed strategic decisions. I manage, track and report on brand health in all markets globally. I also use first- and third-party data to identify key market trends and monitor consumer sentiment and behavior. When we conduct research, I assist in research design and management for both quantitative and qualitative studies aimed at better understanding athletes. I then present our research findings to key internal stakeholders on various teams at Under Armour around the world.

How did the Medill IMC program prepare you for you for your new job at Under Armour?

Here are just a few standout skills that I built through IMC that help with my job on a daily basis:

What was your takeaway from Immersion Quarter? How did it help you in your job search?

During Immersion Quarter, I worked with a team of IMC students at the United States Tennis Association (USTA). I gained confidence in my ability to design research, manage projects and present compelling stories with data. These research and presentation skills were highlights during my interviews and the sports context further gave me an edge with Under Armour.

Through Immersion Quarter, I got to meet Billie Jean King, who was a childhood hero for me as a young female athlete. It was an honor to meet her at the U.S. Open. I owe my collegiate athletic career to her -- the work she did to support equal opportunities for females in sports made it possible for people like me to compete at that level.

What is a class or experience that sticks out in your mind and why?

The London global IMC course allowed me to live my dream of studying abroad. The course on brand strategy was helpful in introducing the nuances of brand equity among different groups of consumers. I use the lessons I learned in the class daily at Under Armour.

How did the Medill IMC network help you in your job search?

I reached out to my professors and their networks, which helped me secure many of my interview opportunities during the fall quarter. I am so grateful for all of their advice that helped craft my personal brand story in my resume and interviews.