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Jack Ritterbush (IMC19)

Category Specialist at Walmart eCommerce

Jack Ritterbush (IMC19) came to Medill directly after completing his undergraduate degree at the University of Missouri to improve his understanding of data and marketing strategies. After graduating from Medill, he accepted a job with Walmart eCommerce in the Bay Area as a category specialist, working in the automotive category. Now he uses his IMC knowledge to work with brands to find opportunities to grow business through

How did your Northwestern Medill degree help advance your career?

My IMC degree has helped me in numerous ways, both in performance in my job as well as the connections it helped me make. The curriculum at Medill is very practical and the skills that I learned have translated to many of the day-to-day issues I encounter at my job. Being able to properly understand and pull insights from data is a valuable skill that I developed during my time at Medill. On the networking side, my IMC degree helped open the door for certain positions that otherwise wouldn't have been there for me.

How do you use IMC’s “art and science of marketing” in your job?

I use IMC's "art and science of marketing" approach on almost a daily basis. In my position, you have a lot of data that comes in regarding specific brands and the overall performance of your category. It's important to use the data to understand the situation of the business and then it's on you to creatively develop a strategy to grow your category.

What skills did you gain at Medill or what experiences did you have that were particularly beneficial?

The skill I was able to develop the most during my time at Medill was my comfort with numbers and data. I am by no means an expert at Excel or analyzing data, but the exposure I received in the classroom really helped me feel more complete as a marketer and has paid off immensely in my role today.

What did you do during your Immersion Quarter and what did you gain from that experience?

I was on a team that worked for Burger King and our project was based on developing strategies for the brand to better engage consumers under the age of 34. Our final recommendations involved ideas from menu innovation to unique brand activations. The most important takeaway from my time working with Burger King was the importance of being able to pull key insights and then be able to properly support them with data.

How has the Medill network helped you? 

The Medill network helped me make numerous connections within the industry, especially as I moved from Chicago back to the Bay Area. The professors are amazing resources and have mentored me and helped me launch my career as I finished up at Medill.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I look back at my time in the IMC program and have nothing but positive memories. In my 15 months as a student I was able to grow so much, both as a person and as a marketer, and I know that the lessons I learned will help me throughout my career.