Marketing Lessons from An Experienced Beginner

Carol-SchusterMarketing professional and entrepreneur Carol Schuster ’83 has worked with major clients such as Coca-Cola, Dupont and DHL in a global career that has spanned more than 25 years. But she still describes herself as a beginner. “I try to look at everything I do as a beginner,” Schuster said Oct. 7, 2011, at Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona.

Being a beginner, however, does not mean setting aside the importance of experience, education and expertise. Schuster said the key is to remain teachable and flexible. “It is really about curiosity,” Schuster said. “It’s a mood you have about something.”

Schuster, a member of Thunderbird’s Board of Fellows, shared her insights in a roundtable discussion organized by the Thunderbird Marketing Association. During the event, she drew upon her recent experience as founder and president of TantesHaus, an online luxury fashion reseller. Prior to launching the startup, Schuster worked as Senior Partner and Worldwide Managing Director of Ogilvy & Mather. She has lived and worked in Germany, Poland, the United States and other global locations since graduating from Thunderbird in 1983.

Her beginner’s mindset served her well when the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, and companies scrambled to enter East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Russia and other former Soviet republics. “I took advantage of an opportunity when it presented itself,” Schuster said. “Nobody wanted to go except for me.”
She started flying into Eastern European markets and setting up field offices. Soon she helped establish a permanent operation in Poland and stayed in the region for about five years. “Everybody was just getting started,” she said. “There was this pioneering spirit.”

Schuster said the same mindset has helped with the launch of TantesHaus. Despite her decades of success, she is still learning new things and exploring new possibilities. “Every time I find something new and exciting, the world opens up for me,” she said. “That is why I started this business. I have always wanted to do something in fashion and retail.”

[wpyt_profile4]zZBDfU6eeVQ[/wpyt_profile4]

Related Posts

The Making of Das Tor

Have a behind the scenes look of the making of Das Tor via a fun infographic about our work this year

I Never Expected to Become a Thunderbird Student

First year-student Gabrielle Swindle shares how her past experiences as an educator in schools spanning South Louisiana to Guyana led her to the unexpected: becoming a student at Thunderbird.

My GCL Experience: Kenyan Trucking with Tai+

Das Tor’s Podcast Director Terri Baker tells about her experience working for Tai+, a company described as the Uber for cargo and truck transportation in Kenya

The Barracks: A Mini United Nations

Learn about student Cody Kellogg’s experience in the Army National Guard and how he uses his global mindset in his role.

The Making of Das Tor

Have a behind the scenes look of the making of Das Tor via a fun infographic about our work this year

I Never Expected to Become a Thunderbird Student

First year-student Gabrielle Swindle shares how her past experiences as an educator in schools spanning South Louisiana to Guyana led her to the unexpected: becoming a student at Thunderbird.

My GCL Experience: Kenyan Trucking with Tai+

Das Tor’s Podcast Director Terri Baker tells about her experience working for Tai+, a company described as the Uber for cargo and truck transportation in Kenya

The Barracks: A Mini United Nations

Learn about student Cody Kellogg’s experience in the Army National Guard and how he uses his global mindset in his role.