As a business student who grew up tweeting and posting on Facebook, Molly Rutana 10BBA, now a social platform strategist with The Coca-Cola Company, knew she wanted a career in social media. “The social media environment is always changing,” she says, “and that creates amazing research opportunities.” Rutana landed her first job with Boston-based Cymfony, a social media monitoring and analytics firm, before eventually returning to Atlanta to join a new division within Coca-Cola.
EB: How did you land your first job in social media analytics?
Rutana: I always planned to move back to Massachusetts after graduation—my family lives in Boston, and I’m a huge New England Patriots fan—so I asked several marketing professors if they had any connections there. It turns out that every year, Professors Doug Bowman and Manish Tripathi invite my former boss at Cymfony, Natasha Stevens, to campus to discuss social media research. I chatted with her after one of her Goizueta lectures, then connected with her again when I moved back to Boston. She offered me an analyst position, and she has remained instrumental in my career ever since.
EB: What are the most appealing and challenging aspects of your job?
Rutana: It’s a complete whirlwind working in this field, and that’s why I love it. Social media is continuously evolving. As a strategist, I have to be constantly aware of what’s changing and to think about how to leverage those changes to our benefit. The most challenging aspect of my role is standardizing the company’s use of various platforms and its approach to analytics. In order to strategize a social media program, you have to be structured but fluid. This balance can be tough, so it comes down to value-proven results and consultative partnerships.
EB: How does your role leverage new technologies?
Rutana: My responsibilities include building a brand-new analytics platform to integrate into our suite of platforms dedicated to social media. These tools are used globally so that in-market teams can connect and collaborate with each other as well as corporate groups in real time to efficiently move and react at the speed of social.
EB: Do you have any life lessons or advice for current students?
Rutana: Take chances. If you want more of a leadership role or to explore one aspect of your job in greater depth, ask! And take the time to network. While at Goizueta, I underestimated the impact networking would have on my career. It turns out that the one connection I made through Goizueta in Boston, Natasha Stevens, not only offered me a job that strengthened my passion for social media research, but also introduced me to this amazing opportunity at Coca-Cola.