Tracy Barash 93MBA turned to Goizueta Business School when she needed to find her next step. She had been laid off in the tough economy of the early 1990s, and in the MBA program she honed her resilience, ingenuity, and intentionality. Lessons begun there have helped her career journey.
Today, she is senior vice president of marketing and franchise planning for Turner Sports and Bleacher Report for WarnerMedia. Giving back is important to Barash, who served on the Goizueta Alumni Board for nine years. When students and alumni ask her for advice, which is often because she guest lectures and speaks on alumni panels, she leans in. Education is a critical component of her business success.
“I learn from Goizueta students all the time,” she says. “Their perspective is different than mine. While I’ve worked in TV for a long time, the current generation consumes media differently than I did, and I’m constantly thinking about those choices of technology, content, and the marriage of the two.”
Barash started her current position in March 2020 but before she could unpack her office and meet her team, the pandemic sent everyone home to work. League and tournament schedules were suddenly ruled by uncertainty.
Barash surfs these changes with skills amassed over three decades. When her second job —marketing Internet software “before anyone knew what the Internet was”— ended in a layoff, she chose Goizueta for her MBA because it was a top 25 business school in a big city with small classes.
“I wanted a holistic picture of business,” she says, and in the slow economy of the early 1990s, she developed skills at each job that transferred to the next. She leveraged licensing expertise from housewares to move into packaged goods at Diageo, one of the world’s largest producers of spirits, where she learned marketing. She broke into entertainment as a director of worldwide marketing for Warner Bros. consumer products working on Harry Potter. She spent a decade in marketing, branding, and franchise planning for Cartoon Network.
“It’s not always about moving up. Sometimes I accepted a lower title to get the experience I wanted,” she says repeating advice that she gives the Goizueta community. Another Barash tip: Don’t just learn your job, learn the business, and you’ll find your next opportunity. “Flexibility is crucial. You’ve just got to look at everything as an opportunity, including change, which is the No. 1 thing these days.”
As an MBA student, she got involved in the community through a work-study position with Associate Dean of Engagement and Partnerships Julie Barefoot, who rarely forgets a name and consistently stays in touch. Barash approaches her relationships with the same intentionality.
Intentionality also became Barash’s guiding principle in 2020 as she has led a team that could not meet in person.
“There was no more running into someone in the break room, and that meant being really intentional to develop relationships with my colleagues and team,” she said. “It will be interesting to see how that experience influences the way we operate in the future.”
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