Social media VP receives this year’s Rising Star Award

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Social media expert Jan Reischek (MBA, 2013) is the recipient of Athabasca University's 2014 Rising Star Award.

Social media expert Jan Reischek (MBA, 2013) is the recipient of Athabasca University’s 2014 Rising Star Award.

What some might call a career, Jan Reischek (MBA, 2013) calls a fun ride. And it’s far from over for the recipient of Athabasca University’s 2014 Rising Star Award, who finds herself working on the leading edge of an industry that scarcely registered a decade ago.

Managing social media for Fortune 100 companies

“I really stumbled into my career,” says the 33-year-old Senior Vice-President of Dentsu Aegis Network Integration at ICUC. What started with a little part-time work to fit in around her studies and pay a few bills has evolved into overseeing a global workforce of more than 400 and working with client heavyweights including Disney, Starbucks and Virgin.

ICUC is one of the world’s largest social media services organizations. Reischek, who lives in Winnipeg, Man., focuses on content moderation, community management and social listening solutions for clients that, at last tally, included one out of every five Fortune 100 companies.

“If you go to a company’s Facebook page and post something, we’ll review it. If it’s inappropriate, we’ll take it down,” she explains. “If you tweet a question, we’ll probably be the ones responding to you. If you’re on a blog or in a forum and talking about a brand, we’ll be listening and providing feedback to the client to help with marketing campaigns.”

Always changing, but always a perfect fit

It’s an industry with tremendous untapped potential, she says, because social media is becoming more and more integrated into the marketing mix and its power is only starting to be realized. “Brands have really started to embrace the fact that their customers are on social media and they need to be there as much as anywhere else,” she notes.

The result is a dynamic career in an industry that’s quickly changing, always challenging and a perfect fit. “When I was a kid, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but that’s because it didn’t exist yet and there wasn’t any way for me to articulate it,” she says. “I absolutely love what I do.

“I’m so fortunate to work with amazing people every day and to provide ‘rock star services’ for our clients. The principles we’re basing our business on are traditional, but social media is just a different place for it to happen.”

One of her best experiences? AU’s MBA

And given her affinity for the online milieu, it’s no surprise that AU is a factor in her success. “I was working [at ICUC] and wanted to make sure I could keep up with the executive team,” she explains. “But I didn’t have all the tools. I needed something extremely flexible to work with a 60-hour work week and a lot of travel.

“I knew I had the drive and ability to get it done, so it was just a matter of finding a program I could take on the road. AU is by far one of the best experiences and best things I’ve ever done.”

She believes that with her combination of education and experience, the sky’s the limit and has set her sights on becoming the president or CEO of a company one day. But until then, “my future will continue to grow and evolve with ICUC.” As for what she expects to be doing, well, she may have to wait for something brand new to emerge.

Register by Oct. 20 to attend the Oct. 23 award reception in Winnipeg

Dr. Deborah Hurst, acting dean of AU’s Faculty of Business, invites members of the AU community to attend a reception in honour of Jan Reischek (MBA, 2013).

When: 5 – 7 p.m. CT, Thursday, October 23
Where: Inn at the Forks
75 Forks Market Road, Winnipeg, Manitoba
(This event is in-person only.)

Registration deadline: Monday, October 20
How to register: RSVP your attendance (and provide the name of your guest if you’re bringing one) by emailing jasonn@athabascau.ca or calling 1-800-788-9041 ext. 2907.
Cost: Free

Interested in learning more about AU’s alumni activities?

Visit AU Alumni for more information on AU’s alumni events, alumni awards and other activities for the alumni community.

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