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Linda Schuster is president and CEO of Quantum Communications. She worked for MQ&C Advertising in Austin, Texas, before moving to Louisville to work for Creative Alliance (now Scopecchio), followed by Bandy Carroll Hellige. In 1994, she opened Quantum Communications with her business partners Patty Marguet and Jim Miller.

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We sat down with two women – one experienced and one new – who are making waves in the marketing field to hear their stories, experiences, and advice.

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The Master Linda Schuster

Linda, why did you, Patty, and Jim decide to open Quantum?

“My husband and I knew we wanted to start our own businesses so we saved our money, went on one last vacation, came back home and got going. We signed the papers for Quantum on January 4, 1994 and became Quantum Communications. Patty, Jim and I wanted to have lives again, and you can’t have that working until midnight every night. That’s not how we wanted to live, and we wanted to work really hard for ourselves versus someone else.”

What is your favorite project you’ve worked on?

“A sales meeting program for Forethought Financial Services. We concepted and designed a loyalty program for their customers called LoyaltyOne. The premise was to generate new sales from existing clients. The creative was an easy 4-step process and the visuals were dance steps. We were rolling this program out to their entire sales staff at a sales meeting in Arizona. We choreographed a presentation and dressed the VP of sales and all the sales managers in tuxedos, taught them some dance steps and they did a song and dance number for their sales teams. It was so creative and fun.”

How has marketing changed since you started your career?

“It’s still all about communicating back and forth with people, but the mechanics of it has changed so much. When I started out, we didn’t even have computers at our desks or email. The creative team designed ad layouts, pasted them to pieces of paper, and we mailed or hand-delivered every ad we did. The technology we have now has created a much more streamlined process.”

What career advice would you give your younger self?

“It’s not as easy as you think. We had on rose-colored glasses when we started and didn’t realize how hard it is to start a business. You’re responsible for everyone else’s lives and that’s not something to take lightly.”

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Haley Harkins is a go-getter willing to take chances. As a sophomore at the University of Louisville pursuing a degree in marketing, she also serves as the marketing lead for a local startup, Stacks Mobile.

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The Next: Haley Harkins

As a freshman at UofL, Haley joined the Student Marketing Association, where she learned Stacks Mobile, a short-term savings app, was seeking a marketing assistant. “Being a little freshman I thought, ‘I probably shouldn’t even apply. I’ve been in college for like five days.’ I figured why not try and applied anyway.”

Haley served as the marketing assistant for a short time before being promoted to marketing lead. As the Stacks Mobile marketing lead, she manages social media, serves as a touch point for customers, develops targeted ads for social media, shoots video, and plans events. After working for Stacks Mobile for a little over a year she is excited to see where this journey takes her.

What is a new and innovative idea you brought to Stacks?

“Recruiting brand ambassadors has been a lot of fun. Seeking out the initial ambassadors to now having people applying to be ambassadors through our website has been exciting. It’s really cool to see how it has grown since I proposed it to my bosses a couple of months ago.”

What advice do you have for other young people pursuing their first job?

“I think a lot of college students assume businesses don’t want them because they’re students with little experience, but they really are looking for us, in marketing especially. We know a lot about social media and newer forms of marketing that they can utilize. Just be confident in yourself and your abilities. Don’t be afraid to take risks and share your ideas.”

What are your thoughts on how marketing has evolved into what it is today?

“What used to be print and television ads is turning into influencer and social media marketing. Now I can market my product by sending Instagram influencers products to talk about on their story for a few seconds.”

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Extra tidbit: This marketing professional believes authenticity is the key to progression and happiness

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