How We Make Our MARK – A Day in the Life featuring Mary Ciccarelli

We’re rolling right into our next sit down. Let’s get to know another member of our talented team just a little better.

If you missed any of our previous issues of How We Make Our Mark, check them out here!

This month, we caught up with Senior Account Manager Mary Ciccarelli.

You’ve been with the company for over six years. How has your role evolved over time?

“I joined On The Mark fresh out of college as a marketing coordinator. I learned a lot quickly and after two years was promoted to account manager. This required more independence and responsibility within my client accounts – which as a lifelong student with a growth mindset, I really embraced! I challenged myself to push out of my comfort zone while strengthening my skill set and ability to build strong client partnerships. Recently, I earned a promotion to senior account manager. This role now carries a need for greater leadership and team coaching.”

What does your typical workday look like?

“Coffee first, always! Once I’m caffeinated, I review my agenda assessing my priority tasks and any meetings I have for the day. A significant portion of my day is spent performing project management while communicating with my team and clients. There is plenty of planning and budgeting, collaboration with the design team, project concept development and more! The days go by quickly because they're always productive. Of course, my time is also given to our team in the way of guidance and support – so everyone is always moving forward!”

What is the most important skill that you have learned in your career so far?

“I think one of the most valuable skills I’ve learned in recent years in both business and in life is the idea of ownership. I read a fantastic book a couple years back called, Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.”

This book taught me that there's always something within your control that you can change to improve a situation. Adopting this mindset allows you to take more accountability in your life, rather than feeling like a victim. It's crucial to accept that not everything is within your control, but identifying even one area where you can take accountability can be life-changing.”

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

What sparks your creativity?

“I never knew how to answer this question. However, I recently leaned into the idea of intentionally bringing more creativity back into my life. The more I do, the more I learn what inspires me. For me it’s a few things:
• Nature
• Music
• Exercise and movement
• Colorful and vibrant atmospheres
• Reading poetry written by others. It’s almost like a warmup before I dive in myself.
• Early mornings and the darkness of nightfall; both are emotional times of the day for me.
• Open and beautiful spaces free of clutter with generous natural sunlight.
• Brainstorming ideas with others, which I find opens my mind to new ways of thinking.
• Podcasts - Right now, my favorite podcast that always leaves me inspired and ready to get creative is called Gathering Gold.”

The lakeside at Bell Works is one place in nature Mary feels connected and inspired.

What do you enjoy most about being a manager?

“I admire the symbiotic relationship. While coaching others, I’m also learning at the same time. You learn patience, adaptability, flexibility, leadership, ownership, problem solving and so much more.

It also reminds me of the concept in Zen Buddhism known as shoshin, which means “beginner's mind.” When you’re a beginner your mind is open to new ways of thinking. However, the more experience and expertise you gain in a certain area the more closed off your mind may become to alternate ways of thinking. It makes for a great teacher, of course. But I think that’s where the student can also bring so much value to the teacher.”

In your opinion, what is one important skill for an account manager to have?

“Time management is a big one, but I would pair it with adaptability. No matter how precisely you plan a project there will inevitably be hiccups. Being able to pivot and remain flexible as unforeseen circumstances arise is invaluable and helps lead to a successful outcome.”

How do you spend your time when you’re out of the office?

“My mornings are spent making time for my body and mind before the workday begins. So, you’ll find me meditating, hitting the weights at the gym, stretching/yoga and detoxing in the sauna if I have the time. My evenings and the weekends always vary. I love to travel, spend time with family and friends, watch tons of movies, read, cook and bake, write poetry and keep life fresh by always trying new things."

Mary in some of her travels in the U.S.
Pictured are some yummy bites Mary’s cooked up recently

Do you have any closing advice for someone starting out in marketing?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for help. People fear this makes them look weak, when in reality it demonstrates determination and a strong will to learn.

Don’t be afraid to voice your ideas. As I mentioned, the beginner’s mind is invaluable. I wish I learned this sooner in life.

Never stop learning. Education doesn’t end after college. This is still just the beginning.”

BONUS! Rapid-fire questions with Mary