The best advice Kerry (Amaral) Benson '87 ever received came during her first job. "Don't ever bring me a problem without thinking about the solution," Benson recalls hearing from the head of her department at one of New England's leading ad agencies. "She was frustrated that I had the audacity to walk into her office and waste her time with a problem without ideas on how to solve it. I never forgot it."
Benson has forged an exceptional career in the world of advertising – where problem solving is both expected and prized. She has worked with top national clients in financial, telecommunications, insurance, fashion, cosmetics, and food industries. For more than a decade she has been a leader at Hill Holliday, the 13th largest advertising agency in the U.S.
As executive vice president and managing director, Benson successfully combines business acumen with creative ingenuity to direct integration and talent strategies agency-wide. She's also overseen several national accounts, including Bank of America, LG and Liberty Mutual. At Hill Holliday, she's helped develop award-winning campaigns including work for Dunkin' Donuts and Liberty Mutual.
Benson's perspective on how to be successful is straightforward. "Always keep the company's best interests at heart," she advises. "Check your ego and do what's right for the business, not your personal gain. Even if you can't see the value in doing so right away, it will pay off in the long run."
She encourages college graduates entering the workforce to "take the long view. Be patient. You may feel like you're not moving ahead fast enough, but stick with it and you're likely to make up time later on. The best career paths aren't always linear."
● Specializing in marketing, advertising, communication and management
● National accounts include Bank of America, LG, Liberty Mutual
● Executive Vice President, Managing Director, Hill Holliday
● Managing Director, Account Management, Hill Holliday
● Partner, Director of Brand Strategy, Connelly Partners
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