Heather Cooper (B.A. '05, M.B.A. '10)
Heather Cooper Q & A:
What was your favorite class, who was your favorite professor, or what is your fondest memory of Hofstra?
Hands down the best class was Marketing Analysis and Management with Professor Luke Ng. I took every class that he taught; I couldn’t get enough of his case-study-based teaching method. My fondest memories were from those late, grueling nights spent performing “market research” for a term paper titled “Consumer Behavior in the Wine Industry” with a couple of fellow students who became some of my best girlfriends. Needless to say, we got an A.
What was your first job after graduating from Hofstra, and what was the most valuable thing you learned there?
After graduating with my bachelor of arts in English and publishing studies, I started as an editorial assistant at McGraw-Hill in Manhattan. During my five years with the company, I worked my way up to become marketing manager of the business book group. The most valuable lesson was more of an experience. I experienced the inner workings of a global organization, and a fantastic one at that. It’s one thing to learn about business in an M.B.A. program; it’s another to experience the lessons in the real world. Having both under your belt is a powerful combination.
What is your field of specialty, and how did you come to work in the industry?
My specialty is social media marketing. During my time at McGraw-Hill I experienced the shift from traditional media to nontraditional media, and the use of new online tools and communities to reach highly specialized markets. After managing a wildly successful Facebook campaign for the book, The Wisdom of Wooden, I was completely enamored with the power of social media. Within a few months I had left my perfect Fortune 500 job to start a new career as an entrepreneur and to develop my global perspective by living abroad. When I turned a job offer into our first client our business, Integrate Social, was officially born. Today we manage results-driven campaigns and provide corporate training for clients in both the United States and Europe.
What advice would you give current Hofstra students?
Go to your professors’ office hours! Not only will they teach you how to turn that A- into an A and refine the skills that will help you be bigger and better in your field, but you may also get a mentor out of it who you’ll keep in touch with for years to come.
In one word, how would you describe Hofstra?
#LandOfMagnificentTulips (Hashtags count as one word, right? Sure.)
How has your degree helped you?
An M.B.A. gives you the knowledge you need to understand all facets of business, from finance and accounting to marketing and management. If you understand business, you can work in any industry. Our clients run the gamut from B2B to B2C, and from global to local. My M.B.A. has helped me relate to a wide array of businesses in various sectors. In addition, I can say that I learned the fundamentals of strategic thinking from a few fantastic professors at the Zarb School of Business.
What is the single most rewarding/exciting experience in your career thus far?
The single most exciting (and terrifying) moment was when I resigned from McGraw-Hill to start my own business venture. McGraw-Hill was the company that I had always dreamt of working for, and I was so proud to be a part of such an amazing organization and to collaborate with so many brilliant individuals. To date, the greatest reward of taking that leap into entrepreneurship was bringing McGraw-Hill on as one of our clients a few years later.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Where do you see your career progressing to in the future?
If you had asked me this when I graduated in 2005, I would have never predicted where I am today. So we’ll have to see how I do here. In ten years from now, I hope to be collaborating with innovative business leaders to drive successful social campaigns and initiatives that build long-term relationships between brands and customers. In addition, I hope to be even more active on the international speaking circuit!
Heather Cooper (B.A. ’05, M.B.A. ’10) is a social marketing strategist and the co-founder of Integrate Social, a boutique social media marketing agency. After graduating with a B.A. in English and publishing studies in 2005, she began her career at McGraw-Hill in New York City. As a marketing manager, she developed online marketing and social media strategies for print and digital products, including the international bestsellers The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, How to Talk to Anyone, Happier, Crack the Fat-Loss Code, and The No-Cry Sleep Solution. Her launch and growth of a product Facebook page for The Wisdom of John Wooden was recognized by the corporation as a top achievement in marketing in 2010.
In the spring of 2010, she earned an M.B.A. from the Zarb School of Business and was inducted into the honor society of the American Marketing Association. Within a few months of graduating, she took advantage of an opportunity to live abroad in Malta with her future fiancé and fellow Hofstra alumnus, Sergio Azzopardi ’08. Within a couple months of the move, she turned a job offer into their first client and co-founded Integrate Social, which today boasts clients from the United States and Europe.
Her specialization is helping brands discover and leverage their voice in social media through the implementation of strategic, innovative and creative social campaigns that contribute to bottom-line profitability. Her clients range from small businesses to Fortune 500 corporations. In addition, she is an active speaker and trainer on social media marketing as well as the co-organizer of TEDxValletta.