Alumni Spotlight: Kristie Cruz

SENIOR/EXECUTIVE – This spotlight series features T. Howard Foundation (THF) alumni working in Senior or Executive roles.

Kristie Cruz (THF ‘13) (THF ‘14)
Director of Marketing Science, Hearts & Science

Please describe your role. 

I’m a Director of Marketing Science at Hearts & Science, a media agency. In a nutshell, my team works on reporting & measurement of how effective different advertising is for our clients — whether it be TV commercials, paid social, paid search, etc.

What do you enjoy most about your company?

In recent months, one thing I’ve definitely tried to take advantage of are professional development opportunities as well as ‘work-life balance’ moments such as signing up for the newly launched women’s book club & a virtual boxing class.

In what way did this type of work interest you and how did you get started?

Media & measurement is fascinating to me. Advertising & marketing can make or break business & industries at large. I mean, haven’t we all seen the trajectory of Peloton, Meta (formerly known/still referred to as FB/IG) & Reddit? All of which ballooned or grew exponentially in the marketplace with major marketing efforts or been at the mercy of advertisers or multiplied their ad solutions overnight.

How has your affiliation with the T. Howard Foundation influenced your career?

Thanks to my peers of the T-Howard Foundation, I have gotten career changing opportunities. In a previous role, there were waves of layoffs due to a series of client losses & a friend from T-Howard’s intern class of ’14 referred me to my current company & I’ve been at Hearts ever since. In trying to pay it forward, I represent my company at career fairs such as T-Howard’s latest a few months ago & from that event, Alex Acaro Sanabria from one of the latest T-Howard intern cohorts now works at Hearts on the Digital team.

What personal attributes have been essential to your career success?

At any media agency, you’d be surprised how much of development & success is centered around pivot-agility, knowing when & how to respond to change & not being phased by the persistent, not always so positive change.

If you were entering this career today, how would you prepare to facilitate entry?

Advice I would give myself: one step at a time & look at the big picture when getting lost in the details.

 Are you extroverted or introverted? How does this show up in your professional life?

Definitely extroverted so much so that I naturally gravitate to moderate meetings (try to have everyone participate, ground us in the objective of the meeting, keep time)

Do you have any of the following at work? a mentor, mentee, sponsor, work BF or work spouse? If so, which one(s)? What are the advantages of having these relationships?

At work, who’s supposed to look out for you & you mutually look out for them? Mentors, mentees, work spouses & BFs that’s who. Thankfully, I have all of the above & they provide different perspectives in everyday work situations & are friends outside of your day-to-day work responsibilities.