Young Pros Spotlight
Maris Cohen, 29
Director, Content Marketing The NPD Group
Joined ARF Young PROS at its inception at the Oktoberfest event back in 2012.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment?
Two years ago there were some internal changes that took place at my company that put me in the position of taking on greater responsibility. My function shifted, I started managing people for the first time, and my accountabilities multiplied in a short period of time. I worked nights and weekends to stay afloat, and was eventually rewarded with a title that matched my new role. Frankly, I’m just proud of myself for surviving that period and navigating all the “firsts” and transitions that came my way.
What is your biggest professional challenge?
Has been and will always be time management. I’m really bad at the work/life balance thing, but am trying to get better at defending my personal life and budgeting in more time for non-work related fun. I’m constantly trying to work smarter, prioritize the more strategic parts of my role that will ultimately benefit me and my company the most, and delegate–so I have more time for the enriching, good stuff that will nourish creativity and new ways of thinking.
How has being an ARF YP member impacted your career?
The ARF Young Pros has remained a welcomed constant for me throughout my career so far. Over the past five years I’ve enjoyed breakfasts with champions, happy hours, career workshops, bootcamps, celebrations, mentoring events, and more. The programming has offered approachable networking, leadership opportunities, encouragement during career plateaus, industry contacts, and exposure to the latest media/advertising industry trends (I currently work in the retail world, so it’s helpful to know what’s going on in other areas of consumer research).
What’s an example of a company/brand that you think is doing a great job?
Sweetgreen is one innovative brand I’ve come to love and respect after it opened across from my building last year. I’m impressed by this young brand’s ability to differentiate itself in a saturated market of fast casual salad chains. The brand is cashless, has a user-friendly ordering app that gives it complete control over the direct-to-consumer relationship, and is in the process of developing its own delivery app as an alternative to working through third-party delivery companies. The result: I order an irresponsible amount of salad for pick-up (for dinner, which I know sounds really lame).
What is your favorite restaurant in your city?
My comfort foods are cheese and carbohydrates of any form. So I’d have to go with Earl’s Beer and Cheese in my old neighborhood. They make a mozzarella grilled cheese with potato chips and pickles on an English muffin for $6 (SIX DOLLARS!), and their mac n’ cheese is not to be missed. I also go on weekly (sometimes bi-weekly) pilgrimages to Padoca, a Brazilian bakery in my neighborhood that makes these amazing gooey cheese balls called Pão De Queijo. They’re overpriced, but improve the quality of my life.
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