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Indiana University Bloomington

Marketing

The People Person

Kara Howard BS'07

Associate Manager in Consumer and Market Knowledge, Procter & Gamble

Cincinnati, Ohio

To me, marketing is fascinating because its trying to figure out what people want, why they want it, and the best way to attract them to your particular product. Having that passion for understanding who the consumer is and how I can help her makes every day really exciting.

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When Kara Howard received her bachelor’s degree in marketing from the Kelley School of Business in 2007, she already had a job offer from Procter & Gamble, where she did her internship.

“One of the best things Kelley does is help with the internship and job search,” Howard says. “I know a lot of my friends in the liberal arts are studying fascinating subjects, but they’re not necessarily prepared for how you find a job, how you interview, and they also don’t have access to companies where you can practice interviewing and learn about different positions to get an idea of what you want.”

At Kelley, Howard was a Kelley Scholar, a scholarship awarded to just ten gifted incoming freshman per year. She also interned with a consulting firm in Germany and made trips to Italy, Korea, and China through IU’s study abroad programs.

Data analysis training at Kelley gave Howard the background she needed to use Quanvert, the data analysis program she uses every day. Her daily tasks also include in-depth marketing research through focus groups, home visits to gain insight on consumer behavior, and attending events that increase understanding of other cultures.

“Having a marketing degree from Kelley has made me comfortable with computer programs, analyzing data, and trying to form strategies,” says Howard.

“To me, marketing is fascinating because it’s trying to figure out what people want, why they want it, and the best way to attract them to your particular product. Having that passion for understanding who the consumer is and how I can help her makes every day really exciting.”

Howard’s research helps her find these answers, but behind the data is her desire to make customers happy.

“It’s too easy for companies to move away from the consumer and get caught up in the numbers—but at the end of the day it’s the person standing in the store who makes or breaks your business.”

Published April 7, 2011