On this segment of Women In Marketing we chat with Gina Menicucci who is the Marketing Manager at Curaleaf. Being born in the Dominican Republic and travelling to the USA as an exchange student, Gina understands the importance of culture as well as diversity especially in the workplace.
LET’S GET PERSONAL
THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR WOMEN IN MARKETING SERIES, GINA. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR MEMORIES GROWING UP?
I was born in the Dominican Republic, into an Italian heritage family.
Some of the best memories from my childhood include visiting my grandparents’ home on weekends, where I enjoyed great homemade Italian food with all my family. During my childhood, I was surrounded by art and Neoclassical architecture created by my great-grandfather Oreste Menicucci, an Italian immigrant who made significant contributions to the architecture and art in the country.
WHAT WERE YOU LIKE IN YOUR HIGH SCHOOL/COLLEGE YEARS?
During my high school and college years, I was always at the top of my class, but I also had my fair share of fun. I was elected president in my class during my senior year.
I spent some of my summers as an exchange student in the US, where I had the opportunity to learn the culture and meet young people like me from across the world. A unique experience that helped me value diversity from a young age.
I decided to follow my mom’s steps and enrolled in Business School. As a strong woman, even at a young age – I have always focused on empowering other women as an essential part of my life.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MEAL? THAT ONE MEAL YOU WOULD FEEL NO SHAME FOR NOT SHARING!
Lasagna! Nothing makes me happier than enjoying a great piece of lasagna.
IMAGINE WAKING UP $10 MILLION RICHER TOMORROW, WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH YOUR FORTUNE?
I believe in living a simple and minimalist life. Less is more, but if I wake up $10 million richer, I will invest some money and help people and organizations dear to my heart.
WHAT IS THE ONE INTERESTING THING ABOUT YOU THAT WE WOULDN’T FIND ON YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE? ANY HIDDEN TALENTS PERHAPS? PREVIOUS WOMEN IN MARKETING CANDIDATE, ANASTASIA HAMEL SAYS THAT SHE CAN BREATHE FIRE!
Acting. Not only was I the main character in multiple school plays, but at the age of 7, I also had the opportunity to play one of the roles on national TV.
CAREER AND WORKPLACE
WHAT ENCOURAGED YOU TO PURSUE A CAREER IN MARKETING? AFTER ALL, MOST OF US GREW UP WANTING TO BE DOCTORS, RIGHT?
I grew up in a family environment surrounded by both art and creativity as well as entrepreneurial minds. Marketing is the perfect combination of both.
My mother was a business teacher at the university. My dad on the other hand was a successful entrepreneur. I started working at the family business at a very young age. By the time I was 15, I was already travelling to trade shows and business meetings to serve as my parents’ English interpreter. I fell in love with trade shows and everything related to them. I knew that this would be my career. After I completed my Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in management, I came to the USA to continue my education and pursue a career in marketing.
GIVE US A SNEAK PEEK OF HOW YOU TYPICALLY START YOUR DAY. ARE YOU #TEAMCOFFEE OR #TEAMTEA? OR BOTH? YOU BEAUTIFUL REBEL!
I can’t start my day without a cup of coffee.
THE PANDEMIC DISRUPTED OUR ROUTINES AND DAILY COMFORTS. HOW BEST DO YOU MAINTAIN A WORK-LIFE BALANCE?
This past year has been challenging for everyone; maintaining a good work-life balance was sometimes difficult. For me, it’s essential to prioritize my time. I make a daily list of the tasks that I would like to complete during the day. Then I set work hours and stick to them as much as possible.
WORKING FROM HOME/HYBRID MODEL OF WORKING MAY SOON BECOME A REALITY FOR MOST ORGANISATIONS GLOBALLY. WHAT’S YOUR TAKE ON REMOTE WORK AND WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF YOUR CHALLENGES AS WELL AS WAYS YOU’VE MITIGATED THESE?
Remote and hybrid models of work are here to stay, but such models work better for certain roles and organizations. I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all approach. Companies and employees are still debating the benefits and challenges and how to make these models work for everybody in the organization.
One of the many challenges of these models is that certain workers require more supervision and don’t seem to be as productive when working independently. Remote working will not be beneficial for them or the organization in the long term as it is easier to manage people face-to-face.
Regular team meetings and project management software can mitigate some of these challenges as well as help ensure that teams stay on track for meeting organizational goals.
ACCORDING TO A REPORT COMPILED BY MCKINSEY, THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC HAS HAD A NEGATIVE EFFECT ON WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE. THE REPORT FURTHER ILLUSTRATES THAT WOMEN HAVE INCREASINGLY BECOME MORE EXHAUSTED AND SUFFER FROM BURNOUT AS COMPARED TO THEIR MALE COUNTERPARTS. IN YOUR OPINION, HOW CAN ORGANISATIONS PROVIDE THE NECESSARY SUPPORT FOR WOMEN AS WELL AS MOTHERS?
When schools shut down during the pandemic, many parents—particularly mothers—took on an additional full-time job as a teacher. Tackling many roles – both at home as well as at work meant women had to work more hours throughout the day, causing burnout and exhaustion.
Organizations can support women and parents in general in many ways. Firstly, they can allow people to work flexible hours from home or to rearrange their shifts to include nights, weekends, and any times they aren’t caring for children. Organizations can also invest more in wellness programs for employees, which provide benefits such as stress reduction and exercise activities.
Finally, organizations can adopt hybrid schedules, allowing people to work some days at home and some days at the office based on their schedules.
2021 AND BEYOND
ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, HOW HAVE YOU BEEN SINCE THE START OF THE PANDEMIC? ANY PIVOTAL MOMENTS IN YOUR PERSONAL OR PROFESSIONAL LIFE YOU CAN SHARE WITH US?
I’m a very positive person and always like to see the glass as being half full in every situation in life. This past year I had the opportunity to spend more time with my son at home.
I also joined the University of South Florida Board, which will allow me to work closely with the organization and support newer generations of marketers.
KNOWING WHAT YOU KNOW TODAY AND IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
Build your career around your life, not the other way around.
ANY BUCKET LIST ITEMS?
On the professional side, I would like to spend time writing about marketing.
WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR SHEROES?
My mom: A savvy businesswoman and professor who taught me some of the basic business principles that continue to guide my work and ethics today.
Beth Comstock: An American business executive, author, and amazing marketer who has proven to be a foremost innovation leader.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?
I’m old school and I still prefer to read books. I will however admit that online reading is necessary today given the extensive number of articles and information available online.
I’m currently reading ‘Imagine It Forward’, a book by Beth Comstock.
WHAT IS ON YOUR NETFLIX WATCHLIST?
I don’t have a lot of time to watch TV, but when I do, I’m obsessed with the medieval period or ancient times, so any movies or series from these periods will be on my Netflix watchlist.
WHAT WOULD YOU COME BACK AS IN THE NEXT LIFETIME CAREER-WISE? DO YOU THINK YOU MISSED A CALLING?
No, I love my job. I think I would still be a marketer because it allows me to combine my creative and analytical mind.
WE ABSOLUTELY LOVE HOW FORBES CURATES THEIR MARKETING-CENTRIC CONTENT. HAVE YOU HAD A CHANCE TO READ THROUGH THEIR CMO NEXT 2021 FEATURE? WHILST ON THE TOPIC OF GREAT MARKETEERS, WHEN YOU RETIRE ONE DAY, HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED AS A PROFESSIONAL?
I would like to be remembered as a passionate, creative, and empathetic leader that drives results.
WHO HAVEN’T YOU SEEN OR TALKED TO IN A LONG TIME AND HOPE THEY ARE DOING OKAY?
Technology and social media allows us to stay connected with many people in our lives. I usually stay connected to most of my friends and family. I had some amazing teachers. I would love to learn how they are doing today.
A UNIQUE MESSAGE FOR ALL YOUNG PROFESSIONALS IN THE MARKETING INDUSTRY
Passion and dedication are keys to success in this industry but don’t forget to be authentic and stay true to yourself as well. Marketing is an incredibly dynamic field focused on constant education and learning.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME GINA. WE HOPE THIS INTERVIEW WILL INSPIRE FUTURE LEADERS AND OTHER WOMEN IN MARKETING. HOW CAN PEOPLE FOLLOW YOU AND YOUR COMPANY ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
They can follow me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/gina-menicucci-820a8792/