Published November 2018
Written by Laura Henschel, Communications Coordinator
Sierra Pollard, Innovation Academy class of 2016, has grown from an IA student with an interest in communications to a successful small-business owner and entrepreneur, marketing specialist, and staunch supporter of IA. An alumna of reference, Sierra joined our Director’s Circle Donor as part of our IA Fund campaign to give back to the program that helped propel her into her career.
Q: You graduated with your minor in Innovation—in what major did you receive your undergraduate degree? Did you complete any additional minors or certificates?
I graduated from the University of Florida in 2016 with a degree in Telecommunications and a minor in Innovation.
Q: What are your goals now that you have graduated from the University of Florida? Where are you currently or where are you going in your professional life?
After graduating in 2016, with my degree in Telecommunications and Innovation, I accepted a job in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina with an international resort, where I managed all social media marketing and digital marketing. In 2018, I became a marketing specialist and graphic designer for a luxury real estate company, where I manage digital marketing strategies and graphic design. Also, in 2017, I founded Ginger Media Marketing. My company works with local businesses searching for a stronger social media presence through brand awareness and online engagement.
Q: What was the most beneficial element of the Innovation minor coursework for you?
In dealing with multiple businesses and clients, for Ginger Media Marketing, I have a better understanding of meeting a variety of needs. Being in IA and taking every creativity course, really taught me how to think outside of the box, when problem solving with each client on an individual basis.
Q: How did Innovation Academy prepare you for your professional life? (internships, job interviews, entry-level positions, graduate school, etc.)
My sophomore year, I was asked to be in a promotional video for IA that made me so proud to represent my program and my creativity. When starting my career in Marketing, I sent that video as part of my portfolio for my first internship. IA led me to get hands-on experience with my fall internship, that gave me the experience I needed to bring into my future career. It kick-started a great opportunity that led to me being confident enough to start my own company. Ginger Media Marketing is based on creativity and innovation. Learning in a hands-on program, gave me the positive encouragement that I needed to create a platform for my own company.
Q: Why have you decided to “come back to IA” and support the program as an alumna?
Being a proud IA Gator Alumni and running my successful company, guided me to “go back to IA” and contribute to the program that helped shape me into the Innovator that I am today. I am proud to give back as a Director’s Circle Donor. I want to be as involved as possible to help every current and future Innovator Gator. If there is one thing I could say to future IA students, I’d say don’t be afraid to ask questions, or ask for advice. We’re all going through life, and we don’t have to go through it alone.