Poggenpohl returns to complete her degree after 22 years

Wednesday, May 1, 2024 - 8:15am

In the bustling world of advertising, where creativity meets strategy and innovation is key, the path to success is often a winding one. Such was the case for College of Journalism and Mass Communications alumna Olivia Poggenpohl ('10), whose meaningful journey back to school after 22 years went far beyond completing her undergraduate degree.

"Really, it was a sense of completion and finally following through after all that time," Poggenpohl said. "I have kids and I wanted to set an example for them, to let them know that it is never too late to finish what you started." 

Poggenpohl's time away from academia provided her with invaluable real-world experience in the advertising industry, shaping her perspective and solidifying her passion for the field. 

"I worked in agencies and in-house marketing departments, exploring different roles and opportunities," she said. "I realized that I love learning about new clients and industries and putting together strong strategies that resonate with their audiences." 

Her return to college not only completed her academic journey but also enriched her career in advertising. From her early aspirations of becoming a National Geographic photographer to realizing the importance of comprehensive strategy, Poggenpohl's career trajectory exemplifies the dynamic nature of the advertising industry.

Before returning to the CoJMC, she worked in various marketing and strategy roles in Omaha, at Bozell as a senior account executive and then in marketing manager roles for Coleman Powermate and Inacom Corporation. After Poggenpohl and her family moved to Ohio, she became the director of marketing strategy for Tenth Floor, in 2007 and later, she became the corporate brand manager and senior team lead at Hyland Software.

Soon after completing her degree, Poggenpohl and her family moved back to Omaha. In 2014, she started working for EG Integrated as their director of strategic planning. She spent three years at Creighton Preparatory School as their director of communications and from March 2022-2024, she was the director of brand marketing at Fusion Medical Staffing. Today, Poggenpohl works as a Vice President at Objective strategic marketing where she helps small and mid-sized businesses find their marketing focus.

Poggenpohl's career path has been far from conventional, with periods of balancing work and family responsibilities. Yet, through it all, Olivia remained committed to her passion for advertising and the collaborative spirit that still drives her today. 

"Collaboration is key in this industry," she said. "It's about generating great ideas, holding each other accountable, and pushing the boundaries of creativity." 

Despite the challenges posed by industry fluctuations, Poggenpohl remains resilient and proactive in shaping her career. 

"I'm passionate about what I do and I'm excited to see where this journey takes me," Poggenpohl said.

Her advice to those considering a return to academia is to consider the transformative power of education. 

"Graduating from the College of Journalism and Mass Communications was incredibly important for me," she said. "It might have been 22 years later, but I finished what I started, I set an example for my children and I was reintroduced to my lifelong passion for learning."

Olivia Poggenpohl
Olivia Poggenpohl