Ben Gerhards, CG Schmidt
IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Ben Gerhards, marketing and design specialist, CG Schmidt.
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What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?
Trying to get all of the things done that I want! Marketing is such a broad field and there are new outlets, platforms, and technologies popping up all the time to get your message to your audience. I’d love to explore all of them but there’s only one of me and only so many hours in a day. The rewarding part comes when I get to see something that started as a late-night idea turn into something tangible. The creative aspect of the job has always been my motivator.
Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?
It might sound pretty cheesy but my mom. She ran a small marketing firm for over a decade and is where I get my passion for design. To be able to handle some very sizable projects for a number of clients and grow a business from nothing but your own talent — while raising a family of three rambunctious boys — is very inspirational.
What has been the high point of your career so far?
Being able to take what started just as a hobby for me and turn that into a viable career puts a smile on my face every morning. We all talk about it, but not everyone actually gets to do what they love and get paid for it.
Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
Don’t try so hard. There’s a tremendous amount of pressure on young adults to act like they already have everything figured out when I can personally attest that I didn’t know much. No one really expects you to know everything fresh out of school, including what you want to do after school. Also, go out and meet more people; no one’s career flourished because they stayed at home at night watching TV.