Mariah Haberman, Discover Wisconsin

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Mariah Haberman, host and brand manager of Discover Wisconsin, Discover Mediaworks.

1. What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?

The most challenging part of my job is the schedule. I host the show and I also handle all PR and marketing efforts, script reviews, etc., so finding time to squeeze it all in is a daily test of my time management skills.

That said, the most rewarding aspect of my job is the variety. I may be busy but I love that I never stare at the clock. I am constantly learning, thinking, and doing, and that to me is very exciting.

2. Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?

Can I cheat and pick two people?

My friend and former colleague, Michael Pilsner, is not only insanely talented and creative, he is also just an overall awesome human. He’s now a freelance designer and developer here in Madison.

Another super awesome human whom I miss working with: Dana Arnold, director of PR and social media at Hiebing. She is such a boss, and I mean that in the best way possible: smart, fun, and a fantastic leader. 

3. What has been the high point of your career so far?

There isn’t a single moment or accomplishment that comes to mind, but what really hits home for me is when our fans take the time to reach out and share why Discover Wisconsin matters to them. A viewer sent me a message on Facebook recently to tell me that he and his daughter make it a weekly tradition to sit down every Saturday morning and watch Discover Wisconsin together. Hearing things like that — from people who make our show a part of their lives — is the kind of stuff that sticks with me.

4. Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

Listen. I find that having really great listening skills is hard to come by. Everyone wants to be heard, but to really stop and hear out what others have to say is not always easy, particularly if you disagree with said person. The ability to listen and have empathy are important characteristics to hone, whether you’re the intern or the CEO.

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5. What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?

Where else can you cheer on the best college football team in the country at our iconic Camp Randall Stadium, indulge in some of the best cheese curds you’ll ever taste, tour our gorgeous Capitol building during your lunch break, and bike your way around Lake Monona for a stunning view of downtown Madison? Nowhere!

6. Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?

I can do some pretty decent accents (will perform upon request). I can also sort of recite 50-plus digits of Pi (less likely to perform upon request, but here’s proof I’m not bluffing).

7. What are your guilty pleasures?

Oh, I suppose I have a penchant for celeb gossip. (Still reeling from the Blake and Miranda news. Ayyy!)

Um, I also have a severe addiction to the GIF Keyboard app (available in the App Store) Any of my friends — and colleagues — would tell you GIFs are my preferred means of communication.

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