Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.
My name is Casey Foss. I am the director of marketing at West Monroe Partners, a business and technology consulting firm. In my role, I get to work with a team of extraordinarily talented marketers to develop integrated marketing and communications strategies to grow our brand and increase client engagement. Day to day my responsibilities include all facets of marketing and communications, such as: brand awareness and public relations, advertising, events, digital marketing, client relationship management, and campaign management.
On a larger, more strategic front, I spend a lot of time ensuring that our people embody the firm’s brand – an uncommon blend of business consultants and deep technologists. We need to ensure this messaging remains relevant in the market and among our clients, but more importantly when your brand is your people and you are growing at a rate of greater than 20% YOY it is essential that we are constantly marketing to our people and making them brand evangelists.
But that is just the day job. While I am a very passionate marketer, I bring that passion into my personal life as well – I am inspired by my daughter (4 years old) and my son (2 years old), I am motivated to stand up for those things that matter and actively work to raise money and awareness for Pancreatic Cancer Research, and I am fulfilled by exploring new places!
I immediately fell in love with the concept and after one event was inspired by the support and motivation an organization like Ellevate could give to woman professionally, and personally.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Working with insanely smart people who motivate me, challenge me, and support me.
What is it about your job that makes you feel it’s the right fit for you?
It’s really simple – we spend a ton of our lives with our co-workers (at least I do!) and if you do not enjoy the people you work with or feel supported by them, then it is probably not the right place for you. The way I describe the people at West Monroe Partners is that they “show up” for one another – no matter what you have going on in your life, personally or professionally. Whether it is helping develop a member of the team onsite during a client engagement or supporting an individual’s allegiance to a non-profit via our ‘jeans bucket’ (a literal bucket that we donate to in person or virtually every Friday) or helping someone overcome a personal life change by providing emotional, and sometimes financial, support.
Who are your role models?
No one has been more influential in the woman I have become than my mom. Her honest, direct, loyal, and fun outlook on family, friends, and life has helped me set my priorities as a working mom, friend, employee, and wife.
In addition to my mom, I have had a series of both male and female mentors who continue to help shape different aspects of my life. These individuals are both like me and very different – I find having diversity of thought, someone who is not afraid to challenge you, and people who have walked in your shoes are all essential. More likely than not, you will not find that in one person, so recruiting a mix of mentors to be on your team will help!
What is your morning ritual?
During the week, on a good day, I am up by 4:40 and at the gym by 5 AM. While this sounds crazy to most people, this is my favorite hour of the day. I don’t check my email, simply get up and go. This hour lets me decompress, focus on me, and remove the element of distraction that will set in once the world is awake and I am connected.
Once home, I spend the next hour getting my kids and me ready for the day – think lots of music, dressing, dancing, and eating. Everyone is off and running by 7 AM and I am on the train to the city by 7:20. The train is the start to the work day. I get my head in the game, catch up on life, read my email, and begin to draft the to do list for the day!
What is your favorite social media site? Why?
Instagram. I keep up with friends and family who live far away on social media and the latest edition of Instastories allows me to view more natural pictures and videos of their everyday. I love the idea of being able to see my friends’ kids grow up even though they live 1,000 miles away.
Is work-life balance a problem for you? What is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?
I do not believe that work-life balance is an actual thing. Instead, I believe life is a series of choices based upon where you are in life. At each of life’s stages, we are given choices – deciding how we spend our time, when and where we choose to invest in ourselves, how we build and rely upon our network of family and friends.
Furthermore, I do not believe that every choice comes with a sacrifice in another area; however, sometimes it does. And, that is ok. What I have learned is that these choices paired with my passion, support network, and confidence allows me to achieve success as I have defined it.
What is the best career advice you ever received?
If you are not making mistakes you are not challenging yourself enough. Early in my career a mentor told me that I should not be afraid to make mistakes, and even more pressing, if work is “easy” that I am not learning, growing, or challenging myself enough.
What is one piece of advice you’d offer working moms?
Empower and trust yourself – make the best decision you can today and give yourself the flexibility to change your mind tomorrow.
Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?
I was introduced to Ellevate and Sallie Krawcheck from a woman on my team. My first Ellevate event was a panel in New York City (the Own It launch) that celebrated a variety of professional females, who all brought their individuality, humor, and wit to an engaging event that encouraged woman to be themselves, stand up for what they believed in, and own their success.