Outstanding Young Alumni Award Winner 2007
Laura Denissen’s career has led her to many opportunities, such as taking on previously untapped markets and making them shine.
Denissen said she remembers how excited she was to co-lead Harley-Davidson Motor Company’s new “Women’s Outreach” segment; part of a larger initiative to reach a broader audience of riders.
Coming from a large advertising agency in Chicago, “I began my corporate career at Harley in website content management, then managed marketing and events for Buell Motorcycles, before moving into a new role and department.” Denissen said. “I loved that, because it targeted a new segment of female customers, and it focused on bringing new people into the sport and understanding their motivations. Overall, it brought new opportunities for the product and growth for the company.”
Denissen was at Harley-Davidson Motor Company for more than 8 years, and held several roles within marketing and motorcycle product development. The 2007 Outstanding Young Alumni Award winner now works for Bader Rutter in Milwaukee, working as an account supervisor and team leader, assisting clients with strategic business consulting, advertising and marketing.
Having worked in corporate positions, Denissen was excited to change things up when she took a job at Bader Rutter.
“One of the things I enjoy most at Bader Rutter is that I’m very close to my clients and their internal teams, and understand their larger business needs and growth objectives. We have a seat at the table to help guide and set strategic business and marketing direction, along with developing their brands, marketing communication plans and tactics.”
Denissen remembers how flattered she was to win her outstanding alumni award in 2007, and how wonderful it was to connect with those who had helped her at UWO.
“[I remember] those professors that I had held very near and dear to my heart being there, and going through my memories and experiences back at UWO, and how far I had come since those days,” Denissen said. “It was very rewarding.”
When Denissen was at UWO, she was involved in many different clubs that she was proud to be a part of, including being Ad Club president and advertising sales manager for The Advance-Titan. Denissen’s favorite memories of UWO include her time spent at the A-T and her participation on the AAF’s National Student Advertising Competition.
“[The paper] went through some challenges and changes covering some heavy topics at the time. Coming together as a professional student organization, with advisement from our professors, and really coming into our own . . . that feeling of being united and close-knit with each other is something that really stands out to me. It gave me a great foundation of experiences as I reflect on where I am today.”
Denissen suggests that students get involved and stay up to date with their industry of choice. “Stay connected with those in your field as well as in industries of interest,” Denissen said. “Be mindful of trends and best practices. Find connection points in your work; don’t just report what’s readily available, and maintain your integrity.”