Alumnus applies IST skills in global marketing role at Bloomberg LP

Jessica Hallman
July 10, 2018

Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of profiles on College of IST students and alumni who are utilizing the skills and knowledge they developed at Penn State to make an impact in a variety of industries.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

That is a favorite quote for Mike Eisenreich, a 2003 Penn State alumnus whose path to the College of Information Sciences and Technology is self-described as circuitous.

“Anyone will tell you that being successful professionally certainly requires some level of luck, but in my experience it’s not simply random chance,” he said. “You have to be prepared to take advantage of opportunities that arise. The harder you work, the more opportunities you’ll get.”

He explained that, as a kid, he had dreamed of one day becoming a musician. Then, a high school geometry teacher asked him and another student if they wanted to work on something called a website.

“This was 1996, and websites were relatively new,” he said. “I have no idea why he asked me, but I got to spend some time every week in a computer lab learning how to build websites and I really enjoyed it.”

Eisenreich ultimately shifted his career interest and came to Penn State in 1999 as a business major in 1999 — the same year that the College of IST was established. His father, who worked for PNC Bank — an early sponsor of the then-School of IST — had heard about the new program and told his son about the opportunity.

"Technologies will always evolve and change, and IST taught me how to solve complex problems using a blend of strategy, skills, teamwork and, above all, hard work."

— Mike Eisenreich, IST alumnus

“After looking into it, I thought ‘wow, this is perfect for me,’” he said of changing his major to IST before his sophomore year. “It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

In the college, Eisenreich said that he learned how to approach solving complex problems using technology.

“Technologies will always evolve and change, and IST taught me how to solve complex problems using a blend of strategy, skills, teamwork and, above all, hard work,” he said. “Penn State and IST provided me with the education and opportunities to develop those skills. No matter the industry or field, there are always complex problems to solve. Having the right approach is imperative.”

As an alumnus, Eisenreich is paying the experience he gained forward by serving on the IST Alumni Society's board of directors, and he hopes to provide valuable perspective to students as they explore their career paths.

“Technology has always been, and will only increasingly continue to be, at the center of business and life for that matter,” he said. “Gaining the knowledge and skills on how to best apply technologies in the myriad ways they can be is highly valuable and can lead to a fruitful and fulfilling career.”

Eisenreich has used that approach in his career path to his current role as global head of brand strategy, digital, creative and content marketing at Bloomberg LP. His group, known as the Bloomberg Studio, is comprised of art directors, brand strategists, content marketers, copy writers, creative directors, designers (print and digital), digital producers, motion graphics animators, project managers, researchers, social editors, technologists (marketing tech and web development), user experience designers, and video producers that work together in an integrated way across mediums, channels and geographies.

“What we create strengthens our brand, enables sales, and fosters customer service and engagement,” he said. “The key to our strategy is how we uniquely blend content, design and technology into exceptional experiences across online and offline channels for audiences around the world.”

His interest in marketing and digital media started early in his career, when he worked for GE — a company that invested in its entry-level employees through a rotational leadership program.

“This program gave me a variety of opportunities, such as working on the company’s global email system and spending some time in a data center,” he said. “Those experiences gave me a fundamental understanding of how certain things work. I still draw on that knowledge to this day.”

Several years later, he was asked to lead the group responsible for GE’s external digital technologies, which included the company’s website. Through that fulfilling experience, he worked closely with the digital marketing team, and found himself wanting to participate more on the marketing side than on the technical side. When his mentor from that team left GE to work at Bloomberg in a newly formed marketing department, she asked Eisenreich if wanted to make a jump fully into marketing.

“I didn’t hesitate and said yes,” said Eisenreich. “Looking back, what I really learned through that experience is how important mentors and sponsors are in your career.”

He added, “She really helped me leverage my knowledge and experience in technology to move into a new field. Like choosing IST, moving my career in this direction was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

While it may seem that Eisenreich has had some lucky breaks along his career path, he refers back to his favorite quote and advises current IST students to find meaning in that.

“Becoming an expert and go-to person early in your career is really important,” he said. “Being known in an organization as someone that can take a problem and just solve it will establish you as someone that adds unique and exceptional value and open up opportunities.”

  • Mike Eisenreich, a 2003 College of IST alumnus, serves as global head of brand strategy, digital, creative and content marketing at Bloomberg LP.

    IMAGE: Photo provided
Last Updated July 10, 2018