"Never back down in the face of adversity." That's a motto Elizabeth Reinhardt has carried with her in work and life. A first-generation college graduate who originally wanted to attend cosmetology school, she fell in love with marketing as an undergraduate at West Liberty University. Today, Reinhardt is the senior account executive at BURKE Communications, where she puts her talent for marketing into practice and oversees the accounts team.

Elizabeth Reinhardt - Fairygodboss of the Week

Senior Account Executive — BURKE Communications

Charlotte, North Carolina

Tell us a little about your career. How did you get to where you are now?

I am a first-generation college grad who did not want to attend college; I wanted to attend cosmetology school. Regretfully (stated in sarcasm), I was awarded a full-scholarship to any West Virginia four-year institution. My dad forced me to pick a college close to home and major in dental hygiene. After failing biology yet acing Intro to Marketing, I switched my major, knowing that whatever I did in marketing, it would be versatile and creative, just as cosmetology would be. After graduation, I worked full time at my alma mater and continued through an Integrated Marketing Communications Masters Program at WVU. From there, I went on to help rebrand a small law firm and springboarded into a large production company. That company took me to New York City and eventually landed me in Charlotte, NC, where I help oversee a super talented accounts team.

What is an accomplishment that you are proud of?

Never backing down in the face of adversity. Adversity will be there every step you take; even when it was time to quit a position or project that wasn't working, I always make sure the quitting is done with both justification and dignity. Also, being a brand lead for Unilever's Vaseline while I was in NYC. Such a fun, challenging role!

What is a challenge that you've faced and overcome?

The marketing industry is growing fast and becoming rapidly competitive. With the constant, consistent changes, along with a high volume of green staff members that rely on senior management, internal chaos can manifest. The biggest challenge will always be to know when to change and how to ask for change. Recruiting during a time of turnover, which is relatively consistent in marketing, has been a challenge that can be overcome by finding a way to target your candidates.

Who is YOUR Fairygodboss? and Why?

Dr. Carrie White was my marketing mentor while in undergraduate school at West Liberty University. She is fearless and has always believed in me, even at times when I didn't believe in myself. Dr. White continues to take big steps in her career that are inspirational to me. If it wasn't for her optimism while I was in school, I may not have fallen in such love with marketing.

What do you do when you're not working?

I spend a lot of time with my three beautiful nieces. They are mini Fairygodbosses! Each has such a unique style and way of loving life. It's a blessing to have a constant reminder to appreciate the little things in life, such as running around and dressing up!

If you could have dinner with one famous person—dead or alive—who would it be?

Sam Smith. He has a vibrant personality, and I love to be around people who are joyous.

What is your karaoke song?

Aerosmith's Crazy. I assume I'm a great performer yet never have been asked for an encore. The audience still gets their money's worth!

What is your favorite movie?

Meet Joe Black. It reminds me of the relationship I had with my late father—lots of valuable lessons about love, life and dying. I loved this movie even before he became sick.

What book would you bring with you on a desert island?

How to Survive on a Deserted Island by Tim O'Shei for practical, obvious reasons.

What is your shopping vice? What would you buy if you won the lottery?

Saks Off Fifth; a cute condo.

What is the #1 career tip you'd like to share with other women who want to have successful careers like you? 

Be sure to interview the company just as much as they are interviewing you. It's important to have control of your career path and be discerning. Be fearless in your approach when job searching; the most you have to lose is a position that's not suitable for you.

Why do you love where you work?

The interactive, talented, highly skilled team. Each person and position brings something different to the table for each project. Art production workers are the biggest asset to any advertising agency. Their work will make or break your success.

Fairygodboss is all about women helping other women - so each week, we celebrate a woman who made a difference in another woman’s career. Is there a woman who has made a difference in your career? Celebrate her and thank her by nominating her here.