Faculty spotlight: Cathy Condit Cuckovich

A traditional career path consists of getting a bachelor’s degree and finding a corporate job in that field. But for Mike Ilitch School of Business marketing professor Cathy Condit Cuckovich, going a non-traditional route contributed to her successful career.

Cuckovich earned her bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Notre Dame and, although she still wasn’t sure what she wanted to do after graduation, entered the corporate world.  She then got an MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and went into advertising — a field where an MBA isn’t necessarily required.

 “I built a career based on marketing and advertising,” she said. “I liked the combination of working with people and trying to solve strategic problems.”

After working in various roles for several different companies, including Ford Motor Company, J. Walter Thompson and Team Detroit, she joined Wayne State University as an adjunct professor.

“Teaching really was a natural progression of my non-traditional career,” Cuckovich said. “Teaching was an outgrowth for me to share my experience in the workplace, how marketing is actually practiced. Wayne State was the perfect place to do that because it places a great deal of emphasis on real world application.”

In March, she was named the Adcraft/Simons Michelson Advertising Program director and teaching fellow. The program helps build industry relationships between Wayne State and advertising organizations.

“My role is not just to teach, but to help grow the profile of the advertising track within the marketing major,” she said.

Through the program, she works toward outreach for marketing agencies to recruit on campus as well as updating the marketing curriculum, aiming to “re-energize and re-invigorate the advertising track.”

One piece of advice Cuckovich had for students is to not be afraid of a non-conventional career path.

“I ended up in advertising after some trial and error,” she said. “Be open to challenges and positions that may either sound intimidating or boring, because you can learn something from every position and take on as many roles as possible.”