Chief Executive Officer is not a title you normally associate with a recent graduate, but not all recent graduates are Carly Ekstein.
Seizing opportunities and making the most of her education and experience, Carly went from retail manager to CEO of her own event and association management company in just a few short years. She attributes part of her success to her experience as a student in the Post-Degree Diploma in Marketing at Western Continuing Studies.
During the program, Carly took advantage of an opportunity to work part-time at a boutique event marketing agency in London where she got her first taste of event management. She was hooked. Since graduating she has adopted many of the skills she learned in the program into her everyday work life including the necessary skills to draft marketing plans, develop creative briefs, liaise with designers, printers and other suppliers, and stay ahead of the trend on new media channels.
“The Marketing diploma involves a lot of group work that is comparable to the real world,” said Carly. “In the program you didn’t get to choose your group just as you can’t always choose your clients or colleagues. Everyone has different skill sets and creative approaches that you need to learn to work with effectively. Marketing and events are collaborative and creative. There are many pieces to the puzzle and making sure all the personalities and ideas jive is critical.”
Whether she was coordinating guest speakers, catering and equipment rentals for a bootcamp event in Philadelphia or networking and meeting with clients, interpersonal skills and teamwork have contributed to her success in a big way.
Since graduation Carly went on to work at an event management agency in Toronto where she met her current business partner, Bailey Roth. Together they launched Redstone Agency Inc., a millennial owned event and association management agency.
“Redstone is our way of bridging our passion and love of technology with event management and giving back to the community,” said Carly. “By 2020 more than 50% of the workforce will be comprised of Millennials. It is integral for organizations to understand and embrace the uniqueness of this generation to be able to achieve success.”
Carly is the CEO and co-founder of Redstone Agency Inc. an event and association management agency based out of Toronto.