Last Call: Caitlin Conn

As the semester progresses at the speed of light, the senior class is beginning to make peace with that fateful day in May: Commencement. Until the class of 2012 up and leaves us, BlogDH wants to highlight all the interesting things the class has been up to. To this end, we are (re)starting a series, Last Call, featuring seniors reflecting on their experiences at Brown. Each featured senior will tag another senior for the next installment. Find this year’s other “Last Call” chain here.

Then + Now

People might know me as…  Google girl, “Cookie” (I bake a lot…), the girl who marketed an underwear start-up, an ex-field hockey player (“squib”)

Sami’s Question: If you could design a “Caitlin Theme” for the Google homepage logo, what would it look like? A mix of sparkles, sprinkles, cookies, soccer balls, charcoal drawings, pretty shoes, outdoorsy fun, NY pizza, with an interactive playlist of Rihanna and Dev. Actually, can you ask me again in 30 years? I think I might have a more streamlined idea then.

Sami’s (second) Question: Can you please share your cookie recipe with us? I don’t bake and tell… but you can come over for cookies any time!!

Greatest lesson you learned from your college field hockey experience? Wear serious sunscreen during preseason, unless you feel like guaranteeing yourself a frightful tank tan line and wardrobe options of nothing but crew necks all of fall semester. On a more serious note: It is what it is, but it is what you make it. Some situations aren’t going to be ideal. There will be exhilarating highs and discouraging lows. You may not always be able to control the outcome, but you can always control your mindset.

What was your best semester at Brown? There was probably a worst semester, but I don’t think there was one best one! So many semesters had highlights, whether it was launching a company, meeting some new amazing soon-to-be-friends, or scaling a building.

You were marketing coordinator for Sexy Period, a venture started by Julie Sygiel ’09. What were the highest and lowest experiences of getting enveloped in a startup? I learned so much from my time with Sexy Period, and I think the best part of being in a start up is making a big ripple in the process. You have such a huge impact on the company and it’s so incredibly rewarding to see people touched by something you conceived of, created, and implemented from start to finish. On the other hand, it’s a double-edged sword, because if something goes wrong, it’s all you, too!

What did you learn about marketing? Audience, audience, audience! An idea may sound wonderful to you, but does it have the same impact on the people you’re selling to? You have to balance between staying central to your (company’s) core values and effectively touching your target audience. Also, repetition is key. So… audience, audience, audience!

What was your involvement with Brown EcoReps’ Do it in the Dark energy saver competition I’m the publicity/marketing intern for the Energy & Environmental Programs at Brown, so my role was to lead the outreach strategy in order to double student involvement from last year. We realized that to more effectively target the student population, we had to make the energy competition more memorable and relatable. I designed the “Do it in the Dark” branding campaign with logos, signage, and grassroots outreach to boost awareness around campus. We got an astounding 26% reduction in the winning dorm, and reached our goal of over 20% of campus involved!

In my time at Brown, I am most proud of… using disappointing challenges as a springboard for success instead of conceding defeat. Coming into Brown, I was part of the varsity field hockey team. Two and a half years and three surgeries later, after spending up to six hours every day in the OMAC for rehab and practice, I still wasn’t healthy enough to suit up for game day. As upsetting as it was, I had to acknowledge it’d be healthier to refocus my energy in another way. Sports were such a huge piece of my life, so it would have been super easy to hang onto my old identity and linger on how I couldn’t play any more. Instead, I rechanneled that time and energy into the start-up, Sexy Period, which turned out to be an incredibly wonderful and rewarding experience.

On a Friday night, you might find yourself… getting ready for a great night, laughing with friends about the ridiculousness that happened during the week and speculating about what’s to come!

The best random thing you did in your time at Brown… Spontaneously go to Newport Beach with some of my best friends on a spring day. The beach was so foggy that one of my guy friends strolled into the fog to change into his bathing suit. Foggiest beach day ever = best random day ever.

The best class/professor at Brown is… Everyone has to take ENGN9 with Professor Hazeltine. He’s just so adorable! Also, that class genuinely sparked my interest in business and entrepreneurship.

The best dorm on campus is… LITTLEFIELD! No question. Best people ever.

Three things you wish you knew freshmen year…

  1. It’s okay to fail. At classes, at ideas, at relationships. You won’t know what greatness could’ve been unless you give it a shot.
  2. It’s fun to be the social butterfly, but everyone doesn’t have to like you, and they probably won’t. Invest in the people that mean the most to you and you mean the most to.
  3. Don’t walk into people’s rooms without knocking. It can be scarring.

Ratty vs. V-Dub… I love you Ratty, but the V-Dub is just so cozy.

One thing you wish you had done… I always wanted to swim in the bubble at night, but I think I missed out on that one… I’m guessing the new aquatics center has pretty good locks.

After graduation, you plan to… work at Google in New York! I’ll be part of the DoubleClick team.

Who are you tagging next? Eliza Adams. I’ve been lucky enough to get to know Eliza over the course of this year. She’s one of those people who’s talented in so many arenas — from music, to neuroscience, to art, she excels at it all. Eliza is an incredibly giving person who has a great head on her shoulders! I can’t wait to see what crazy neuro amazingness she discovers in the future!

Next up: Eliza Adams
Caitlin’s Question(s): 

  1. What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you at Brown?
  2. What is one moment or decision you might change during your time at Brown and why?

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