Under 40: Courtney Bruce, Real Sourcing Network (RSN)
Courtney Bruce, 24
Marketing Engagement Manager
Real Sourcing Network (RSN), New York
How she got her start: In college, I had a focus in print, and was grateful for amazing instructors. I learned everything from litho and Intaglio [printing] to screen printing. I fell in love with screen printing—the process the mess, everything. I ended up getting a job at a local screen printing shop in Austin called Under Pressure. Before my job at Under Pressure, print was swallowed up by big names like Rembrandt, Goya and Warhol. I only knew print in the fine art world, but it’s so much more than being a first run, sitting in a glass box at the MOMA. It was commercial.
I then graduated school and thought it would be interesting to get a job in print. (Sidenote: I had a fine arts degree, so things did take a little longer than anticipated.) Nonetheless, I found a job working in a print lab in Dallas. I was a customer service representative for print jobs. It wasn’t as hands-on as I [would have] liked, but I was excited to learn. In this time, I had met Sarah Scudder. I would help her with some graphic and site management stuff. I think she liked that I was young and new to everything and ready to learn. She had just branched off with her venture at RSN and she told me that she wanted to bring me along. Now, I am in a position and in a job that I never would have guessed I’d have out of school, but it honestly makes the most sense, and it is a perfect fit for me.
Her current role: If I had to put it all in a box, I would say “marketing,” but I am hands-on with so many components of RSN. I manage and design our websites, build creative content, collaborate with the team on new ideas and ways to innovate our events, manage our quarterly magazine and, ultimately, I learn new stuff every day.
What she likes best about her job: I get to see ideas turn into projects and projects grow from the ground up. It’s really awesome to be a part of and know my ideas, as well as the people I work directly with, are what is contributing to RSN’s success.
Age roadblocks and advantages: I’m 24 and was born in the ’90s. That screams the infamous word “millennial.” As there are tons of millennials who are doing great things, it’s also easy to get clumped in with the negatives that resonate with this word. That being said, I am also a millennial, meaning I was born during the technology boom. I was the generation that got to grow with the internet and witness the effects of it and how influential it is to the future of companies. I feel like this is extremely valuable to RSN.
Her biggest career influence: Sarah Scudder—not only is she a great boss, she is an amazing mentor. I really lucked out. She knows how to turn everything into a positive. She is a huge cheerleader for anything she believes in, and I can see that she believes in me and my ideas. I have grown and continue to grow more confident each day because of her support.
Her most meaningful business accomplishment: My biggest accomplishment is being part of such an interesting and strong team. We each have something to bring to the table. It’s so cool that I get to be on calls with not only the president of the company, Sarah, but also Sandy Kane, the CEO—both of whom are incredibly knowledgeable about what they do. They are receptive to my ideas and creativity. It’s a good feeling to be heard and know that your voice is important to the direct future of the company.
Her differentiating factor: Honestly, taking a deep breath and knowing everything is going to be OK. Change has happened since the beginning of time. It’s how you adapt to that change that is important. We need to remember to listen to those older than us, because they know how the industry works and they know how the people work, but it’s also important to listen to those younger than us. They might have an idea to shake things up or knowledge of a software that could make your work more effective. ... People will tell you how they feel or what they want, but it’s up to us to make sure they are heard.
Why she believes the future is bright: Because I am working firsthand with a company whose sole purpose is to make sure that happens. Innovating technology with print is our future. We’re small, but mighty. We aren’t going anywhere.