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Vicky Wilkens

Vicky Wilkens, UPWARD Atlanta Chapter Leader

UPWARD is excited about our upcoming Atlanta Chapter Launch this year and we are so happy to have the opportunity to highlight one of our newest chapter leaders that is working alongside a great leadership team to bring UPWARD to Atlanta!

Vicky Wilkens is the Chief Marketing Officer at ON Partners , a retained executive search firm building C-level and board leadership teams.

Learn even more about Vicky by reading below and connect with her right here in our My UPWARD Online Community!

Describe your career, your platform, or what makes you you?

I’ve always been interested in the power of narratives to establish brands. Throughout my career, the elements of marketing that have always called to me are the positioning and strategic thought put into building a brand. As I’ve grown in my career, I’ve been pulled to the story-telling aspect of marketing and find myself enjoying the strategic work it takes to put a story into market.

Do you have any habits or disciplines that you’ve developed that helps keep you motivated?

For me, I just have to be in a role that keeps me learning and challenged. I’ve had to work on my patience throughout my career, wanting to get an idea developed and into market as quickly as it’s thought up.

What are you most proud of in your personal life and in your career?

I’m proud of growing in my creativity and learning that not having all the answers can be more of a strength, than a weakness.

We know from data that no one advances completely on their own. Relationships are often the difference between getting noticed and promoted and getting stuck. How do you identify key individuals with whom you need to build strategic relationships? 

I learned throughout my career that forming allies is key to development and growth. And understanding what your allies care most about, how they are judged and incentivized is also extremely important when seeking true collaboration.

As an UPWARD Member, what experience(s) have been most beneficial for you?

Truly, the camaraderie that UPWARD provides is the most important aspect to me, along with the network of powerful, executive women across the world.

What advice have you received that has helped drive you to where you are today? If you’re comfortable, please share where this advice came from.

The best advice I have ever received is that you don’t need to have all the answers to succeed. Simple, but at the time I received it, I felt like if I didn’t have the answer, then I was irrelevant or not qualified.

What advice (2-3 things) would you share with others who have similar goals or is on a similar path as you?

First, I would say that approaching your role with a team mentality is key. People respond better when it feels like you are on the same side, fighting for the same goal.

Second, I would advise others that they don’t have to have their entire career mapped out. Cease the need to control everything around you to meet your expectations or plans. Things change and sometimes you just have to trust that you are on the right path, for the right reason.

Do you have a favorite inspirational/motivational quote that you’d like to share? 

“Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

The longer I’ve been working the more fulfilled I feel when I am being truly creative.

When you’re not in “work mode”, attending calls/meetings, what would we find you doing?

I’m a proud mother of two young girls. When I’m not working, I am with them. Or, I am reading. I love young adult fiction (I should be embarrassed, I know) and can get stuck in a book for days.

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