University of Wisconsin–Madison

Alumni Profile: Doug Mullin

DougMullin_Oakley_Photobooth project-04-13-2012 0153-smWhat was your career path that led you to becoming a Digital Assets Manager for Oakley, Inc?
I started my career wanting to be a History professor. I got into the History program at the UW-Madison, realized how bad the job market is, finished my MA and left. I didn’t have much of a plan, but I tripped into a Digital Asset Management (DAM) job at a consumer products company in Madison and eventually got my MA from SLIS with their support. I found Graphic Designers and Marketing people to be the most interesting and creative people in the corporate world. I am very visual so I enjoyed working with the assets they were creating. I found that I learned the technology side of the job quickly and enjoyed it. With this experience, I got the opportunity to move to Oakley, in Southern California.

What is the most rewarding aspect of working as a Digital Assets Manager?
My role in my job is to bring together people, process, content and technology. I really enjoy all four of these. I heard a colleague at a conference describe people in roles like ours as “unicorns,” the rare people who love all these facets. There are lots of people who enjoy one or two of these things, but it is rare to find someone who really enjoys all of them.

How did your time at SLIS influence your career?
One of the key things I look for when hiring someone for a role like my own, is someone who really wants to do this work, and takes it on in a truly professional kind of way. Lots of people can draw pictures or take photos, but the difference between them and the graphic designers and photographers I work with is in the professionalism, and the level of skill brought to the job. Part of this is based on personality, but the MA from SLIS adds to the professionalism and training required to do this work.

Do you have any advice for current or future students?
There are always more things to learn! In my role, I get to learn about how so many other people in our company work – from graphic designers and photographers, to video, IT, Sales, Marketing, and many more. I also get to learn about technology, which is always changing. What students are learning at SLIS today is a foundation, but the learning never ends. Which, if you are like me, is perfect.