Alumni Spotlight: Pam Kaufman, SOC/BA ’85
As chief marketing officer and president of consumer products, Pam Kaufman, SOC/BA ’85, is currently in charge of Nickelodeon’s domestic consumer products and is the marketing force behind popular products, including SpongeBob SquarePants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Dora the Explorer. We caught up with Pam to find out the roots of her connections to AU and learn more about her personal success.
AU: What attracted you to American University before you became a student here?
I was really attracted to American University first for its reputation for having a strong communications school and second for its location in Washington DC. American also offered the ideal campus situation: a beautiful campus outside of one of the most exciting cities in the world.
AU: Are you still in contact with any of your fellow AU classmates?
I am in touch with many if my classmates from AU. Several are my closest friends: Laurie Neschis, Allison Bloom, Sharon Richards, and Ross Levinsohn - to name a few!
AU: What’s one thing you learned during your time at AU that still resonates with you today?
I took a public speaking class that really helped shape my ability to give speeches and be comfortable in front of large crowds. In addition, I had some fantastic internships at NBC and CNN that were invaluable to my life experience.
AU: You have accomplished so much since graduating. Can you share one or two of your biggest achievements since graduating from American University?
I've had the privilege of working in the entertainment marketing business for many years. I've had some fantastic opportunities like working on a Simpsons program with Burger King at the launch of that TV series and being named Entertainment Marketer of the year.
AU: What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is managing a team. I really like mentoring our staff. I enjoy traveling around the world and representing our brand and meeting with our local offices. I am also having a blast right now working on our reinvention of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
AU: What would you say to aspiring young alumni? What words of wisdom can you impart to recent graduates who seek to walk in your professional footsteps?
My advice to recent graduates would be to meet as many people as you can in the industry that you are interested in. Make sure that at your current job you find a mentor, volunteer to take on additional responsibilities, be enthusiastic and positive.
AU: Working in New York, and being as busy as you are, why do remain engaged with American University?
I remain connected to American because I believe it is a great school. I want to support AU any way I can since I am now in a position that can help the communications program thrive.