By: Sarah Wright

Two weeks ago, Kelli Shultz, an alumnus of the CBA, came and talked to University of Akron students as a part of the Taylor Institute’s Lunch with an Innovator speaker series. Kelli is currently an Account Strategist at Pandora, working with some of the company’s largest national accounts.

While we typically only see the music side of Pandora, there is so much more to the company than in the public eye. With 85 million unique monthly users, their data pool is astronomical. This analytical emphasis allows them to provide extra value added services to companies that advertise on their site. Instead of pitching Pandora, and then running an ad campaign that the client deems acceptable, the Pandora team can run analysis on their own data and give recommendations and feedback to clients so that campaigns can be more highly targeted and more effective. Because of these unique insights, Pandora is able to win over large, national accounts. In a campaign with Kellogg’s promoting Pop Tarts to teenagers, Pandora’s data driven approach provided a 7% lift in incremental sales and encouraged 3 times higher spending among the targeted households.

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In addition to their data prowess, Kelli also shared that Pandora is striving to create an entire experience for Pandora customers. From highly relevant audio ads, to the ultimate, personalized, thumbprint radio to free concerts with free swag, the company is truly creating a platform for their three stakeholders, artists, listeners and advertisers, to connect.

It was easy to see from Kelli’s passion during her presentation, that she is a go getter, who loves what she is doing. As such, she had some advice for the current students looking to land their dream job at an innovative company, like Pandora. She says that Pandora looks for smart people, who can hold an intelligent conversation about the field in which they are interested. Looking at a job as something you have to do from 9 – 5 so that you can live for the weekends, is not going to cut it. You have to love what you do. We recommend taking her advice as she is truly one of Akron’s best and brightest.

For your own enjoyment, we caught up with Kelli afterward to ask her a few of her favorite things about her current career:

Q: What are your three favorite Pandora stations?

A: Billy Joel Radio – I’ve seen him multiple times in concert and find his music upbeat enough for my commute, work speed, or cooking at home. Frank Sinatra Radio – for when I’m extremely stressed out and need something to calm me down or relax. And Nick Swardson Comedy Radio is the immature comedian that I am embarrassed to admit makes me laugh until I’m crying at my desk – I highly recommend checking out the comedy stations!

Q: What is your favorite part of the work day at Pandora?

A: Culture/People… these two go hand in hand and are the driving force behind why I am so passionate about my job. Pandora’s culture is open – no offices or cubicles, no suits or ties, no overbearing management philosophy, no stale hierarchy of “more important people”… Just a bunch of smart, motivated people getting the job done. I hope to see more companies adopt similar workplace culture changes as this is the movement that can motivate and inspire the young people of our generation (the workforce of today AND tomorrow). Not every company can be working in tech or music, but every company can care to have a company culture where employees are motivated to give 100% to the mission, as I feel I am at Pandora.

Q: Have you gone to any of the Pandora concerts, and if so, which was your favorite and why?

A: Yeah! Every year there is a music festival in Chicago, Lollapalooza. We were able to link together Lollapalooza and Chicago (huge target market for a lot of brands) to create 2 custom events for Allstate and Taco Bell this past summer – they were awesome, our events team is amazing and the clients were very happy! The performers were Madeon and Robert DeLong.