I sat down with Terri Dautcher to discuss her work and her experience with an interdisciplinary background.

Terri’s focus with interdisciplinary work integrates her background in psychology and applies it to her career in marketing. Psychology and sociology have helped her by learning how to unpack how people think, feel and respond to a product or service. She’s mindful in the language that she uses to describe the people that she’s aiming to serve and taps into the fundamentals of what makes them tick. After telling Terri that I was interested in the field of marketing and creative services, she guided our conversation in a way that would help my understanding of the career. Terri has a dynamic background in humanitarian sciences with a concentration in psychology, anthropology and sociology. Over the course of 25 years she has been contracted to work with companies and organizations throughout the country before she pursued teaching.

When I asked about examples of interdisciplinary work she’s done in her field she stressed how important it is to understand people and find the fundamentals of what matter to them.

“When I was working at Psychic Source I would have the marketing department asking me, ‘do you like this’? It didn’t matter if I liked it, I wasn’t the one looking into their services. How do we get the people who are interested in what we’re offering to connect with us, to be able to transcend”? She questioned.

Terri added that promotion is only a tiny piece of marketing and that it’s equally important to build a connection with an individual. Understanding psychological and social aspects of an individual has allowed her to have great success in the field of marketing. When I asked what courses she might suggest to students outside of a traditional marketing major she believed that students should take classes that trigger creativity and truly prepare you for your career. Among those, she offered cultural anthropology, communications classes and accounting for non-accounting majors.

“Anyone can come up with ideas” she began. “You need to understand numbers so that you can create ideas that you can actually afford to do. You need to be sophisticated enough to understand how a company operates.”

Terri was thoughtful in her responses and gave realistic, meaningful advice.

Terri after our interview
Terri after our interview

I left the office after our interview with names of professors, courses and students who she had connected me with, knowing that they would help advance my studies. Beyond that, she gave me a list of Ted Talks to listen to help inspire my creativity. Upon listening to “Elizabeth Gilberts: Your elusive creative genius” a quote jumped out at me that related to what Terri had explained in our interview,

“But maybe it doesn’t have to be quite so full of anguish if you never happened to believe, in the first place, that the most extraordinary aspects of your being came from you. But maybe if you just believed that they were on loan to you from some unimaginable source for some exquisite portion of your life to be passed along when you’re finished, with somebody else.”

Terri believes in networking to help encompass new people to new ideas and techniques, “that’s the beauty of interdisciplinary work” she exclaimed.

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