Jenny Lockhart — Marketing Project Management Director
Jenny Lockhart, Covenant Award for Community Recipient, 2010-11 Academic Year
Jenny Lockhart '11, originally from New Underwood, South Dakota, majored in journalism and English. She received the Covenant Award for Community for the 2010-11 academic year.
Q. Tell us about your journey after graduating from Augustana — your career path (what are you doing now), family, education (graduate school), travel, etc.
A. After graduation, I moved to Montana and put myself solidly outside my comfort zone in an unfamiliar place for my first job. This was a good experience, in hindsight, but at the time, Montana was the last place I wanted to be. It didn’t take long for me to find my way home. I came back to Sioux Falls to work in news, first at the Argus Leader and then at KSFY-TV. Just shy of three years ago, I made the switch from news to marketing when I joined the team at 9 Clouds. The 2011 version of myself would’ve never guessed at the person I am in 2018. Looking back on the past seven years, I see both great joy and challenging sadness, all things that have helped me grow.
Q. Greatest challenges and best rewards of your current role?
A. As the project management director at 9 Clouds, my job is all about organization. I coordinate work for several clients and our own internal marketing, while also training employees on the ever-changing world of digital marketing. Days that challenge me are difficult because I spend too much time in spreadsheets. When my job gets super data-focused and takes me away from client and team communication, I get stressed. I thrive in the collaborative environment at 9 Clouds, and it’s a tough day if I miss out on creative conversation. This leads into the best rewards of my job (of which there are many): I get to work with a team of people who challenge me creatively; I get to work somewhere my opinions are heard and valued; I get to help train creatives and clients. It really “fills my cup” as they say when I get to collaborate on creative campaigns.
Q. Greatest professional accomplishment thus far?
A. Producing a Emmy-winning newscast! I produced live coverage of the Pierre hotel for KSFY-TV that ultimately won a Midwest Emmy.
Q. Favorite class or favorite professor at Augustana, and why?
A. This is tough! I had a lot of awesome classes with really great professors, but if I have to choose a favorite class I’d pick my J-term course co-taught by Sandra Looney and Janet Blank-Libra. We traveled to India for three life-changing weeks, and I’m still processing the impact this experience had on my life seven years later. This class gave me perspective and insight into a part of the world this west river girl never expected to see. Plus, Sandra and Janet are two of the best women I know.
Q. What were you involved in that prepared you for the present and future?
A. My time writing for and editing the Augustana Mirror was an invaluable experience. The very act of writing one (or more) stories weekly and laying out pages was the most applicable training a journalism major could have. Even more useful, though, were the soft skills I gained — working out issues with co-workers, learning to take critical feedback and balancing my very busy schedule.
Q. Best Augie memory?
A. The best way to describe Augie now is comfortable. It's a place full of good memories, but picking one is pretty much impossible. I had four years of conversations over coffee in the Huddle, late night walks across the green with roommates, random UBG events and unexpected friendships.
Q. If you could offer an Augustana student some advice, what would you say?
A. Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change. This brilliant advice comes from Brené Brown, an educator whose research my team looks to for guidance. It’s really, really hard to be vulnerable — in the workplace, in relationships, even with yourself — but having the courage to risk vulnerability in my adult life has been the most impactful choice I’ve made. Vulnerability lets me be empathetic, understanding, and imperfect.
Q. A foundation for life at Augustana begins with our five core values — Christian Faith, Liberal Arts, Excellence, Community and Service. How did your time at Augustana help to ensure those values remain central in your life?
A. I think I was drawn to Augie because those values were already within me. Four years at Augie simply cemented what I already felt in my heart. If I were to waver now in my values, I'm confident Janet Blank-Libra would knock some sense into me.