Fossil Group had the honor of being one of the 2017 sponsors of the Marcus Graham Project’s iCR8 (I create) boot camp, a summer-long experiential learning program that provides aspiring marketing and advertising leaders with the exposure and experience necessary to build careers within the industry.
The Marcus Graham Project (MGP) is a Dallas-based nonprofit organization and a national network of diverse professionals with a mission to identify, expose, mentor and train ethnically diverse men and women in all aspects of the media industry.
“It has been an incredible privilege to welcome the Marcus Graham Project into our Fossil family, especially as they celebrate an important milestone with their 10th anniversary. This was our first year supporting this tremendous organization, which encourages and inspires young minds to consider careers in the fields of marketing, advertising and public relations,” said Steve Evans, Executive Vice President at Fossil.
“We challenged them to come up with a 360-degree marketing campaign to help address some of our business needs—and they delivered with outstanding results. Working with a team that promotes and models a similar value system of creativity and innovation has given us the inspiration to continue to create accessories that are relevant for the next generation.”
As part of this year’s MGP program, selected boot camp participants from all over the U.S. and Canada came together to launch a full-service advertising agency called The Kinxion. Their pop-up shop tackled a segment marketing challenge—how to speak to Fossil’s male customer (or as they called him “Fossil Gent”) and drive sales. Each MGP participant was paired with a Fossil employee to help coach and support them throughout their creative journey.
For two months, The Kinxion team worked together to research and build a complete brand campaign on the Fossil Gent. This included account planning, production, copywriting, project management, PR, art direction, design as well as interactive and social media marketing. While partnering with their Fossil mentors, each participant learned how an entire campaign is put together and, in the end, wowed the Fossil executive leadership team with their creative pitch and ideas.
Ahead, meet The Kinxion team and get their take on what it was like to be part of the Marcus Graham Project training boot camp at Fossil. Scroll down to read their favorite on-the-job moments and some of the lessons they learned. And make sure to remember their names, because we’re pretty sure they’ll be winning ad awards in no time!
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Position: Art Director
“I developed new design skills while working collectively with a team and even had the opportunity to work closely with a mentor who assisted me in honing my craft. Working with Fossil has given me the tools necessary to be successful throughout my career and even in this next phase of my life.”
James “J.R.” Adams Jr.
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Position: Art Director
“More than just being summer interns, we worked on things that would actually change the scope of how Fossil markets the products, and that’s phenomenal. I’ve learned the importance of asking questions. I wasn’t as open to doing that at my previous job.”
Darnell Gardner Jr.
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
“I’ve learned that in order to have the career I want, I have to make certain changes to my trajectory. Fossil has also instilled in me the importance of networking, and reminded me of the value of giving back once you have a little extra to give.”
Hometown: Toronto, Canada
Position: Project Manager
“Whether it was working on speaking to different levels of management, shadowing a Fossil employee for the day or working on my soft skills, Rosi (my mentor) was committed to my growth as an individual. Fossil gave us a taste of the industry and I can’t wait to see what’s next.”
Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts
Position: Account Manager
“Working with my team has taught me that a great leader finds how he or she can be of service to the team. Knowing how you personally work and how others work is integral to success. Fossil provided us an amazing opportunity to learn from some of the most experienced people in retail and branding. This summer has been surreal. The people and experiences are something I will take away for the rest of my life.”
Anthony Williams II
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Position: Account Manager
“My time at Fossil was an unforgettable experience. I treasured the peer mentorship from so many of the Fossil team who were willing to invest in us and teach us important marketing strategies. The lessons I’ve learned are invaluable.”
Hometown: Newark, New Jersey
Position: Account Planner
“I learned a lot about professionalism and what it means to be empowered in your career. I learned presentations skills, and about how to collaborate with other people. Before, I didn’t think much about the story and impact, but now I know the importance of the little things. Those little things are important to the entire presentation.
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Position: Public Relations Specialist
“Fossil was so welcoming from the first day, everyone was so helpful and eager to help you grow as a professional. The work environment Fossil exhibits is something I’ll look forward to in my future.”
Hometown: Washington, DC Metro Area
Position: Social Media Strategist
“I felt right at home at Fossil, like I belonged. The team has been nothing but supportive, encouraging, and excited to be part of our journey through MGP. My experience cannot be summed up into one word, because Fossil embodies so much more.”
We’re proud of our employees who come to work every day to make an impact. This story features one of our talented engineers who is helping to pioneer the next generation of wearable tech.
Meet Abhi Kris, a Senior Firmware Engineer on the Connected Devices Group (CDG) working in the heart of Burlingame, CA. Known to all as the voice of firmware, he constructs the firmware architecture that supports the digital experience of our brands.
What attracted you to Fossil Group?
The engineering team! I love their energy and find my team competent, driven and smart. They challenge me in fun ways. They are incredibly generous and, most of all, have a great sense of humor.
How are you making an impact by pioneering the future of wearable technology?
I do believe we are at the forefront of a technological evolution for fashion accessories. The hybrid story is starting to be written and we’ve probably just written the prologue. The technology and user interactions we’re designing will define how we relate to our fashion, accessories and, in turn, our world.
“We’re striving to solve challenging technical questions that would enable incredible technology for almost anyone in the world.”Abhi
What engineering skills have you developed or improved upon at Fossil Group?
I’m learning how to manage technical architecture whose changes could affect hundreds of thousands of devices, as well as designing and re-designing it to an even larger scale. I’m also developing my skill set under experts in design, UX, UI, mechanical, electrical, program management, fashion etc.
How does your team support you to grow in your field and produce your best work?
We are all broad thinkers who not only dive deep into technical topics, but also understand work from a wider perspective. This is extremely helpful when I bring my team product and design challenges. We find realistic and achievable solutions while creating the best technology possible for our products.
Why should people come to work for Fossil?
This is a company that is completely re-inventing itself. Everything is new, and there’s so much talent here. We’re striving to solve challenging technical questions that would enable incredible technology for almost anyone in the world. As engineers, we are enabling technology that puts a little bit of magic back in everyone’s life.
Richardson, TX. July 26, 2017 – Fossil Group, Inc. (Nasdaq GS: FOSL) (the “Company”) announced the appointment of Gail B. Tifford to its Board of Directors effective July 26, 2017. Ms. Tifford currently serves as Vice President, Media North America and Global Digital Innovation, for Unilever.
Fossil Group is committed to improving the lives of young women and girls around the world. Opportunity for Her offers a glimpse into the lives of women whose stories reflect personal growth and empowerment.
Rama comes from a small village in Rajasthan, India.
Because there was very little expected of her, she expected little of herself. That changed when Team Balika visited her home. Team Balika is a group of community volunteers — from Fossil Foundation partner, Educate Girls — who venture into rural communities to bring out-of-school girls into classrooms. Through their efforts, Rama’s parents consented to Rama returning to school.
We asked Rama about the opportunities she sees for herself now that’s she’s getting an education.
When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I never really gave it a thought. I was perhaps too busy making dolls out of used clothes and playing with them or helping mother with household work. In our society it is the parents who decide what their daughters should be doing when they grow up, so I did not ever bother thinking about it. Nobody asked me what I wanted to be.
And now, what do you dream of becoming?
I think I want to be a police officer. Nobody listens to women in my village, but everybody listens to the police. Every other girl wants to be a teacher, but I want to be something that is often seen as a career option for boys.
Who is your role model and why?
My role model is my paternal uncle. He is the most educated person in my entire family and has the courage to speak up for what he thinks is right. I want to be like him—educated and strong.
Describe the moment Team Balika came into your life.
The school that ran upper primary classes was about seven kilometers outside of my village. I’d have to walk and it wasn’t a very safe route. This is the main reason why many parents in my village are unable to send their children, especially daughters. I remember the day when Bablu Kanwar from Team Balika came to my house to talk to my father. My father told him why it was not possible to send me that far to attend school. I really wanted to study further, but I remember feeling choked and couldn’t speak a word in front of my father. Bablu informed my father about the government-run residential school that had many girls from far away villages and from migrating communities. By the end of the conversation, my father agreed to send me there. I jumped with joy and ran to my best friend Kavita’s house to break the news to her.
Kavita’s parents later inquired about the residential school from my parents and they agreed to send her with me.
What message do you have for other children in your village who are out of school?
They must ask someone in the family or community to help them convince their parents. If they do not want to be laborers working at construction sites, they must get educated.
What is the biggest fear that you’ve overcome?
I thought I could never live without my mother, but I can now. I was also scared to speak up, but I have overcome that fear and can now talk to my parents and elders about my thoughts and feelings.
What has been your proudest moment since you started school (or returned to school)?
When I wrote a complete letter and sent it to my parents. My uncle was very proud of me.
What have you discovered about yourself?
I have discovered that I can play for hours outdoors. This is something that I could never do back in my village because the girls are expected to play with dolls within the boundaries of their homes.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned from your classmates?
I have grown up being witness to class and community divides and was always taught that certain classes/communities are lower than mine while some other classes/communities are higher; the higher class can never be friends with the lower class. The children in the school in my village came with the same set of learnings. But it’s very different in this residential school here. Since we study and live together, we forget about the class divide. I can now co-exist.
I can now co-exist.Rama
Have you learned something that has changed how you see the world?
We were recently introduced to the solar system and the universe. I never thought we lived on a ‘planet’ that constantly moves and that stars and the moon belong to a different world altogether. When I had initially seen the map of India, I realized that my village was a very small place, and now it seems that Prithvi (Earth) is also very small when compared to other planets.