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Nancy Murphy: Marketing Executive

"Passion will propel you the most. You can't fake this or learn it on the job."

I had a fun conversation with Nancy Murphy, Marketing Director at Smucker Foods of Canada. Nancy projects a love for her work with her team and projects.

Watch and listen to the conversation here.

On a daily basis, Nancy works on coffee brands and spreads brands, bringing new products to markets and making sure there are strong support plans to market them. These plans include advertising and creative to communicate to customers, pricing, and background business work such as long-term strategic planning.

Nancy attended Queen's University and earned a Bachelor's of Arts in History. While attending Queen's, she managed a campus pub, and realized she enjoyed business: managing people and all that's involved in keeping the establishment running. Nancy later went to McGill University to get an MBA, but not until she took some time off to travel the world -- an experience in which she says she grew greatly. At McGill, and after doing a couple summer internships, Nancy solidified her interest in marketing. She admits that she "needed a couple of degrees, and a little life experience before figuring out marketing" for her direction.

Nancy considers her work day to consist of "reasonable time in the office: 8:30 - 5:30." She has a full work schedule with a variety of meetings: one-on-ones with her team to discuss projects and issues, conversations with research and development and supply chain teams, and US colleagues to discuss strategy. The day is meeting-heavy but there is a wide variety of topics to discuss, across the organization. This gives Nancy a feel for the whole business.

Nancy explains that the most important and rewarding part of her work is the development of good people. She says she thrives on helping them grow, and personally develop through their careers.

Work-life balance is important to Nancy. She wants to be home every night to have dinner with her family. She works hard at work and also wants to have true family time. Nancy's company supports this.


  • Nancy loves the people perspective of her career. She loves seeing people progress and succeed.

  • Nancy explained that it's fun to do product innovation, business decision-making, and ad agency work (that's the "sexy piece; it's pretty cool sitting on those sets" a couple times a year when shooting TV commercials.)

  • surprises? the amount of financial background and analytical business decision making she needs in order to succeed in the work.


  • passion is what will propel you the most. It's the #1 thing she looks for when hiring.

  • "passion + drive: let it show through. The other things will come! You cant fake this or learn it on the job."

  • managing your career is a marathon, not a sprint. People want to grow faster, get the promotion sooner, maybe before they're ready. At the moment it feels all-consuming and she can relate to these feelings. But "it all comes to fruition. Give yourself time to enjoy the position you're in."

  • "be true to yourself and what you like. Be yourself.

  • you don't have to figure it all out at once.

  • take time to give yourself a break. Enjoy the moment because your career is long."

This conversation was interesting and I could feel the passion Nancy has for her work, and lifestyle (even over Zoom!)

Thank you Nancy for sharing your stories and ideas with our audience!

This interview was taped during the COVID19 pandemic, May 2020.


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