Alice Simons is a marketing, communications and business development professional with more than 20 years of experience in the for- and non- profit sectors.
In her current role as Marketing Communications Manager at national boutique consumer and commercial financial services compliance law firm Hudson Cook, she plans and executes strategic marketing campaigns, including digital content marketing, brand management, PR and client outreach.
She began her career in non-profit annual fund development roles at the New York Philharmonic and Mann Center for the Performing Arts before transitioning to a marketing role at a consulting/law firm. In 2018, she became the first in-house marketer at Hudson Cook.
Alice is a lifelong volunteer for various community organizations, including Special Olympics, the Annapolis Opera and Annapolis Film Festival. She currently serves as member-at-large on LMA’s Baltimore Local Steering Committee and on the Marketing and Business Partner Committees for the American Financial Services Association.
Learn more about her in this Women Who Wow profile.
What advice would you give to women in your field?
Learn, learn, learn. And never stop learning. Something I inherited from my mother was her love of learning. Resources within our legal marketing community are abundant.
- Engage with your LMA community. Join a committee. Volunteer your time. Network with your peers. Attend events and webinars. Join the SIGs. Write. Speak. Find a mentor. Be a mentor
- Be proactive. Reach out to those who have been in the field for a while and ask for advice.
Listen. See how you can offer your talents in return.
- Realize that you may shift careers multiple times before you find your passion. We all have that one friend – she graduated with a laser focus on what she wanted to be when she grew up and she followed that path all through her career (I’m looking at you, my college roommate who became an ICU nurse). Many of us need a bit more time to figure it out.
- Give back. We all need to reach out for help at some point in our lives. It may sound cliché, but pay it forward. Find what makes you happy and dive in.
How do you achieve work/life balance?
My favorite Chinese proverb:
If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day, go fishing.
If you want happiness for a month, get married.
If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody else.
I love naps. And fishing. But my parents taught us about volunteering starting at a very young age when I used to call bingo and do arts and crafts with the residents at the local nursing home where my mother worked. Then it was the annual walks for the March of Dimes. In college, I joined a service sorority which required monthly service hours (and shaped many lifelong friendships). Fundraising events for various community organizations. Coaching Special Olympics. I never feel quite whole when I am not volunteering – I don’t say this to brag. Making a commitment to someone or something besides your family, friends or firm is what gives me work/life balance.
What do you wish you could tell your younger self?
Alice, pay more attention to your health! Your family history of diabetes is no joke. Your father never pays attention to his diet. He will suffer through many years of the painful outcomes of leaving his blood sugar unchecked and pass away at age 60, never meeting his 4 h grandchild and seeing the amazing young men and women they become.
It will be an everyday struggle to keep those unfortunate family genes at bay, but so worth it to enjoy a long life of health and happiness. It may take a few years to learn what you need to do, but you will succeed!
What is the best (or worst) career advice you’ve ever received?
Early on in my career (several, ahem, decades ago), a supervisor once told me that our job was to make the big boss look good. At the time and for many years after, I thought this was good advice. Although both the supervisor and the big boss were women, I now realize how short-sighted this advice actually was. Of course we want our public- and client-facing colleagues to present a positive brand image and to provide a superior and seamless client experience. But at what cost to our own professional advancement, and frankly, to our own sense of accomplishment and self-worth? I believe that many of us suffer from imposter syndrome due to a lack of having someone – whether it’s a peer, direct-report or boss – lift us up (read my colleague Nancy Myrland’s blog post about imposter syndrome).
And then there’s that seemingly elusive “seat at the table” for which we all strive. How can we earn that seat if we are more concerned with uplifting those already seated than pulling up our own chair? We are marketing professionals (not “non-lawyers”). We need to mentor – and be mentored by – strong, supportive colleagues. Remember that Chinese proverb – If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody else.