Michelle Wherley ‘14 mixed business and creativity together, graduating with a degree in Marketing and a minor in Studio Art.
After interning at the Foundation for Orthopaedic Research and Education, where she handled social media and oversaw their website, Wherley knew she wanted to pursue a career in marketing.
Now a Paid Search Analyst for Merkle, a performance marketing agency, she manages “search ads on platforms, such as Google, Bing and Gemini,” she said. “I work closely with my clients to help drive sales to their websites via efficient online advertising.” This entails performance reports, analysis and account optimizations.
Wherley’s job requires face-to-face interaction with clientele, as well as individual research and analysis. “Being able to perform both roles helps me understand my client’s goals and how to successfully achieve them,” she said.
An artistic eye and creative brain have helped her thrive in the marketing field. “My job allows me to be creative, but in other non-artistic ways. We are challenged to solve problems and grow accounts by developing creative solutions,” Wherley said.
While she excels in her career, “I am [still] passionate about art,” Wherley said
After graduation, she began to sell prints and original artwork on the website she made during her time as an Auburn student. She has also been featured at the Kokol Art Studio and Gallery, FIU Mammography Art Initiative and the University of Tampa Art Show. She said that growing up in Tampa, Fla. is the biggest inspiration for her art, recently painting a series of fish native to her home state.
Wherley’s art may be influenced by her place of birth, but Auburn has given her a second family. As an out of state student, she joined a sorority, where she made some of her fondest memories. “Auburn has taught me the importance of family and connecting with others. As I have moved to other cities, I have found that my Auburn family continues to grow as I meet other alumni.”
Wherley has found success in many areas of her life, and exemplifies how to combine passion and a career. “Know your strengths, whether it is skills, knowledge or personality, and how they make you stand out,” she said this “can help you succeed.”