April Alli '06: Using Her Law Degree to Bring Products to Market
We've all been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but no one knows that better than April Alli '06. Her work as an associate brand manager at Kellogg's for the last year has allowed her to use the skills she learned as a joint JD/MBA student to create and support innovative marketing plans for products aimed at keeping the general public healthy and energized.
A native of Youngstown, Ohio, April attended Ohio State as an undergraduate communications major and marketing minor, and always knew that she wanted a business degree. She made the decision to pursue the dual degree because "there are skills you learn in law school that you can't learn anywhere else." During her time at Moritz, she took intellectual property classes to provide a solid legal foundation for her business career. She explains, "It's good to have a trademark background, but in the business world, I have found that marketers and lawyers are at odds." April notes that the tension is a natural result of marketers pushing the envelope as part of their job, and lawyers pushing back to make sure everything falls in line. Her legal background gives her "leverage because I know to ask the right questions," she says.
April focuses on innovation marketing at Kellogg’s. In other words, she manages the development process of new products, specifically supporting the Special K® and Raisin Bran brands, as well as the Special K® protein products introduced by Kellogg’s in 2006. She explains that the Special K20™ protein water and other Special K® protein products were designed to allow the company to enter the diet and nutrition aisle, and to expand the Special K brand as an all-day weight management solution.
The protein innovation is just one example of the creativity that abounds
in April’s workplace. As part of her job, she is involved in taste
tests to ensure that the best food goes to market and “constantly
goes to [Kellogg’s] manufacturing plants to get ideas, as it’s
always good to understand someone else’s world.” Her extensive
knowledge of her brands serves to strengthen them when they finally go
April currently lives in downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan with festivals, restaurants and movie theatres around the corner from her house. She loves working at Kellogg's and says that "the company is wonderful," fostering a tight-knit group of co-workers and emphasizing philanthropy within the community. "Right now, we're working with United Way, and anything we donate is matched by the company." She also appreciates the company's drive to maintain a comfortable balance between work and life outside of it. She keeps normal work hours and loves taking art classes on the side, where she paints with various media.
April brings passion and imagination to her job, and she's thankful that she finds her work so enjoyable. She continues to push the envelope — within bounds of course — ensuring that Kellogg's products make their way onto supermarket shelves and into the public eye.