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Chicago Associate Director Of Digital Strategy Enjoys Creative Thinking

Ronny Sage is the Associate Director of Digital Strategy for Rise Interactive, the Chicago-based digital marketing agency. Sage works with clients to build and optimize their digital strategy and growth. He loves the approach of being "channel agnostic" when working in digital marketing, which is why he enjoys working at Rise Interactive and having an investment management approach.

Sage attended Millikin University studying music business with an emphasis in classical guitar. After a year, he transferred to Columbia College Chicago to study music business management.

(Photo Courtesy of Ronny Sage)

Once Sage was out of college, he landed his first position as a Social Media Manager, for a small Chicago Tech-Startup (, which is how he found his way into the tech-industry. After 2 years, Sage moved on and started consulting. He worked with companies like CouponTrade (now focusing on product and business development. Continuing his career, Sage has focused on strategizing, building and growing both internal and external stakeholders goals. Working as a cross-functional executive, Sage has led strategy, product and business development teams, playing what he calls an "intrapreneurially" role.

What are the scope and responsibilities of your current role?

"Within my new position, I focus on client's digital strategies. It is my job to work with client stakeholders to extrapolate, define and achieve their goals, working with our analytics teams to understand the clients current data in order to make knowledge based decisions. I am then able to understand client's current pain points, and create [a] hypothesis to why they are taking place. Then I define a clear approach to test against, always with an end goal of maximizing budgets and ROI."

What is your favorite part of your daily duties?

"I get to work in many different industries, always facing new problems, having to come up with new solutions. This requires lots of continuous learning and a nice use of both sides of the brain. I love having to critically think, but also be creative at the same time."

Do you feel your education prepared you for your current role?

"Studying music business did not directly guide me to my career, but provided me the opportunity to find what I loved doing: marketing and strategy. Just like in any situation presented to you in life, it's all about what you choose do with it."

Do you have any advice for people who desire to pursue a similar career?

"Start your career asap; have someone pay for you to learn -

Even if you aren't sure what you want to do, structured education can only prepare you with the basics; nothing can prepare you like real life experience."

"Do side projects; be a part-time entrepreneur -

The experience you get from using your own money & learning/failing on your own dollar is some of the best experience I have gotten."

"Find a mentor -

Learn from others mistakes; absorb as much as possible."

Michelle Guilbeau is a writer, reviewer, teacher and business owner. She also has experience in school administration, literacy coaching and is proud founder of and Michelle enjoys sharing her knowledge of cities, food, travel, education and parenting issues with her readers. Her work can be found on

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