Maven to Know: Madison Manning



Madison Manning admits that when she graduated from DePauw University in 2016, she had no idea what she wanted to do with her communication degree. Over the course of three years. she’d find herself in various roles and cities—from an assistant branch manager for Enterprise Holdings to a sales representative for a financial services company in Nashville, Tennessee.

Today, the account executive for Socio—an event technology company with its headquarters in Indy—has found herself in a job that makes her feel empowered as both a woman and a professional.

We chatted with Madison about how she transitioned from communications to sales, her advice to other young women pursuing leadership roles, and how Socio has shifted to virtual consulting and events in the wake of the ongoing pandemic.

What are your day-to-day duties at Socio?

Day-to-day is always pretty different. I am typically taking meetings with new and current clients, and essentially consulting with them on their events and potentially using our technology to enhance them. It’s never mundane.

How have you dealt with the shift of going virtual, for a position that typically relies on so much in-person interaction?

I will say, our initial meetings that we do with our clients are online, which definitely helped the transition. But obviously their events had to transition to virtual. It was a pretty quick shift on our part. We had to learn really fast and become the experts in the industry. I think it benefits us that we’re not necessarily huge, as well. We’re a small team that works really fast. I think that aided us in being able to transition to a virtual platform quickly here in the past couple months.

What would your advice be to other young women who are looking to pursue leadership roles in the future?

I feel the best piece of advice I can give is to be strong and don’t be afraid to show that strength. You might step on some toes and you might fail, but those things all lead you to the right path and I’m really, really confident in that. It’s okay to be outspoken. It’s okay to not settle for things that aren’t what you want. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something because you are who you are, whether your age, your race, your gender.

What makes your story unique?

I had no idea what I wanted to do when I left college. I didn’t know that I wanted a sales role, honestly. That kind of just happened as I was going through all of these different types of career changes. I worked a lot in the service industry. And I think that’s something I’ll stand by forever, that everyone should have to work in a restaurant or have a service job. I really feel that way because I think it shapes you as a professional. You learn how to work with people. You learn how to communicate. It really gives you the ability to empathize, especially later on in your career.

Who are some role models or people you look up to as you advance your career?

Definitely my parents! They have both owned their own successful businesses and I would love to do that myself someday. They have always been extremely encouraging and helped me during my professional journey. They are always available for advice and there is no way I would be where I am today without them. They are also both very patient, which is definitely something that I admire. I have three younger sisters as well and they always make time for us if we need something. I have learned a lot from them—they always turned everything into a teaching moment and I hope to be that way with my own children one day.

After a long week of working, what are some of your favorite ways to unwind and relax?

I love spending time with friends and family. Now that I am back from Nashville, I am with them every chance I get. I am very lucky to have such an awesome support system that can always give me an outlet to relax and take my mind off of work for a little bit. My boyfriend and I also have a boxer puppy named Maisie and I love getting to spend time with them. Maisie is so precious, and I love her wrinkly little face. A glass of wine on the patio isn’t so bad either!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Material things can be replaced, but the people in your life can’t. My parents have always put an emphasis on this. In 2008 our house flooded, and we lost a lot, but it really put things into perspective. Most of it was replaceable—cars, furniture, clothes, etc. The thing that we still had was each other and I have tried to live with that feeling of gratitude ever since. If it can be replaced, I try my best not to worry about it. That’s the other thing, trying not to worry. If you can’t change anything at that moment, all you can do is look ahead and do your best. I have to remind myself of this often but it’s so true. If you make a mistake, learn from it and strive to do the better in the future.

Samantha Kupiainen is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Indy Maven.

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