Missouri School of Journalism alumnus takes professional success to new heights
By Lexi Symonds
COLUMBIA, Mo. (Feb. 7, 2023) — Arthur Fykes IV, BJ ’13, recently landed a position as the Manager of Global Advertising and Social Media Operations at United Airlines in Chicago. It’s the latest success story in a career that laid its foundation at the Missouri School of Journalism.
As one who spends most of their days managing project timelines, contracts and finances for internal and external creative content across United’s advertising and social platforms, organization is an essential skill in Fykes’ arsenal. He often finds himself managing multiple projects and campaigns at once while also serving as a problem solver, integral communicator and team player.
“I think the best part of my job is that no day is the same,” said Fykes. “Campaigns and projects come and go. There’s always something new and exciting to work on and contribute to. Meetings are a big part of the day, but also working directly with various United vendors and partners of international tourism boards to develop the scopes of work and budget plans for campaign execution.”
Having recently boarded the United team in September, Arthur emphasizes the importance of building relationships in his occupation. He stresses connecting with not only his internal teams, but with the external vendors and campaign partners that he works with. He is able to actively forge relationships with tourism boards from all over the world.
“Overcoming imposter syndrome, it happens to all of us. It’s easy to fall into that type of thinking. Part of this is believing you have to be an expert for fear of being exposed as inexperienced or unknowledgeable. Not true at all. No one expects you to have the answers for everything.”Arthur Fykes IV
“Treat others the way you want to be treated,” said Fykes. “I know it’s cliché, but it’s the truth. Emotional intelligence (a topic for another conversation) is a great quality to have and can help you excel in your career, especially in an industry where you’re constantly communicating with others and working in teams.”
Taking flight to a prominent company such as United didn’t come free of turbulence for Arthur. Before entering the aviation industry, he worked in various roles such as project manager for health innovation company Real Chemistry, creative planning assistant and project coordinator for PR firm Edelman and an operations coordinator for marketing agency Commonground/MGS.
In gaining those experiences with different responsibilities, it helped him to explore his interests, strengths and weaknesses. Fykes recognizes that he still has a lot to learn, but he also has a lot of advice to share with the next generation looking to break into the industry. Arthur attributes his level of success in the field to the support of the friends and professors he made while studying at the School of Journalism.
“Overcoming imposter syndrome, it happens to all of us. It’s easy to fall into that type of thinking,” said Fykes. “Part of this is believing you have to be an expert for fear of being exposed as inexperienced or unknowledgeable. Not true at all. No one expects you to have the answers for everything. I think colleagues do appreciate that honesty, and even value the one who may not know but is resourceful over the expert. Once I learned this, a weight was lifted off my shoulders.”
Updated: February 7, 2023