Gamification. Ideation. Edutainment. These are a few words Tania Dsouza, Digital Technology Director at GMR, an award-winning interactive sports marketing firm in Milwaukee, uses from the ever-changing lexicon of interactive design technology.
As an experienced creative director, Dsouza −this year’s commencement speaker from Touro College Graduate School of Technology− must implement the very latest interactive marketing strategies for such corporate giants as Toyota, Coca-Cola, and Samsung. And she turned to Touro to help her do it better.
“In order to create improved integrated brand experiences and influence behavior changes, I needed to be more innovative in my approach,” said Dsouza. “I wanted hands-on experience in building an app or a website. I enjoy experimenting with technology.”
A true citizen of the world, Dsouza was born and raised in Mumbai where she earned an undergraduate degree in applied art, and later, at UK’s Cranfield University where she earned her first master’s degree in Engineering Design. Then it was on to Dubai where, as an art director, she created campaigns for the internationally-renowned advertising agencies, Young & Rubicam and Ogilvy & Mather. In Mumbai she worked with top experiential agencies Fountainhead and 70Emg. In New York City, she worked as Creative Director at the Toronto-based design group, ASTOUND, where she specialized in brand strategy and experiential marketing.
“The world is a story and we interact with it,” said Dsouza, whose creative direction has touched on virtually every component of the marketing experience.
“Tania is a diverse talent that brings an elevated user-centric approach to our accomplished creative team. We are excited to have her at GMR,” said Brian Patrick Pettit, the company’s Executive Creative Director.
Dsouza’s clients include the Lincoln Financial Group, NBTY, Lowe’s, Huawei, and Metro PCS. She is responsible for deepening GMR’s creative discipline through her unique integration of user-experience technology and innovation and translating marketing concepts across digital platforms− from ‘ideation’ and prototype design to ‘on-ground activation.’ “I get to see everything come together,” she said. This winter, she was appointed Digital Technology Director at GMR.
Dsouza says she was pleased with Touro’s graduate technology program, how it allowed her to explore various career paths within the Web and Multi Media Design Program, and was grateful for the School’s flexibility with the curriculum. “My professors’ openness impressed me,” she said, “even when I needed to switch to a different program. They advise from a college perspective, but are industry-led and on-trend,” she added, noting that Professor Irina Berman had always made sure students kept abreast of any software changes in the applications they used for their projects.
Professor Berman, for her part, reflected on Dsouza’s strengths as a student and career professional. “Tania has an incredibly sharp mind, is very perceptive, and is especially creative at problem-solving. She has very strong logistical reasoning skills and demonstrates remarkable composure and proficiency when working under pressure.”
Dsouza also said she benefited from GST’s ‘modules’ experience in the field. She credits a key strategy she learned in an ‘edutainment’ module featuring gamification –programs designed to create ‘buzz’ and encourage customer loyalty− that ultimately factored into her project for Lincoln Financial.
When asked how her education in the United Kingdom compared with the U.S., Dsouza said, “The UK is more academic, structured, and based more on research, and in-depth study. Touro is about collaboration and working in groups with other students. Projects are more hands on. There is more freedom to lead the project the way you want to lead it,” she said, adding. “Touro has completed my education and given me an edge over other people in many disciplines and perspectives.”
For more information about Touro College GST, visit gst.touro.edu/
Education: MS Engineering Design, Cranfield University, UK, MS Web & Mobile App Development, Touro College, NYC
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