We had the good fortune of connecting with Rainier deOcampo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rainier, what role has risk played in your life or career?
The unfortunate thing about Risk is that it tends to carry a negative connotation. When people think about risk, especially when it comes to their career, there’s an element of chance that is connected to fear and losing. For years, this is exactly how I handled risk. Risk was the fear of the unknown and unchartered territory. The thought of failing and others criticizing me was not something I was okay with.
At some point in life we all come to realize that what they say is true: No Risk. No Reward. A light clicked and I embraced the “f*ck It” mentality and came to the acceptance that I won’t make any headway in my career if I don’t take risks. About 10 years ago I worked as a marketing manager at the top-ranked business school in the nation. My supervisor at that time told me that I might not be cut-out for strategic marketing and that I should look into a career shift into project management. This burned me because marketing is what I loved to do and what I was seriously passionate about. So for someone to tell me that I should “reconsider my career” was not taken lightly.
Not only did I disregard that ludicrous recommendation, I bull-dozed it. I took it upon myself to learn more about strategic marketing by involving myself in as many seminars, conferences and discussions as I could to become an expert in the field. I went to the extreme and enrolled in grad school to earn my MBA with a focus in strategic marketing. Fast forward 10+ years later, I am a VP of Marketing for a solar energy developer and an adjunct professor of strategic marketing at UCLA and Cal State University Los Angeles.
The risk I took in my career was ignited by someone’s observation that I wasn’t cut out for strategic marketing. Looking back, I’m glad my boss told me that because I would have not taken the risks that I did to elevate my career.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As mentioned, I hold the role as VP of Marketing and I teach part-time marketing classes two nights a week at UCLAx and Cal State L.A.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Without question, Downtown Los Angeles. I would take my friend to the following areas: Grand Central Market, Grand Park, Staples Center, LA Live, Fashion District, Santee Alley, Restaurant Row on 7th Street, Little Tokyo, Jewelry Mart, Olvera Street, Union Station and Chinatown.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
So many people deserve a shout out in my career including: Caroline Aghamalian, Luca de Ocampo, Diallobe Johnson, Eric Orchard, Malene Blaedel, Sim Grewall, Omar Anorga, Kamran Bakhtiari, Mark Tribbitt and Angineh Aghamalian, Arno Aghamalian and my family at UCLA and Cal State L.A.!