Andrew Donkin '84

Under Armour’s Chief Marketing Officer Andrew “Andy” Donkin has been called one of the 50 most innovative CMOs in the world. The honor, bestowed by Business Insider, acknowledges Donkin’s work at Amazon, in particular, where he developed the Amazon, Prime and Kindle brands. Of his work, Donkin says, “The challenge is to present an authentic brand in growth channels like online and mobile environments. You have to be different; you have to innovate.”

How to develop an innovator’s mindset? Know what things motivate you and pursue those interests. Cultivate an inquisitive nature—and a high tolerance for discomfort.

“First, start by finding areas that you love and think are interesting. Build your career around those things. Then, always challenge yourself. Because of the speed of change in the world, you are always learning, always trying new things. Be uncomfortable,” Donkin says. “My own career has been so fun because of that.”

And, Donkin says, get really comfortable with technology.

When I was at URI, I would never have guessed that technology would play such a role in my work. Today, technology will be part of every career path, so embrace it.”

Lastly, be on the lookout.

“Look for ways to get new ideas, from the world around you, not just from your boss. Follow thought leaders, get connected to them. And, find ways to have balance. It keeps you fresh and curious.”