Connecting the Dots: An Economics Major to Designer and Everything in Between

June 30, 2016 — by Amarita Bansal    

Economics. Journalism. Graphic Design. Ad Tech.

These may seem like completely different career fields but for Peter Noah, Manager, Global Creative at MediaMath, his multifaceted background has helped shape what he does professionally today.

A graduate of UCLA, Noah earned a degree in Economics, with the intent that learning the fundamentals of supply and demand would provide a broad enough base to go in several different career directions. But entering the real world meant more than practicality.

“Towards the end of my time at UCLA, I realized that I was really interested in creative expression and I had always had a knack for creative writing,” Noah said. “So I thought at the time, journalism would be something I really needed to pursue because it would be the ultimate way of expressing myself creatively in a medium that I had an affinity toward.”

So right out of college, Noah spent a year interning at the Los Angeles Times and eventually got a job in Allentown, PA working as a general assignment reporter for the local paper The Morning Call. But his reporting days were to come to a close when Noah realized late in the game that just because he wanted to write, did not necessarily mean he needed to be a reporter.

“I was still interested in the act of creative expression, but I realized that I needed to make some adjustments in terms of what I was doing and why I was pursuing reporting.”

After leaving sleepy Allentown for the cosmopolitan city of New York, Noah discovered the world of web design as a producer for Popular Science. He helped to build an online version of the magazine, implementing ad tags on the website. That was the light bulb moment where Noah started focusing on advertising and marketing design. His next move? Parsons School of Design.

Shortly after putting together a portfolio, Noah landed a job at Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising Agency as a junior art director. He stayed in agency life for a few years and put his economics education to use, working with finance-related clients. Noah then decided to move to in-house marketing. As his career was headed towards financial services, Noah came across a job opening at MediaMath for a senior designer position.

“What I didn’t realize at the time was that MediaMath was this perfect combination of opportunities for me that tapped into all of the experiences I had in the past,” Noah said. “And it wasn’t until a few months after I got in that I realized it was going to really let me take advantage of everything I had learned to date in my career.”

Today, as manager of the global creative team, Noah works on everything from designing ads for a journal to designing a booth for an upcoming exhibit. Working with a talented group of individuals, Noah is now in a unique position to help develop MediaMath’s brand identity in a meaningful way.

As Noah looks back on his career trajectory, what would he tell his younger self?

“No regrets.”

“I think I’ve always believed that all of your experiences count. I believe even when you’ve had bad experiences, it becomes part of the fabric of who you are. It makes you stronger, it makes you more well-informed, it gives you a broader perspective of the world and it makes you more attuned with how people work. It just makes you a better person.”