Leighton Alum Named Cynopsis 2016 Rising Star

Leighton Alum Named Cynopsis 2016 Rising Star

Michael Lochmondy, BS ’11, was named a Cynopsis 2016 Rising Star in the human resources (HR) industry for the energy and creativity he brings to his work at Mindshare, a global media and advertising organization.

Even as an advertising and marketing student, Lochmondy’s ingenuity and creativeness earned accolades. “Michael’s team won a bronze medal in the national Marketing Edge Collegiate Echo Challenge in 2011,” commented Anurag Pant, associate professor in marketing and advertising. “He also won the first Villing & Company Advertising Creativity Award at the Leighton School.”

Lochmondy is not your typical HR professional, and that’s what makes him a stand out in his field. An HR career was not on his radar. However, after not being hired for an advertising and marketing position he pursued at Ogilvy & Mather, Lochmondy followed up with the recruiter to gain some insight on how to improve his resume and interview skills. Impressed with his skill set, the recruiter offered him a freelance position on her Ogilvy & Mather HR team and eventually a full-time job. “HR turned out to be an area I’m well-suited for,” explained Lochmondy. “I enjoy interacting with everyone in the organization.”

The key to conducting successful interviews, said Lochmondy, is helping the candidates relax and share their experiences. “Listening to candidates tell their stories, I learn about them, and can determine how they will or will not fit in the organization,” he explained. He also works to maintain Mindshare’s good reputation as an employer in the advertising industry. “I try to ensure that everyone I interview has a good experience, regardless if they are hired or not.”

Lochmondy was the first on-site recruiter hired at Mindshare Chicago. He arrived just in time. A few days after he accepted his position, the ad agency added General Mills as a client. “We had to hire 100 people in a short period of time,” Lochmondy explained. “We went from 136 people employed at Mindshare Chicago to about 260 people in a very short time.” His astute skills as a recruiter and his ability to ramp up and hire the best employees for the job in a very short time are the accomplishments that led to his most recent award.

Lochmondy credits Leighton School professors Monle Lee and Anurag Pant for much of his professional success. “I would not be where I am today without my experiences in their classes,” he explained. “Their vision and direction and level of passion inspired me to excel. The national marketing competitions and the creative lab provided the platform for me to shine, and gain relevant real-world experience, which carries over in my job today.”