CU Denver Alumna and Colorado native Celiena Adcock took life by the steering wheel, literally and figuratively. As Head of Retail, Auto, and Gaming at Uber Advertising, she is leading a strategic ad sales team. Adcock’s other driving forces, chiefly yoga and travel, have added work/life integration to her storied career trajectory. She continues to go the distance, inspiring passion to make strides in marketing and shape the next generation of innovators.
Like many students, Adcock established her first move toward a burgeoning career when she entered college. She turned to her father for advice about effective majors and he suggested marketing for its earning potential. She took a few classes and was compelled by both the creativity and business acumen Marketing roles provided. Adcock completed her undergraduate at Colorado State University and began working for Coors. While there, a mentor recommended the next avenue to further her career, a master’s degree. CU Denver Business School offered the reputation and program flexibility she needed to succeed. Adcock remembers her marketing and leadership classes fondly with a particular nod to the use of the Myers-Briggs test, helping her better understand different leadership styles and backgrounds.
Adcock used the coursework as an applicable roadmap to approach navigating teamwork in large organizations. “I love helping develop the next generation of leaders,” she said. To her, good leadership elicits the best in people, and she describes her experience with great and not-so-great leaders having an outsize effect on our work experience and being critical to shaping the next generation of leaders With 40+ hours per week dedicated to work, she esteems fostering a positive environment where people can thrive and find value in their work.
Adcock noted how a positive environment propelled one of her team’s greatest and most popular successes. While at Coors Puerto Rico, she was part of the team that created the unique Coors can staple, the color-changing blue mountains. The camaraderie and collaboration produced an effective product and an enriching and inspiring experience.
For current students, Celiena advises to “build your toolbox.” The world of marketing is always changing, and no one can predict what new technologies or online platforms the future holds. “Facebook wasn’t around when I graduated,” said Adcock, “We don’t know what the future brings.” Staying flexible and open-minded while building a diverse skill set is one of the best ways to prepare oneself to enter the working world after graduation. Resilience and course correction after failure is another valuable tool “We learn from making lots of mistakes,” Adcock said. Learning from mistakes and quickly pivoting to new ideas shows adaptability and allows professional development and growth. Adcock also emphasized the importance of striving for excellence over perfection, “Perfection doesn’t exist; what does excellence look like?”
“Perfection doesn’t exist; what does excellence look like?”– Celiena Adcock
Now at Uber, Adcock’s career is turbocharged. Her passion and drive are unyielding. Outside of Uber and into the driver’s seat, she can be heard jamming out to her favorite carpool karaoke beats, ‘Mia’ by Bad Bunny, Afrobeats, or anything by Prince. She is passionate about creating the next generation of leaders and loves building teams and companies from the early stages. With unlimited routes for her future, she remains open to growing with Uber and beyond. “I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I do know, I want to continue learning, helping scale businesses, and adding value where I can. We have a great opportunity at Uber to create an entirely new category of advertising, and it’s exciting to build with this awesome team.” Adcock remarked.