Staff Spotlight: Jennifer Friedman


Photo courtesy of Jennifer Friedman

Jennifer Freidman said that ever since she took a marketing job straight out of college, she always had teaching in the back of her mind. When the COVID-19 Pandemic hit, Friedman realized that it was time to pursue her dream.

Marketing is a rapidly evolving and growing industry, and luckily for WS, the Marketing department just gained a new face. Jennifer Friedman joined the marketing team after the first semester concluded, and teaches many different courses such as Intro to Marketing, Sports and Entertainment Marketing, and Business Management. 

Friedman grew up in Northern Virginia, going to Lake Braddock High School and later on graduating from Virginia Tech with a major in marketing and a minor in leadership. She then jumped straight from being a student at Tech to being an employee, working in their athletic department and later working for the NFL affiliate USA Football. After about two years at USA Football, Friedman transitioned to a marketing position at NOVA Parks, a Regional Park Authority, where she worked in graphic design for the last 10 years. But even with this storied career in marketing, teaching was always something she wanted to pursue.

“Right out of college, I shadowed the principal at Marshall Highschool thinking that I [wanted] to get into the education field, and then I ended up getting a marketing job,” said Friedman. “But I always had teaching in the back of my head as something that I was always interested in.”

Friedman’s eventual entrance into the teaching world was abrupt, becoming a full-time teacher right after the beginning of the second semester. She knew that picking up this new position mid-school year would be challenging, but a challenge she fully embraced and enjoyed. Luckily for Friedman, her previous experience with the Fairfax community made her feel right at home.

“There [are] definitely challenges, [but] I’ve been up for those challenges, and I’ve always loved this community,” remarked Friedman. “My children go to school around here. It feels really familiar to me, so it’s nice.” 

 Marketing is a rapidly evolving field that can only be learned in a trial-by-fire manner, so having someone with the 20 years of experience that Friedman has accrued is a major benefit for WS students interested in taking marketing electives. When asked about how her past experiences make Friedman’s class come to life, she provided specific examples of real-life marketing assignments she got in college and within her career that she uses, or plans to use, in future projects. Friedman called these lifelike assignments “invaluable” to someone interested in pursuing a marketing career in the future.

“I think anytime you can have a real-world example or experience brought to the classroom it just adds to the enrichment of the lesson,” Friedman further explained. “As I learn more as a teacher myself, it’s going to be easier for me to take some of the things that I’ve done in my career and bring those examples and build projects and lessons off of it, which brings a much more enriched experience for the students.” 

Friedman demonstrated her marketing finesse with a ringing endorsement of what’s to come in her course, now and into the future.

“It’s a course that’s going to give you not only a fun and lively and very interactive, project-based curriculum where you’re taking interests you already have, and you’re learning more about it,” Friedman said, with an excited smile in her eyes. “You’re diving deeper into how things work in that industry and doing it in a more exciting, interesting way.”