Producing Excellence

Name: Jon D. Carter
Age: 23 Occupation: Web producer
Location: Los Angeles
Duties: Responsible for one or more aspects of a Web development team, from content management to business development.

With a blend of new technology savvy, good old-fashioned business sense, and a bit of luck, Jon D. Carter has been making his mark for more than a year as an assistant vice president/Web producer for Union Bank of California, which has $33.9 billion in assets.

“When interviewing for this position, I was a bit intimidated,” admits Carter, 23. Many among “the competition had significant marketing or business development backgrounds, and M.B.A.’s,” says the 1998 graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. “I was a little concerned, but I guess [my] desire [won] out.” Union Bank’s desire to incorporate a “bricks-to-clicks” business model into its overall strategy also helped give Carter the edge.

As an intern-his third consecutive summer-in the bank’s Strategic Planning Group in 1997, Carter worked on a project investigating new Internet distribution channels to examine how they would be a part of the bank’s business future. “That project sparked my interest in moving in that direction as a career,” says the economics major, who took Web development classes on his own and practiced by creating Web pages for friends. “The significance of the Web is connectivity,” says Carter. “It was going to be at the core of every business and I wanted to be a part of that.” After graduation, he landed an opportunity to manage the bank’s new alliance with Internet service provider giant America Online (AOL).

Carter’s responsibilities are divided evenly between business development and content management. He maintains the alliance with AOL and with other portals by ensuring that Union Bank’s banners are strategically placed on those sites. He also tracks the number of hits received by the bank, and gauges how effective the bank is on the Web through analysis of its online marketing campaigns.

Training: As a content manager, Carter approves any new Web pages or links that need to be created. This is where his background in programming languages, such as HTML and Java, are needed. “Being able to work with basic computer applications is essential,” says Carter. “If you don’t know how to use these things, you’re pretty much behind the curve.” He also mentions that a knowledge of how server and database environments work together-and how to use them-is a plus in his line of work. At the end of the day, Carter feels that knowledge of technology is no substitute for traditional business training, which has helped him remain a valuable member of the team. “Fundamental business rules will always change when you inject technology,” says Carter, “but old business sense still counts.”

Salary: Compensation for this position varies depending on skills, company size, industry, and location. While a realistic range is between $40,000 and $60,000, a Web producer in big-money finance, such as Carter, can expect anywhere between $50,000 and $120,000.

The next step for Carter would be a position as director or vice president

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