In her job as content marketing specialist for Fitbit in San Francisco, College of Charleston alumna Emma Leyton ’10 combines creativity and marketing savvy with her passion for exercise and healthy living.

You might say it’s a perfect fit.

Taking a well-deserved break from her active lifestyle and busy job, Leyton, a native of Clayton, Missouri, recently took time to answer a few questions for The College Today.

In the following Q&A, she discusses how her CofC education (she majored in business administration with a concentration in marketing) prepared her for a career, how helping people transform their lives inspires her work and what she loves most about living in San Francisco and working for a progressive company.

Q: What are your responsibilities in your current position?

I specifically work in our corporate wellness division, Fitbit Group Health, which uses our market leading activity trackers and technology to get employees moving and make organizations’ wellness programs more effective.

As the content marketing specialist for Fitbit Group Health, I am responsible for creating writing pieces and marketing assets that help get the word out about our corporate wellness offering and the success that our current customers have experienced. I help produce everything from customer case studies, blog posts, and thought leadership presentations to guidebooks, tip sheets, brochures and more.

Emma Leyton '10 (third from right) and friends celebrate their graduation from the College.

Emma Leyton ’10 (third from right) and friends celebrate their graduation from the College.

Q: How did your experience at CofC help prepare you for life and a career in the “real” world?

Two experiences that stick out are the education I received and the relationships I made. I not only learned a tremendous amount in my courses, but I appreciated the intimate size of the classes, my professors’ passion for their subject, and their willingness to offer extra help if needed. Most importantly, CofC taught me how to be a good learner, to not be afraid to ask questions and prepared to take on the next chapter.

As for relationships, I made some of the best friends that I have today at CofC. The ability to make close friends in a new city that was out of my comfort zone showed me that there are great people to meet anywhere you go – at a new job, new city, or wherever life takes you.

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Q: How did you find out about and land your position at Fitbit?

After college, I was determined to find a job that could combine my interest in marketing and my passion for health, and I decided that San Francisco was the place to make those dreams come true. I landed a job in operations and marketing at a corporate wellness company and loved every minute of it. Four years later, I was ready for my next move and had Fitbit on my mind. I found the job posting on their website, applied, and 1.5 years later, I’m still proud to be a Fitbitter.

Q: What do you like most about your job?

There are a lot of aspects about my job that I love, but overall, I love knowing that I work for a company that is making a positive difference in people’s lives. Fitbit encourages people to live a healthy lifestyle, and I am honored to contribute to that effort.

Living and working in San Francisco is a dream come true for CofC alumna Emma Leyton.

Living and working in San Francisco is a dream come true for CofC alumna Emma Leyton. Photo credit: Daniel Schwen

Q: How do you find story subjects to write about and how do you make sure you tell a good story while also promoting the Fitbit brand?

I focus on writing stories that are encouraging and relatable. I love sharing the success that our customers have experienced using Fitbit Group Health, whether that’s improving their health metrics, completing their first company step challenge or saving money on their health insurance costs. Writing stories that explain how employees have gotten healthier can inspire other companies to invest in our corporate wellness offerings and make a difference in their employees’ lives. We want companies to read our stories and think, if that company can get their employees healthy, so can we.

Q: What were some of the internships and professional development experiences you had as a student that helped prepare you for a career?

I developed a passion for health and wellness during my time at CofC. I grew up in a health-conscious family, but my first experience of living away from home and making my own decisions encouraged me to pursue a healthy lifestyle on my own. Thanks to the liberal arts focus at CofC, I was able to take nutrition courses in addition to my business classes, which further evolved my interest in health.

Once that interest sparked, I landed an awesome marketing internship with Neita’s Charleston Vinaigrettes and Marinades, a small company that produced heart-healthy (and delicious) condiments. I found that internship through CofC and am forever grateful for the experience. That internship was really what showed me that communicating the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle was what I wanted to do with my career.

Q: What do you like most about living and working in San Francisco?

I absolutely love living in San Francisco. After living here for over five years, this city still never gets old. There are always new people to meet, new foods to try, new workout classes to sweat in, and new hills to run on. San Francisco is filled with excitement, beauty and opportunity, and I couldn’t ask for a better place to live.

Q: Describe the Fitbit offices and your own work space.

Our office has a really open environment, which I love. The atmosphere encourages collaboration and socializing, with barely any closed-door offices. Luckily for me, we are right downtown so I am able to walk to work. We have tons of sunlight, great views, and lots of awesome office amenities like standing desks, couches, and ping pong.

Emma Leyton (standing, second from right) with Fitbit co-workers at an office workout.

Emma Leyton (standing, second from right) with Fitbit co-workers at an office workout.

Q: How do you stay active and how does your company help support a healthy lifestyle?

We definitely walk our talk at Fitbit and encourage employees to live a healthy lifestyle inside and outside the office. We have exercise classes going on during the day, standing desks and treadmill desks, lots of healthy snacks, and catered nutritious lunches.

Outside of work, I love running and prefer to start my day with a morning jog. I have no car and happily commute everywhere, including to work, by foot. I enjoy trying out new workout classes with friends, going on weekend hikes, and whipping up new healthy recipes for dinner.

Q: What advice do you have for students interested in careers like yours?

Go for your passion! Keep pursuing your interests, reaching out to people that have careers that you are interested in and keeping an eye on companies that excite you. You’d be surprised by who you meet along the way and how many people are happy to help you find the job that is right for you.

Q: There seems to be no end to the possibilities in the world of fitness tracking devices. What current or future innovations are you most excited about?

The collaboration of health and technology is endless! I love how mindfulness is getting so big in the health/tech world. People are realizing that although physical health is important, mental health is, too. I’m excited to see what solutions continue to develop to help people de-stress, stay positive, and live a balanced lifestyle.

Q: What lesson or piece of advice from a professor at the College sticks with you to this day?

How quickly people look at your resume and cover letter – it’s just a matter of seconds! It’s a sad truth that I definitely took to heart. I learned how to keep my cover letter and resume concise and to the point, and try to apply that to my writing in general.

Q: What question have you always wanted to be asked, and what’s your answer?

Do you want to go back to college? YES!