Louisa Ferguson '12: From A&A to Spotify

Jan. 23, 2023

Louisa Ferguson ’12, Head of Global Marketing Experience at Spotify, exemplifies the limitless opportunities a degree in art & archaeology provides.  She now holds a dream job, merging her love of music and music culture with the captivating task of building new digital experiences for Spotify users.

Ferguson knew when she chose to concentrate in art & archaeology that she would pursue an MBA. “I was very intentional about studying something that wouldn't be duplicative to graduate school,” she said. “I knew I was going to go to business school, but I never would have thought I would get to work in music and tech.”  Ferguson currently leads a team that manages Spotify Wrapped, which presents over 300 million users with their audio consumption data at the end of the year. “Each year we are trying to outdo ourselves in terms of creativity, scale and personalization,” she said. “It's very special (and rare!) to be able to work on something that is so visible in both internet culture and the technology marketplace at large.” Between earning her B.A. from Princeton and business school, Ferguson worked in a brand strategy agency, of which she said “I wouldn't trade it for the world. It taught me everything I know -- the pace is so, so fast.” In business school she focused on finance. “I've always tried to be a horizontal thinker,” she said, “and having such diverse academic and career experience has led me to interesting places and differentiated me.” 

Ferguson credits her A&A education with providing the skill to see the world more acutely and recognize how images influence people.  This enables her to engage with designers tasked with creating those images. “I use these skills to give feedback on creative work every single day,” she said.  With Professor Rachael DeLue as her adviser, Ferguson wrote her senior thesis on English Surrealism and traveled to the UK for primary research. “It's really an accomplishment to create an original piece of academic work,” she said.

When asked what advice she might give a student contemplating concentrating in A&A, Ferguson’s quick response: “Do it - it's a competitive advantage!”

"My A&A education has had a very direct influence on my career -- art history teaches you how to see and how images influence people. I use these skills to give feedback on creative work every single day, and the overall sensibility allows me to connect with the creative teams who design."