Managing at the Table

PROVO, Utah – Sep 28, 2022 – As a principal partner marketing manager at Adobe, Ivy Portwood oversees a group she calls her “dream team.” Twenty years ago as a music major at BYU, Portwood never would have imagined she would be working in such a position.

During her senior year as an undergraduate, Portwood began thinking about her career path. She realized she would not enjoy being a music teacher despite her skill set and experience. As Portwood researched other options, her dad encouraged her to consider an MBA from the BYU Marriott School of Business.

“I came to the conclusion that earning an MBA would set me up for success in many different areas,” she explains. “I knew I could gain direction and identify the next steps in my life and career.” Consequently, Portwood enrolled in the MBA program at BYU Marriott immediately after her graduation in 2004.

Portwood was always curious about the marketing side of business, so she began to explore marketing during her time at BYU Marriott. She realized that the field also resonated with her creativity, so she further focused the space during her second year in the program. After graduating in 2006, Portwood accepted a position at Dell, where she worked in a variety of marketing positions. She says her time at BYU Marriott strengthened her résumé and gave her the confidence to market herself when applying for jobs.

“The biggest thing I learned was how to represent myself,” Portwood says. “Especially as a woman, learning how to sit confidently at the business table and be a part of the conversation is invaluable.”

Portwood’s time in the MBA program also helped her build a network, which ultimately led to her current job at Adobe. She developed relationships with individuals at Dell as a student due to the school’s connections in the company. After one of her friends at Dell earned his own MBA from BYU Marriott and accepted a position at Adobe, he invited Portwood to interview with the company and potentially join the company. She did so, starting at Adobe as a digital marketing consultant in 2015 before being promoted to her current role in 2020.

In her position, Portwood oversees a team doing business-to-business marketing for the Adobe Experience Cloud. While networking helped her land at Adobe, Portwood explains principles she learned in the classroom have been just as important to her career success. “The skill classes gave me confidence. Even though I’ve been done with the program for more than 15 years, my learnings are still resonating with me,” Portwood says.

Working at Adobe is enjoyable for Portwood in multiple ways. “I am a creative person, and at its core, Adobe is a creativity company,” she says. “Plus, I love the people whom I work with. I have a boss who is also a leader and a mentor, and my team pushes me to be better every single day.”

Another thing Portwood appreciates about her position is her ability to have flexibility outside of work. She recently returned from a sabbatical—which Adobe provides employees every five years—to Europe. Portwood also spends time volunteering. She returns to BYU Marriott on a regular basis to give guest lectures, help with mock interviews, and judge team presentations. In addition, Portwood hosts music nights for her neighbors and leads teenagers in skiing, cycling, and equestrian activities at the National Ability Center in Park City, Utah, her hometown.

Portwood’s busy lifestyle and desire to serve is a result of her willingness to always find the best path for herself. Whether that pursuit results in earning an MBA or working with her dream team, Portwood never shies away from what she loves. “My activities allow me to keep my passions alive throughout life,” she says.

Ivy Portwood
Ivy (far left) riding bikes with a group from the National Ability Center.
Ivy Portwood
Portwood, right, skiing with participants in the National Ability Center.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Mike Miller