Five Hopkins graduates spoke about their experiences in the field of marketing at the fifth annual Marketing Alumni Panel hosted by the Hopkins chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) on Monday.
The panelists were from a diverse range of high-profile companies such as Ogilvy & Mather, Under Armour, IMRE, Lucid Health and the Baseball Factory.
Leslie Kendrick, faculty adviser for the AMA, said she and Liz Bagdorf, the vice president of programming for the AMA, worked on trying to get people from several different industries and various functional areas of marketing to speak at the event.
“The panelists are chosen because they represent all sorts of different majors,” Kendrick said. “That shows that you can really major in many different areas and still land a job in this field that’s a fit for you and that you enjoy doing.”
Bagdorf added that she wanted to show Hopkins students where the programs offered by the Center for Leadership Education (CLE) could take students.
“There isn’t a business major at this school,” Bagdorf said. “There’s only the business minor. But to see that we can actually get into the workforce with this foundation is, I think, really beneficial for the students.”
Panelist Dory Giannos, a 2009 graduate who majored in international studies and now works at Ogilvy & Mather, spoke about how she made the most out of what was offered at Hopkins.
“Every group and activity that I was in, I made sure to tailor it to something in the communications, marketing or advertising fields,” Giannos said. “So when I landed my first interview for my first job, I was able to say, ‘Okay, I might not have gone to one of the colleges that have a full, traditional marketing or advertising degree, but I did XYZ which is why I can stand out from the crowd. So I think doing as much as you can on campus to help differentiate yourself is really critical.”
Jason Budden, a 2002 graduate who majored in economics and now works at The Baseball Factory, a company that aids student athletes with the college recruitment process, also advised students to maximize their off-campus opportunities like internships.
“Make sure that you are asking for as much responsibility as they are willing to give you,” Budden said. “A lot of times, you go in and it’s very easy to just do what they’re asking you to. . .but ask for more. Ask questions. Learn as much as you can about the business, the way that they function within the department — the more that you can learn at the internship, regardless of what your responsibilities are, the better off you’re going to be.”
Students also asked questions about the differences between interning for small companies and interning for big companies. Panelists noted that students should try both and decide what suits them, but made clear that the size of the company should not be the sole criteria for choosing for which company to intern.
“It’s more important that the culture fits you, not the size,” David Carasiti, a 2013 mechanical engineering graduate who now works at IMRE, said.
Panelists also advised students on how to present themselves best on their résumés.
“A lot of it’s how you position yourself. . .you just need to think of it as marketing yourself to these employers,” Budden said. “If you have a really strong GPA, then make that a focus. If you have really strong coursework, but not the internships, then make [your coursework] a focus of your resume. Swing it in the direction that’s gonna help you.”
Also, according to Giannos, who spoke with the people in the human resources department of Ogilvy & Mather before coming to the panel, said the writing sample is very important, as it showcases a candidate’s personality.
“Definitely use that cover letter,” Giannos said. “I know they’re very annoying to write, but use that cover letter to your advantage because that can help secure that interview.”
Panelists also gave students advice on how to polish their appearance on the Internet and how to act during an interview.
Senior Andreas Aslaksen, who hopes to pursue a career in marketing and advertising, noted the panel was exactly what he was hoping it would be.
“It was nice to see young people giving the talks,” Aslaksen said. “I’ve seen a lot of older people talk sometimes, and it’s a very different perspective. I feel [the younger people’s perspectives] are more real and more relatable to myself.”
The panel also gave students an opportunity to speak to professionals working in their areas of interest individually.
“[Matt Giuliano] does market research and I’m really really interested in market research, so I just talked to him for like 15 minutes,” senior Jasmine Wang said. “He gave me his perspective and actually helped me clarify a little bit about the field.”
The Marketing Alumni Panel was the first of a week of events that the AMA is hosting.
“This marketing week, this is a big priority for us is to kind of make a splash and have as many programs as we can in a given week,” Kendrick said.
Other events included a Resume and Internship Workshop on Tuesday, which was closed to the public and a social media workshop on Wednesday. A Café Hon fundraiser will be held today, and the AMA will be on the Breezeway on Friday.