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Marketing U: Career Success Seminar

February 15, 2017, Chelsea Kujawa

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A career success seminar developed by the alumni of the SIU Marketing department to boost College of Business  students’ success in their job hunts and early careers will take place on Feb. 23 in the Student Center.

The seminar, known as “Marketing U,” is open to all business majors and minors, and its goal is to help students build their professional knowledge and professional network in just a few short hours. To this end, several successful alumni and friends of the college have come together to share their professional knowledge and network with students.

During the day, students can attend up to three presentations that last one hour a piece. Sessions will include interactive presentations and small group/one-on-one discussions with the presenters. Students will be able to network with the presenters, ask questions about any career topic, share their résumés, and learn about specific careers and industries. They will also be able to attend an informal meeting/networking opportunity with employers and SIU alumni.

During the event, students will have an opportunity to have a professional head shot taken by an SIU University Communications photographer, but students must register and attend at least one session to have their photo taken.

Mavis Adjei, the marketing chairperson and an associate professor of marketing, shared some advice on why students should attend the seminar.

“There are many reasons why students should consider attending Marketing U,” Adjei said. “Marketing U is an opportunity for you to learn how to brand your most important product: you! It is also a one-stop shop to learn how to get and keep the job you want. There will be informal discussion sessions with SIU business alumni and networking sessions with employers, as well as a free catered lunch.”

“There are five presentation topics at three different times and you are able to select and attend up to three presentations. Attendees have the chance to learn the inside scoop on how to get, and succeed at, the first professional job from successful SIU business alumni. You will build your professional network and walk away with personal contact information from top business executives in a variety of industries that you can contact later for mentoring, advice, or referrals. There is also a chance to acquire information and interact with members from American Marketing Association and Pi Sigma Epsilon.”

James Karayiannis is presenting “Entrepreneurship – Is Starting My Own Business the Right “Next Step” for Me?” Karayiannis, is an SIU alum and a member of the Marketing Advisory Board, is the president of Pinch Penny Pub and Copper Dragon Brewing Co., which are located in Carbondale, Illinois. He is a life-long resident of Carbondale and is one of the youngest members of the External Advisory Board. He has been a member of the board since fall 2004 and served on the Saluki Expo Committee. Karayiannis was board secretary in 2014 and vice chair for 2015.

“I am a firm believer of giving students real-life examples and stories,” Karayiannis said, adding “Being able to listen to real stories makes goals seem more attainable if (the stories are) coming from the person who has attained them.”

“This event is not something that I was offered when I was a student here, so I hope that students take advantage of what is being offered to them. All of my presentations are question-driven, so if students come to my presentation, I hope that they ask questions and will get their questions answered.”

Richard Klassen, who will present “Negotiating the Salary Package After You Get the Job Offer,” earned a bachelor’s in marketing in 1975 from SIU. He is the retired chief marketing and sales officer of Delta Dental of Missouri, where he was responsible for all of Delta’s sales and marketing initiatives. Klassen’s focus has been on the strategic alignment of the corporation within the employee benefits market dealing with companies of 10 employees up to Fortune 500 companies, including the St. Louis Cardinals, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Boeing and Anheuser-Busch.

Klassen, a member of the College of Business Hall of Fame, also is a member of the Better Business Bureau Board, the College of Business Dean’s External Advisory Board, the Department of Marketing Board of Advisors and the personnel committee for Ladue Chapel. He has been a member of the marketing board since fall 2004, serving as chair in 2009, vice chair in 2008 and board secretary in 2007. He also was a member of the Saluki Expo Committee.

“The goal of my presentation is to make students be aware of how they can position to negotiate salary and benefit packages,” Klassen said, adding “I hope that students, who attend my session, will understand their position in an interview process and how they can, and should, influence the interview process to obtain positive outcomes for them.”

Nick Mergen will be presenting “Do’s & Don’ts of the Job Interview Process: Before, During, and After.” Mergen joined the SIU College of Business Marketing Department External Advisory Board in 2014. He is the district marketing manager for the Federated Insurance in O’Fallon, Illinois. Mergen comes to the board with more than 10 years of experience with Federated Insurance. He joined the board so he could share what he has learned through his success at Federated with the College of Business students that the company intends to recruit and hire.

Mergen, the board secretary for 2016-2017, said he is looking forward to working with the college to better prepare students for their careers.

“If students are hesitant about networking with College of Business alums, business owners or presenters because of a matter of fear or uncertainty, I would put it aside,” Karayiannis said. “It’s truly not going to get any easier when you get into the real world. You should put aside the uneasiness of meeting new people. If it doesn’t subside, talk to someone who has been in a situation where they were hesitant about networking. This opportunity is intended for each and every person within the College of Business in an effort to enrich your professional career.”

“The business alumni who volunteer are interested in students’ success,” Klassen said. “They are making their time available to give some good advice from their work environment experience. This is a contact who a student can feel more comfortable to talk to, ask questions of, and gain insights that is not a professor giving them a grade or a parent.”

“Here are a few more reasons why students should attend the event,” Adjei added. “Students will also get the opportunity to have their professional headshots taken by a professional photographer free of charge. The first 100 students to register and attend the event will get a free gift from the marketing department to help make your professional life easier. Come and find out what it is! There will also be a lunch and networking mixer from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for anyone who has registered for the event. Just a reminder that the event is open to all business majors or miners, at any undergraduate or graduate level, at no cost!”