Marketing U Helps Students with Professional Development | News from CoB | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Marketing U Helps Students with Professional Development

March 02, 2018, Franchesca Alejo


Students from all business majors and minors participated in an interactive day of seminars, presentations and networking opportunities at the College of Business on Feb. 22,

“Marketing U: Career Success Seminar,” is a free annual event planned and presented by the College of Business (CoB) Marketing Department. It was initially developed by college alumni on the Marketing External Advisory Board to help current and students and recent graduates achieve job-hunting success and continued success throughout the initial stages of their careers.

The event, now in its sixth year, is one of the many unique opportunities the CoB provides for students to network and gain confidence speaking with potential employers and professionals. What’s more, it affords students a chance to address their job market concerns and ask current professionals for advice. For many students, the seminar has become an effective rehearsal for their future interviews.

The seminar included three one-hour presentations with participants choosing their preference of two available topics for each. The topics covered included entrepreneurship, the job interview process, career selection, salary negotiation after a job offer and investing. A photographer was also available to take head shots between and after the presentations.

Mavis Adjei, an associate marketing professor and a veteran coordinator for the event, knows the value it provides students and said she continues to support it because she knows it adds another layer to classroom education for many students.

“I decided to plan the event again this year as my service to the college,” she said.

She credits teamwork as an essential element of the event’s success.

“This is truly a team effort. It wouldn’t be this successful without faculty and staff encouraging their students to go. It certainly wouldn’t come to fruition without the wonderful alumni who give their expertise, time and money to help us put on the event. Our speakers do it out of love for our students and don’t charge for it,” she said.

Over 100 students showed up in their professional business attire to take advantage of the seminar. Cassie Benson and Kimberly Potocki, both senior marketing majors, were among the participants who attended and said if anyone is intimidated by a career fair, Marketing U serves as a great introduction.

“As a business student, you have to get accustomed to dressing up. This is great practice for that. For freshman who may be a little scared of career fairs, this event will help because it eases you into networking. The presenters are all very approachable and chill so they were easy to talk to,” Potocki said.

Both attended the entrepreneurship, investing and salary negotiating presentations and said the workshops were important. They valued hearing how people achieve success, saying it is encouraging. The seminar also allowed students to ask many of the questions they have.  

“The seminars were a great opportunity to get our questions answered by people who have gone out and are actually doing this for a living and achieved success,” Benson said.

Benson and Potocki found the successful people to be very approachable and said this gives them confidence for their future professional interactions.

Benson and Potocki are working toward successful careers in marketing as both will earn their diplomas this year. Potocki, from Chicago, will graduate in May and wants to return home after finishing school. She is very excited about the Business Placement Center’s Chicago trip in March.

Benson will graduate in December and is focusing on getting an internship. After having a positive experience interning for Schlitterbahn Waterpark, her goal is to work in the entertainment industry

Alexander Lu, a marketing and management senior from Nebraska who wants to work in the jewelry industry, also attended the seminar. He especially enjoyed the networking session because he got to meet new people, connect with them on a personal level and got some direction for what he wants to do when he graduates.

“You definitely learn how to approach people that you don’t know during the networking session. You learn that they are actual people and nice to talk to,” he said.

Lu recommends every student attend Marketing U so they gain experience talking to professionals.

“Every student will need a job in the near future and this is great way to get your foot in the door with a business. It also helps you figure out how to make yourself more appealing to employers,” he said.

The Marketing U: Career Success Seminar is one of the many professional development opportunities offered to students in the College of Business. The intention is to assure students are prepared and confident in order to launch successful careers in the world of business.