Real-world careers focus of Marketing Night

By Maddie Forshee | 10/1/15 8:59am

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GVL/Kevin Sielaff


Students learn so much in a classroom and can always join student clubs and organizations to broaden their horizons. When it comes to graduating and going out into the real world, though, some students are left wondering where to start.

Grand Valley State University’s American Marketing Association chapter has teamed up with the marketing department to host the second annual Marketing Careers Night to help students explore the idea of postgraduate careers.

The event will feature 23 companies that will offer students tips and advice for what to expect in the real world of marketing and post-grad life in general. Students are welcome to sit and chat with the people from each company for a few minutes and then will be told to move around, speed-dating style.

“The purpose is not to get a job, but for career exploration,” said Maria Landon, AMA faculty co-adviser and one of the organizers of the event. “(Students will ask) ‘what can I do with a marketing major? How can I acquire an internship at your company?’ Companies will bring tips that they think are successful ways to get a job.”

Last year, the event welcomed over 125 students and had 17 companies present. With 23 companies this year, the event is growing by the day. Students don’t need to buy tickets, register for the event or even bring their resume - they just have to dress professionally and be ready with questions.

All students are welcome to the event, not just marketing majors. Landon and the other organizers of the event just want students to learn about real-world careers, not necessarily marketing-specific ones.

“Students can get an idea of what they can do with their degree, and they can learn from actual professionals how to be successful in their field,” Landon said.

The companies that will attend include local companies like Amway and Spectrum Health as well as national and international companies like Mondelez and United Way.

Kevin Lehnert, the other AMA co-adviser, said they got a diverse group of companies involved so students can get the most well-rounded idea of a career as possible.

“We wanted to provide students with more of an opportunity,” Lehnert said. “Students don’t know how to get the job, how to make the connection, and Career Night provides that value.”

Both Lenert and Landon worked together last year to create the event, which is the only one of its kind geared toward marketing. They saw that students in AMA increasingly were not sure about where they could go with their degree or how to make connections with companies they were interested in.

“That’s such a valuable thing, and it’s such a hard thing to get in a classroom,” Lehnert said. “We wanted to provide that extra opportunity for students to really make the most of the education they have.”

All students are welcome to attend Marketing Careers Night on Oct. 5 from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. in the Loosemore Forum at the L. William Seidman Center on the Pew Campus.

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