By Trevor Diddell
BSBA Marketing ’10
On October 6, 60 Eller marketing majors participated in the annual Marketing Careers Round Table Event, supported by the UA student chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA). The students networked with business professionals to obtain general career advice, as well as discuss careers in the areas of sales and marketing.
Seventeen nationally-recognized companies participated in the event, including Cisco Systems, whose representatives included an Eller alum. Tim Lake graduated from the College in 2007 and went into sales as an account manager for Cisco, working with healthcare and global financial customers. Lake attended this year’s Marketing Careers Round Table Event with Mark Rosato, program manager of IT acquisitions at Cisco. Rosato is a contributing member to the Marketing Department’s Board of Visitors and the Thinking Forward Conference.
The two did not meet at Cisco, however. Rather, their business relationship developed at a similar networking event while Lake was still an undergraduate. Like many of the students who attended the Marketing Careers Round Table, Lake was a motivated and professional business student who took advantage of the opportunities Eller provided. “He stood out from the crowd,” Rosato says.
Lake attributes his networking success to being well prepared, confident, and able to engage in face-to-face conversation with relevant questions. Beyond meeting Rosato and expanding his network, he understood that simply having a contact is not as valuable as developing and maintaining a relationship.
After the two met, Lake made a point to stay in touch with Rosato. “At the event, Tim asked for my contact information, and professionally followed up, asking for additional guidance,” Rosato says. Through his own hard work and diligence, Lake was able to secure an entry level position with Cisco after he graduated. He attributes his success to motivation and drive as well as his relationship with Rosato and Eller’s own Suzanne Cummins, senior lecturer in the Department of Management and Organizations. Cummins helped keep Lake and other Eller students in constant contact with representatives at Cisco. “Once there is interest, I push to make sure that the student does not fall between the cracks,” she says.
Similar stories are being replicated at Eller every semester by students like Angeline Lucero, who was in attendance this October. “The Marketing Careers Round Table was a very beneficial event, especially for graduating seniors,” she says. “I graduate this December, and it was a great opportunity for me to ask these employers questions that I may not necessarily ask during a formal job interview.”
Although most Eller students who participates in the event were juniors and seniors, like Lucero, it is never too early to start networking. “There is really no downside to networking,” Lake says. “You can only benefit from talking to people if you’re really serious about it.”
You can connect with Eller students through mentoring, informational interviews, internships and more.