Sara Rockefeller, Eller Marketing ’10
Sara Rockefeller came to the UA knowing that she wanted to major in business, but it wasn’t until she took a psychology class for a general education requirement that she realized marketing was the perfect fit for her skills and interests.
“Marketing is, simply stated, the ‘psychology’ behind any successful business,” she says, “and I wanted to be able to utilize my creative talent within the business realm.”
During her sophomore year, the Tucson native joined the UA chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA). “Even though I was just a general member among 90 others, I participated just as much as the leaders of the organization in various events and activities,” she says. “After traveling to New Orleans for the AMA International Collegiate Conference, I knew that I wanted to be a leader and help run the organization.”
During her junior year, she was director of events and director of the international conference for the club, and now serves as its president.
“Being the president of AMA has been a very enlightening experience for me,” Rockefeller says. “I have learned that it is not easy to manage people, and that there is a lot of responsibility involved while being a leader of such a large organization. However, I have an amazing executive board that supports me with all of the club’s endeavors, and I would not be able to do anything we do without them.”
During her tenure as president, Rockefeller negotiated a business relationship with Gentle Ben’s Restaurant on University Boulevard. “I have helped them with marketing their business throughout the campus, and in return, they provide AMA with free pizza after every general meeting for all of our members,” she says. On February 16, 2010, AMA is planning a Fat Tuesday fundraising event at the restaurant, with all proceeds going toward the travel fund for the AMA conference in New Orleans in April.
The conference will be one of Rockefeller’s last activities at Eller; she graduates in May. After graduation, she’s planning to move to a major market city to find an entry level position in marketing. “Some of my greatest passions are yoga and traveling, so perhaps I’ll be able to build a career that involves either or both,” she says.
Her resume already benefits from travel experience; during the summer of 2008, she studied in London while completing an internship with fashion label Aquascutum. “My title was showroom intern, and I conducted wholesale orders through their software and created look-books for one of their largest U.S. accounts, Saks Fifth Avenue,” Rockefeller says. “Being in London was the most amazing experience I have had. Not only did I live in one of the most diverse cities in the world, but I also made some of my closest friends in college.”
Looking back over her time at Eller, Rockefeller cites two especially influential classes: consumer behavior with Soldwedel Professor of Marketing Melanie Wallendorf and integrated marketing communications with associate professor of marketing Hope Schau. “I now apply so many concepts that I learned in consumer behavior to my everyday life,” she says, “And integrated marketing communications has been the most challenging. I learned about the overwhelming power that consumer-generated content has within the world of marketing.”
As Rockefeller begins her final semester at college, she has words of wisdom for her fellow students. “No matter what, always take time to spend time with the people you love and to do the things you love doing,” she says. “Yes, it is important to focus on your schoolwork, but balance is key. I did not figure this out until my senior year, so if anyone younger is reading this, make sure to take that pottery class you’ve always dreamed about, or try out for that intramural sports team!”