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By Lisa Eisenberg, BSBA Marketing ’10

When in attendance at the Thinking Forward Conference, I was representing the Marketing Department’s talent on behalf of the Eller College of Management. Although all of the speakers were very insightful and provided strategic in-depth use of skills learned, it was Roxanne Ivory’s speech which really connected with where I am today.

As an alumna from the University of Arizona, and furthermore Eller College of Management’s MIS Program, Roxanne was a true-tale story of the ambitious students that come from the Eller College. While sharing her experiences amongst the companies in Silicon Valley, it opened my eyes to the types of opportunities and successes that the marketing program has allowed for me and my peers. Not only did Roxanne spend two non-consecutive terms at Apple, but she is now the Managing Director for Wirestone, LLC. Her beyond-successful career really illustrated the type of career that is possible when graduating from the Eller College of Management.

Lastly, there was a great underlying message for me and my peers. It is important to recognize that our degrees do not dictate the career path we are destined to take. Roxanne explained how coming from an MIS background she was more than willing to adapt and learn. In the academic realm, students are not necessarily exposed to the type of adaptation that will be required of the business world; but with Roxanne’s speech, my peers and I were able to understand what will be expected when entering the “real world.” This is a great message for the students of today. It is important to understand, especially with the current job market/trends, that flexibility is what will make Eller students assets to companies.

These types of lessons learned are often the world of career and major advisors; however, hearing these lessons from individuals who have utilized their skill set and were once in my peer’s and my position really makes the range of future possibilities come true.  It’s great for students to see how individuals give back to their college as alumna and illustrates one way for graduates to stay connected.

It is with two great experiences and my appreciation that I commend the Thinking Forward Conference for all marketing students or those interested in a career of marketing.  So, drink that extra cup of coffee if you have to and make it to the 9:00 AM start next year. It will be well worth your while!