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Inspiring a Sustainable Future
Jenifer Wong, Eller Marketing and MIS ’15


JeniferWong

Jenifer Wong. Photo courtesy Jenifer Wong.

Jenifer Wong was born in Guangzhou, China, but moved to the U.S. with her parents when she was about two years old. “We lived in San Francisco for some time, but I went to middle school and high school in Tucson,” she said. “I had always been interested in business—in the fifth grade, my best friend and I formed a business selling our arts and crafts to our classmates!”

A great business program was a major factor in choosing a college. “Ultimately it was the Eller College, my scholarship, and being close to my family that made the UA my top choice.”

Wong arrived at the UA knowing that she wanted to be the CEO of an organization someday. “I joined various clubs during my freshman year and participated in the Eller Spring Break Study Tour in New York City,” she said. “My experiences not only helped me realize that there is no set career path to becoming a CEO, but I also got a sense of which programs within Eller I was most interested in.”

She entered Eller as a marketing major, later adding MIS as well. “During my sophomore year, I joined the marketing committee in the Students for Sustainability program on campus. SfS gave me my first real exposure to branding and creating marketing materials.” She also joined the Eller Undergraduate Program office as a marketing and publications student coordinator. “The summer before my junior year, I studied abroad in Denmark and took a course on sustainable business practices—sustainability is one of my passions!”

Another of Wong’s passions is advertising, and this past summer she interned with the R&R Partners agency in Los Angeles. “Jeff Welter [career coach] played a key role in helping me obtain my internship at R&R Partners,” she said. “Part of my job as the marketing and publications student coordinator has been to interview Eller alumni for the Professional Development Center blog. As a result, I have had the opportunity to connect with quite a few Eller alumni! While many of these alumni have great advice and insight to offer, I think that it has been equally important connecting with people currently within Eller.”  

A couple of influential classes have shaped her vision for her career. “To this day, I am still applying what I learned about public speaking, writing, and presentations through Gail Fey’s business communication class,” she said. “The social entrepreneurship course that I took through the Blue Chip Leadership Program has also been influential in that it taught me about the triple bottom line: great businesses should be able to generate profits while being socially and environmentally responsible.”

This year, Wong is president of the UA chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA). “The power and responsibility that comes with structuring and running a club has been a considerable test to my leadership skills,” she said. “I think that in some ways, running AMA (or any other club) is like running a business. The success of the club depends on your ability to manage time, to think strategically, and to make decisions. My favorite part about the experience is that I have the opportunity to connect with both my peers in marketing as well as pre-business students and to give them a better idea of what marketing entails beyond the classroom.”

Looking forward, she said that her dream job is to sell sustainability. “Advertising has always had the powerful effect of introducing products to people and influencing their purchase behavior through creative messaging,” Wong said. “I aspire to harness this and use it towards educating people about environmental issues and inspiring sustainable practices.”

Top image courtesy of LA downtown courtesy Shutterstock.