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By Shawna Weltsch, Eller Marketing ’16 


As marketing seniors within the Eller College of Management prepare to graduate in May, they all have one thought in common- what is next?

The Thinking Forward Conference is an annual event that focuses on leadership and innovation in marketing, offering insight into how to be successful throughout their careers. This year, students heard from four alumni with very different career paths.

Brian Hirsch is the executive director of marketing communications at Sony Pictures Television Networks in Los Angeles. He graduated from the Eller College in 2003 with a double major in marketing and entrepreneurship. Hirsch shared useful advice with the students regarding how to jumpstart their career in the competitive entertainment industry.

Meah Benage graduated from the Eller College in 2011 with a degree in marketing. Benage’s involvement in the Eller College earned her the marketing department’s Outstanding Senior Award. She began her career at Sony PlayStation after she met the CEO through the Eller College, and is currently the promotions manager at Ubisoft. Benage explained to the students that if they wanted to be successful in their careers, it is important to “be brave, be bold, be fearless.”

Megan Pulver, currently the senior manager of events at VentureBeat, has had noteworthy experience in a variety of industries. Pulver, who previously worked at Uber, created their first college ambassador program in San Francisco. She told students that they need to be confident in order to be successful in their career. “To fit in, you have to stand out,” said Pulver. She emphasized the importance of knowing one’s strengths, but equally important, knowing one’s weaknesses.

Cristel Russell is an Eller doctoral alumna. Her research focuses on how people consume entertainment. One recent paper focuses on the reasons why people feel sad by the conclusion of a television series. Russell is currently a professor at American University.

The Thinking Forward Conference is a unique opportunity for students to learn from and network with accomplished professionals while providing valuable lessons for the students to apply throughout their careers.


Top photo by Sam Sowerby. L-R: Cristel Russell, Meah Benage, Brian Hirsh, and Megan Pulver.