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JHU AMA Presents: Student Alumni Panel

Earlier this month, the Johns Hopkins University undergraduate chapter of the American Marketing Association (JHU AMA) kicked off its Fall Speaker Series with a panel of JHU alumni working in marketing and advertising capacities. These alumni included representatives from Under Armour, AOL Digital, T. Rowe Price, Stanley Black & Decker, IMRE, and Factory Athletics. Students interested in pursuing careers in marketing, advertising, and digital media fields attended the event to learn more about the various industries represented.

Alumni Taylor Schulte, Tyler Goodell, Claire Sandgrass, Zoe Longenecker-Wright, Dave Carisiti, and Jason Budden speak at the alumni panel.

Alumni Taylor Schulte, Tyler Goodell, Claire Sandgrass, Zoe Longenecker-Wright, Dave Carisiti, and Jason Budden speak at the alumni panel.

The alumni spoke about several topics, most of which focused on breaking into the marketing industry, tips for surviving your first few months on the jobs, and other pieces of advice centered on helping current students make the most of their college experience to prepare for a transition into the real world. Richard L, an event attendee, commented that “thanks to them [the alumni], I feel much more prepared to send out job applications than I had before.”

Some key takeaways from the event:

  • Connect, connect, connect! Expand your professional network by reaching out to people in the industry via LinkedIn. (Note: always send a personalized message when seeking to connect).
  • Try it out. Find an internship, either during the semester or summer, in a marketing-related field, to see if it’s for you. An internship in this field is also critical if you want to land a job at a firm.
  • Clean up. Make sure your social media pages are devoid of undesirable content and make sure your resume is always updated and polished.

The JHU AMA will be hosting multiple upcoming events, the next of which is on Monday, November 10th. Hershey Associate Brand Manager Anthony Criezis will be speaking as part of the AMA’s Fall Speaker Series, and all interested parties are encouraged to attend a very informative discussion!

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Stumped with Making a Career Out of Your Major? How About a Startup?

At an institution synonymous with its medical school and engineering programs, outsiders are often surprised to hear about the breadth of entrepreneurial ventures Hopkins students are involved in. The school quietly fosters a dedicated environment for students to create business ventures in the real world. The opportunities are quite diverse, from the popular Entrepreneurship & Management minor, to FastForward and JHTT, two groups of Hopkins inventors, entrepreneurs, and investors who aim at bringing technological innovations from the lab to the commercial marketplace.

A student in Professor Kendrick's class dons the sumo costume during the JHU Career Fair.

A MindSumo representative dons the sumo costume during the JHU Career Fair.

In addition to these school-sponsored initiatives, there is an extensive list of unaided Hopkins-born entrepreneurial startups that are just as poised to strike the commercial market. One prime example of such a company is MindSumo, founded by grad Keaton Swett, who majored in History and minored in Entrepreneurship and Management during his time at Hopkins. The vision for MindSumo was to create a unique opportunity for students, specifically in the computational and analytic fields, to showcase their talents in practical scenarios, shifting the focus of a job or internship interview from a single piece of paper (the applicant’s résumé) to a portfolio of proven skills.

Companies sponsor challenges for students to provide their own creative solutions to real business problems. Winners are chosen by the sponsor company to receive cash prizes, interviews for jobs and internships, and accolades to tout in their search for future employment. Since its humble beginnings, MindSumo has already attracted 30,000+ student users as well as dozens of top-tier companies in a vast array of fields (Google, Zappos, and General Mills, to name a few).

Although Keaton has since moved headquarters of MindSumo to California, he remains in close contact with his alma mater. He has lent his time, effort, and his company’s reputation to Leslie Kendrick’s Advertising and Integrated Marketing Campaign class, which is tasked with garnering new sign-ups and awareness for the company on the Hopkins Homewood campus and at other area universities.

Students might feel nervous about starting their careers, but Keaton and the dozens of Hopkins alums who have started their own companies are proof of the limitless opportunities that can come as a product of a Hopkins education.

Learn more about MindSumo at http://www.mindsumo.com. For more information about MindSumo’s campaign on the Hopkins campus, please contact either Lauryn Capers or David White at AdHopcreative@gmail.com.

Rebranding a Fallen Hero: The Orioles’ New Marketing Strategy

Any baseball fans out there?

Wednesday, November 6th, the Baltimore Orioles Vice President of Marketing Greg Bader spoke at the Hopkins campus to an audience of 35 Hopkins affiliates and the Loyola AMA president. The Johns Hopkins chapter of the American Marketing Association hosted the event in Hackerman B17. Bader, who has been with the Orioles for 20 seasons, started his presentation by engaging the audience with a simple question.

“How many of you are Orioles fans?”

JHU AMA Vice President Liz Bagdorf (left) and the Baltimore Orioles VP of Marketing Greg Bader

JHU AMA Vice President Liz Bagdorf (left) and the Baltimore Orioles VP of Marketing Greg Bader

Bader candidly spoke about the Orioles’ historically successful record by noting that the home team enjoyed great success from 1960-1997, holding either the best or second best records in the league for a nearly 40-year period. This set the stage for Bader’s grim account of the Orioles’ not too distant past:

  • From 1998-2011, the Orioles lost 1276 games while only winning 990.
  • That’s 14 consecutive losing seasons.
  • In this period, annual attendance dropped by 2 million fans to just over 1.5 million per year.

The Orioles marketing department had its work cut out for it. Bader noted that “any team in a downward spiral needs to think about what it stands for,” and explained the five principles of his latest marketing campaign for the team:

  1. Fun. The ballpark is an escape from reality, and, at the end of the day, baseball is just a game.
  2. Partnership. “We’re all in this together,” said Bader, referring to the fans and surrounding community.
  3. Family. Stories of the ballpark should be passed down from generation to generation, and an Orioles game is a family-oriented event.
  4. Tradition. “This is a historically great team. We want to remind people that summers in Baltimore wouldn’t be the same without the Orioles.”
  5. Community. Camden Yards and the Orioles have been defining features of Baltimore for nearly 60 years.

Primary Tactics:

  • Re-instate the cartoon bird logo
  • Celebrate the 20th anniversary of Oriole Park
  • Improve the ballpark
  • Introduce the Orioles Legends celebration series

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The 2012 Season (following the campaign’s implementation):

  1. The team had a 93W-69L record, a winning record for the first time in 15 seasons
  2. The Orioles were in the top 5 in the MLB for social media followers growth
  3. In September 2012, the Orioles sold the third most merchandise in the league (largely thanks to the cartoon bird logo!)
  4. Attendance grew past the 2 million annual attendees mark.

Bader said that the team’s winning season was definitely helpful to the club, but winning is not everything. “Winning is a huge part of a team’s identity, and winning definitely helped us meet our campaign’s goals. But if we had just relied on winning, we would not have been able to reach two million fans again.”

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Bader mentioned that anyone interested in working for the Orioles should “spend as much time there” and get to know people in the organization. Job opportunities with the Orioles are available here, and Bader maintains that the experience has been “an exciting opportunity.” As a lifelong baseball fan myself, the idea of working for a ball club seems more tantalizing than a 4.0 GPA.

– David

The Business of Biking (Across the Country)

I’m glad to be back on campus, and I’ve brought a little two-wheeled friend with me.

The summer of 2013 was the most exciting one of my life. I traveled with the 4K for Cancer Team Portland on a 70-day, 4,500-mile trip across the country. Our mission was simple: to help raise awareness and support for young adults suffering from cancer. Armed with little more than my trusty bicycle, my sturdy hand pump, and a small black backpack, I set out from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor at 7:30 am on June 2nd, 2013 for the adventure of a lifetime. Our team was filled with cyclists ranging from beginner to expert in ability, and we definitely formed a tight bond during our excursion.

Our team about to depart for Portland.

Our team about to depart for Portland.

However, the trip was a serious business venture. While it may seem to be mainly an athletic endeavor, biking 4,500 miles requires quite a bit of resources. Riders need food, water, spare tubes, bike parts, and other necessities in order to survive, let alone conquer the Rocky Mountains. Today, I want to explain how our team managed to acquire what we needed to embark on our journey. First, a few key points:

  • The Ulman Cancer Fund is a nonprofit organization. Before the ride, each of us needed to raise a minimum of $4,500 in donations before participating in the ride. These donations helped fund scholarships for young adults whose education was interrupted during their treatment.
  • None of us were able to work this summer. Try holding down a job in addition to being on a bike for 10 hours a day: it’s just not happening.
  • We needed to feed 25 people on a daily basis with no food budget.
Our team awarding Philip with a scholarship to help him continue school after his cancer treatment.

Our team awarding Philip with a scholarship to help him continue school after his cancer treatment.

Shelter was taken care of well before the trip started. Members of the team called leg leaders were tasked with calling churches, high schools, and even the occasional vacation home to find free housing for us each night. Believe it or not, people were willing to let us crash on their church floors without paying a cent.

Some hosts even rolled out the welcome mat for us!

Some hosts even rolled out the welcome mat for us!

Food was possibly the most anticipated commodity of the day. Hungry cyclists, whether at a lunch break or ending point, needed food all summer.

  • Breakfast was usually taken care of by our hosts. Church and high school communities were more than willing, for the most part, to provide us with a hearty breakfast before we took off for the day’s ride.
  • Lunch was always a wild card during the day. We had a rotation of 2 people per day who would work the food van and find food donations for everyone on the team by calling and walking into various restaurants along/close to our route. Subway, Chipotle, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and McDonald’s were largely responsible for feeding us this summer.
  • Dinner was usually provided by our hosts, but was every once in a while provided by the food van. Restaurants such as Buffalo Wild Wings, Burger King, and various local pizza places helped us along the way.
That's what it takes to feed 25 people.

That’s what it takes to feed 25 people.

Bike parts were often donated to us on the road as well. Inner tubes became more valuable than gold during the trip, so we were always happy to have a bike shop throw a few our way.

Setting up the donations for these items felt like a full-time job. During the trip itself, people in the food van made sales pitches to almost every restaurant they could and explained our mission plus why 25 adults didn’t have enough money to feed themselves during the day. I definitely practiced skills in sales, public speaking, and resource management during the trip, and I look forward to continuing this education during the coming school year.

5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Graduate School

Senior year of college the question that most students dread to be asked is “so, what are you doing next year?” This question is asked by well-meaning teachers, friends of parents, strangers on the bus, and worst of all: peers who already have a job. For me, the thought of leaving the comfortable “Hopkins bubble” was terrifying. As an Economics major, I recognized the uninspiring (although becoming less so) job scene and decided that I needed another year of growing up before entering the working world. I applied to graduate school and decided to get my masters degree in International Management at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, hoping for a few more years of college. At first, I was disheartened by the differences, I even missed MSE. After a JHU_logo_smfew months I started to appreciate the dissimilarities and find my place. Hopefully these tips will help you during the transition time by accurately preparing you for the graduate school experience.

5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Graduate School

1) Recognize that it is not college.
2) Network.
3) Find a routine.
4) Stay connected.
5) Capitalize on what you know.

1) The sooner you stop comparing everything to college, the sooner you can enjoy the graduate school experience. Although you take classes, have classmates, and take part in social activities, graduate school has a different feel than college. People don’t go out every night with their friends (at least the ones who remain in the program), and sometimes you have to go to the library alone to study. Teachers expect a lot more outside reading and discovery to support class activities. It’s a different pace than college and fun and exciting in a different way, but trying to live the college lifestyle will just leave you disappointed.

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2) In graduate school, everyone comes with different life experiences and backgrounds. In my experience, other students and lecturers are your greatest resource. You might find that lecturers or guest lecturers will give out business cards at the end of a class. They are not doing this to be polite or because they have extra business cards, they are trying to network with you. Follow up! I got my first job out of college by emailing a guest lecturer (the CEO of a local bank) with my ideas, and now I am a strategy specialist at his bank. One of my classmates knows the brand ambassador for Jameson and will be traveling next year speaking to bar tenders about the brand. If you’re brave enough, make the first move and give your contact details to people you find interesting, the worst that can happen is they won’t contact you.
3) Although sleeping until 1 pm everyday might sound like a dream come true, it is easy to do the bare minimum in graduate school and miss out on some great experiences. When I arrived in Dublin, I had no friends and no job. I had class from 2pm until 8pm everyday and slept much of the rest of the time. After a few weeks I realized that as much as I missed college, I also missed all of the things I did in college. To supplement my school schedule, I joined some clubs, found a gym, signed up for extracurricular activities like sailing and self-defense, and took advantage of the seminars at my University. Living alone and out of a dorm in graduate school, it is easy to become introverted. I have found that establishing a schedule of fun activities has allowed me to naturally make friends with whom I share interests as well as giving me more confidence in school.

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4) Just because you have moved on from Hopkins, doesn’t mean that you need to remove yourself completely. Chances are you are one of or have at least a few of the following type of friends: (1) The engineer who is always working on secret government projects yet somehow is allowed to use Facebook at work. (2) The friend who moved to a foreign country to teach something and periodically posts pictures of them holding children on Facebook. (3) The friend who went to some kind of graduate school at Hopkins and makes you jealous by “checking in” at PBR downtown. (4) The friend who moved to DC and is going to law school, becoming a politician, or both and writes political Facebook messages. What do all of these friends have in common? They all have access to social media. Facebook has allowed our generation to stay in touch with all of our friends, no matter where they are, and that’s awesome. Use it! Moving on doesn’t have to mean forgetting.

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5) The most important thing I have learned in graduate school is to capitalize on what you know and don’t sell yourself short. The things you learned in Hopkins can become your secret weapon. The Integrated Marketing Communications course taught me how to use social media to generate brand awareness, so this year I created a social media strategy at work. The Blogging, Editing and Copywriting course taught me about SEO, SEM, Google adwords and other tools that I use everyday at work and in school. Graduate school focuses on sharing knowledge and expanding your skill set. People will be impressed with anything you know, and you’d be amazed how handy it can be to know the history of personal hygiene from a class in Museums Studies, when you are trying to write a history of branding for toothpaste. Other language skills are also very useful in impressing employers.

If you get nothing more from this blog entry remember this: It’s scary to leave Hopkins behind and go into the world, but graduate school is a great experience if you are willing to commit to it.

–Alexandra Clionsky ’12

Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity Offers A Unique Business And Social Experience

“Alpha Kappa Psi is recognized as the premier developer of principled business leaders,” but the Rho Psi chapter here at Johns Hopkins University is so much more. In addition to promoting our core values on campus – Brotherhood, Knowledge, Integrity, Service, and Unity – the men and women of AKPsi at Johns Hopkins denote family in the truest sense – whether it be through the big-little families or the fraternity as a whole, each member shares something with the others.

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The Rho Psi chapter at Johns Hopkins combines business activities with social ones. We have industry presentations for our pledges as they rise through the ranks of pledging, where they are able to learn from experienced members about endeavors in entrepreneurship, marketing, financing, management and more. Plus, through the national fraternity, our chapter has the opportunity to attend the annual Principled Business Leadership Institute, held recently in Philadelphia, and the AKPsi Convention – being held in New Orleans this summer – with other chapters of the fraternity. Our chapter also complements other groups on campus including the AMA and KAIROS society in putting on events such as “Dress For Success” and various networking events.

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In addition to these on campus events, our chapter holds off campus trips to foster knowledge in the sectors of business. The brothers recently visited the New York Stock exchange and were given the opportunity to view the closing bell. They also recently toured the Federal Reserve Bank of Washington DC, with a private session with a Senior Economic Advisor.

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The fraternity also fosters social relations by holding date parties and a formal throughout the semester, while the brotherhood creates invigorating outdoor activities including, but not limited to, sailing, skeet shooting, and paintball. Plus, we hold community service trips at least once a semester; recently the brothers and pledges of the Upsilon Class participated in the fall President’s Day of Service by aiding the community in the building of a park.

All in all, there is no other community that I would rather be a part of at Johns Hopkins.

– Samuel Licker

How To Figure Out Your Future Over Intersession

Johns Hopkins can be an overwhelming place. You try to balance schoolwork with your job with your clubs and your sorority or fraternity. Suddenly you find yourself in your junior year and all of your friends are talking about all of the great things that they are planning to do after they graduate. If you’re anything like me, you have zero idea about what you want to do with your life, and you are insanely jealous of all of your friends who have it all figured out.

But fear no more friends, I’ve found the solution. If you want to start to get a handle on your future, the best thing that you can do is to sign up for the Media and Public Relations in The Big Apple over next intersession. It doesn’t even matter what year you are. This past intersession we had sophomores, juniors, seniors, and even a recent grad or two. Your level of experience doesn’t matter either. While most people in the class had at least taken Principles of Marketing (which is a great class and I recommend it to everyone), there were some that hadn’t and it was absolutely fine!

The class takes up two weeks of intersession and is 1 credit. During the first week, the professor, Leslie Kendrick, invites professionals from the Baltimore area to come and speak to the class. We had speakers from local marketing firms, television, radio, Baltimore Magazine, AOL, and Bloomberg Government. Even though I wasn’t interested in all of the companies represented, it was still really enlightening to learn about industries that I had no previous knowledge of. If I’ve learned anything from my years of trying to “find myself” and “discover what I want to be”, it’s that the majority of jobs that exist in the world are not ones that you have ever heard of before. As a History major, I never would have learned anything about marketing if I hadn’t gone on this trip and taken Principles.

In the Big Apple with Professor Kendrick

In the Big Apple visiting big media, PR, and advertising firms with Professor Kendrick

The second week of class is the trip to New York. In three days, we packed in visits to eight places of business, plus an alumni panel. It was exhausting but 100% worth it.  The networking that I did in New York has already landed interviews with two of the companies.

On Tuesday morning we woke up at 6 AM and dragged ourselves out of bed to put on business attire and schlepped our way to the coach bus waiting for us outside of Mason Hall. From there it was about a 4 hour drive to New York. Our first stop was Fortune Magazine, home of the Fortune 500 list where we spoke to an investigative journalist who told us stories about uncovering the sex scandals of billionaires. Next we went to Bloomberg, where unfortunately we were not greeted by our most famous alumni. An interesting aspect of Bloomberg is that there are no offices. No matter whether you are the new guy or the boss, everyone sits at a cubicle. It’s definitely an environment that would take some getting used to. Our last stop for the day was at Ruder Finn, a PR firm, where we were given a presentation on Citi, one of their clients, by Ally Burton, class of 2010.

Wednesday was the longest day of the trip. We started out at AMC Networks where we played trivia with alum David Epstein, and learned about the strategies behind TV advertising.  Next, we visited Grey Worldwide, the advertising agency behind the famous E*Trade baby, where we were given a hilarious presentation by a creative team and got to speak with alum Melody Nath. After Grey, we headed over to Sesame Workshop where we were greeted by chalk drawings of all of our favorite sesame characters and by a panel of employees who told us all about what goes on behind the scenes, beyond the show itself. That evening we had an alumni panel where we had the opportunity to network with alums working in TV, newspapers, PR, skin care, and online.

Thursday, our last day, we visited Landor and Burson Marsteller, two companies in the same building on Park Avenue. Landor is the branding agency that helped create the Old Spice campaign, and Burson Marsteller is another PR firm. At Landor, I was one of the last students left in the office when the chief marketing officer, Hayes Roth, decided to give us tour of the whole office. Sometimes it pays to linger!

The amazing thing about this class is that everyone we met, both in Baltimore and New York was so eager to help us, and in a world like ours where networking is everything, this is HUGE. Another terrific yet unexpected takeaway from the class was the reassurance that we got from virtually every single person who spoke to us, telling us not to worry about getting the perfect job out of college. One woman said she had 6 different jobs before she found the right one. This knowledge took a lot of pressure off of us, especially the seniors, who were the most anxious of the group (understandably).

So rather than wasting your time getting drunk next intersession, sign up for the Big Apple Trip and help build your future!

– Carter Banker