Marketing association encourages networking skills

Camille Anglo

The attendence at events held by Sacramento State’s chapter of the American Marketing Association have risen steadily since the chapter’s return to campus.

The association’s Vice President of Events George Anastopoulos said the organization’s goal is to network, and the events it puts together is for students to be able to represent themselves in a professional manner.

“Our main goal is to network and we want people to brand themselves,” Anastopoulos said. “An event we have coming up is the Round Table, which is like speed dating, but you’re actually meeting with business professionals. Helping people network and brand themselves is what we want to do here.”

The organization’s Round Table event, which started two years ago, combines professional contacts with a casual atmosphere. The event has become successful since its startup said the association’s Executive Advisor and ASI’s Executive Vice President Blake Menezes.

“I was a part of the executive board that started this event two years ago and we had a humble 65-80 students show up,” Menezes said. “Last year, we had an awesome turnout of almost 200 students and business professionals. The event was so successful, AMA has been contacted by several campus entities to work with us on our next one this semester.”

As one of the largest clubs in the College of Business, the association’s Sac State chapter has been able to give members and other students the opportunity to meet future employers and it has united the business clubs and organizations on campus.

Menezes said the organization was looking to unite the financial and business clubs on campus through the events they hosted, like the association’s semiannual dodgeball tournament.

“First off, it quickly grew to become one of the largest clubs within the College of Business over a period of one or two semesters,” Menezes said. “One of AMA at Sac State’s biggest goals was to unite the business clubs and organizations.”

The association garnered media attention last year with the group’s first Sac State Tweetup. The event focused on social media and its impacts on students and business professionals.

“We had media coverage with KCRA 3 and Good Day Sacramento, and we were lucky enough to partner up with Public Affairs and Student Affairs to put on this awesome event,” Menezes said.

Menezes said he is in the process of planning the next Sac State Tweetup, which will be occurring in March.

“My goal for this one is to have 300 students in attendance and have a renewed theme of social media and how it can benefit students within their careers,” Menezes said.

The Sac State chapter, which now has 248 followers on Twitter and 468 friends on Facebook, has been doing well since it re-emerged as a club in the spring 2007 semester. The association was reinstated as a club after an absence on campus because a group of students wanted an organization that was for marketing majors, Menezes said.

“(Students) wanted to see an organization that helped bridge the gap between what you learned in classes and what was going on in the marketing industry.”

Kelsey Jacoby joined the organization last spring because she liked how it incorporated social life and the skills she needed for her career in marketing.

“In the marketing major, it was you have class with people, you have group projects and there’s a rigid structure. School alone can be very uptight because it’s just school nonstop,” Jacoby said. “With AMA, it wasn’t so uptight. It was a good balance of creating events and relaxing. The social and professional aspect was there because it integrated school and social life.”

Jacoby, who is a part of the Social Media Club of Sacramento, a group that utilizes social media to discuss key topics of society, joined the association in the fall 2010 semester after she felt it was a better fit for her.

“I started to pledge for a business fraternity, but I decided that AMA would be a better route for me,” Jacoby said. “Once I got to know more people, I decided to become an officer in spring 2011.”

Menezes said the group has been valuable to him because of the ways it has helped him prepare for a career in marketing.

“I’ve worked at a total of four internships and four jobs throughout my college career at Sac State,” Menezes said. “AMA is responsible for me securing all of those. Not for a single one of these did I submit an application or resume – it was because of AMA’s networking events that I was able to meet business professionals in various marketing careers that were willing to hire me.”

Whether it is the networking skills obtained or the events the group holds, the association sets one with the unforgettable skills to go far in one’s career.

“Once you learn it, you never lose it,” Jacoby said. “It’s like riding a bike. Once you start to network, you never lose those skills.”

Camille Anglo can be reached at [email protected].