My name is Rachel Vogie and I was a proud member of the American Marketing Association at USF for two wonderful years. I honestly loved every moment of club involvement and wish I had joined as a Freshman. I learned so many things and made incredible friends. And when the time came for me to look for internships and then jobs, I had connections, I had stuff to put on my resume, and I had experiences to talk about in interviews. And boy would I talk. I have filled an hour-long interview with just experiences from AMA before.
But here comes the kicker. I was never a Marketing student. I majored in Management with a concentration in HR. So after spending a large chunk of an interview hearing about my heavy involvement in the American MARKETING Association, and with a resume in front of them which proudly displayed my experiences with AMA, most employers would raise an eyebrow and ask “But you aren’t a marketing major?” I mean, I was even President of the Chapter for crying out loud.
My answer: Nope. Because you don’t have to BE a marketing student to enjoy and benefit from AMA. Yes, sometimes the topics can be marketing related, but the vast majority of the time the organization is focusing on professional development and personal growth.
I joined AMA because I saw an “easy” opportunity to be a leader in a college club. This is a huge deal when applying for jobs, since even being involved in a club at all makes you look better in the eyes of an employer. I liked that if you showed initiative and you really wanted to try, the President and Vice President would find a leadership position for you. And if that position didn’t already exist, they would do their darn best to create it for you. New ideas were also always welcomed, and you could be in charge of a project if you thought it up. See? AMA is super into helping you become a good leader.
And I mentioned professional development before. That’s another thing I greatly benefited from, even though I was NOT a marketing student. We went on amazing corporate tours where I got to connect with people who worked at great companies. I got certified in professional development and sales, which are both very helpful for business majors and it sure does look nice to have certificates on your resume. We learned how to create bomb LinkedIn profiles and craft awesome resumes, both things I thought I knew how to do, but it turns out I could have been doing better. And I also got some super professional branded business cards, business card holder, and padfolio which really helped me to look well put together.
These were all things that I really felt benefited every member in the club regardless of their major. There were other things too, that benefited students who WEREN’T marketing majors:
While in AMA, I helped organize and run the annual golf tournament which brings in over $10,000 for the club (good for those of you aspiring to be event planners).
I helped write and design the Annual Case Competition, the Annual Plan, and Annual Report (great for all those future employees who will ever have to write a report as part of their job).
I volunteered at the Humane Society with AMA (good for everyone!).
I filmed and edited a video for a contest (for all you technical/digital marketers).
I got to work on the AMA Consulting team, actually working on real projects for real clients in the Tampa Bay area (awesome if you ever want to do consulting work in any field).
I designed and adhered to the annual budget, ordered and sold promotional items, and ran a new fundraiser (I’m looking at you finance and accounting majors who think you have no place here).
And of course I got to be a leader, holding meetings, speaking in front of large groups, and leading projects (management/general business).
So no, I was not a marketing major. I was an HR Management student, and I went on to pursue a career in that field after graduation. My first job is with an HR PPO in Indianapolis and I couldn’t be happier. But AMA was a huge part of my life and it helped me so much. It gave me so many experiences, and I will be able to use what I have learned to do great things. So if you aren’t a marketing major either, maybe still think about stopping by the next AMA meeting to see what it’s all about.
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