Senior Spotlight: Michael Di Dio

Michael Di DioMichael Di Dio is not one to sit idle. The Orfalea College of Business senior from San Ramon has been involved in several startups throughout his college career as well as played on 26 intermural teams. He has involved himself with the American Marketing Association, Cal Poly Entrepreneurs, Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Executive Partners Program, Financial Management Association and Cal Poly Investing Club.

“My involvement in multiple startups while being a student have played the biggest role in my professional development. I have learned more than I could ever imagine going through several stages of team building, financing and building of business models, and it has been a blast.”

In addition to involvements with startups, Di Dio also landed an internship last summer with Roseman Wagner Wealth Management, which has since offered him a position following graduation. Di Dio has maintained an early financial background while concentrating in marketing and minoring in industrial technology.

Di Dio credits his successes to those around him, crediting his roommate, co-founder, mentor and professors.

He names Kathy Wright, his mentor through executive partners, as having an extraordinary influence on his four college years. “She has helped me figure out what exactly I want to do and constantly volunteers her entire available life to helping her students out.”

Jeff Hess, his marketing analytics professor, taught him how companies value their customers in a way that was refreshing and really spoke to Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing motto.

Jean-Francois Coget, his team dynamics professor, taught the essentials of team-dynamic skills, skills that he has used in the three years since taking his class and that he anticipates using the rest of his life.

Di Dio credits his knowledge of the essentials of strategic marketing and business management to Benjamin Alexander, his business strategy professor.

It is partially through his mentors and partially through hard work and strategic planning that Di Dio has accomplished so much in his four years here. One of his startups, which has been underway for three years, has had involvement from Microsoft executives and international entrepreneurs.

Di Dio’s involvement in the Orfalea College of Business ambassador program has allowed him to give back to the school while continuing to learn and has given him a voice in trying to improve areas which he felt were somewhat lacking.

Di Dio dreams of one day owning a hedge fund or VC fund that invests in startups that strive to make a positive impact on society.

American Marketing Association Tours LA Agencies

Cal Poly students at ad agency Team One

On Friday, April 28th, Cal Poly’s American Marketing Association traveled with 19 of their members to Los Angeles for their spring corporate tour. The organization was able to visit Saatchi & Saatchi, a global communications and advertising agency network, and their sister luxury brands advertising agency, Team One. Both agencies allowed members to gain insight into the different career paths in advertising, such as account management, strategy, copywriting, creative directing, and marketing. At Saatchi & Saatchi, members were able to tour their office and interview company leaders. At Team One, members were able to tour their AR/VR lab, offices, and hear from a variety of team members. Overall, the tour helped members understand the opportunities in advertising and the steps they can take to land their dream job (hopefully at one of these top-notch companies!)

Hear directly from students on the impact this experience had on their approach to their careers:

AJ Goldberg
The AMA Spring Advertising Corporate Tour surpassed my expectations.  I was fascinated by the different fields within advertising and being able to have my questions answered by industry professionals. Specifically, Evan Ferrari, the Saatchi & Saatchi advertising strategy director truly taught me about the avenue of strategy behind the advertisements which is now one of my top career choices.  I found the Team One environment very rewarding and it helped me realize that virtual and augmented reality are the way to advertise for the future of luxury products.  The tour was planned excellently by the AMA board, specifically Brenna Jensen!  It was truly one of the most rewarding opportunities I have experienced at Cal Poly so far.

Elvis Nguyen
Touring Saatchi & Saatchi and Team One was truly a one-of-a-kind experience. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing what the creative side of marketing had to offer through engaging with the speakers of various departments. Besides a short presentation by Ogilvy & Mather during an AMA general meeting, I had no real exposure to the advertising industry. In a sense, it opened up a new career pathway in which I really could see myself working in. My favorite part of the tour was viewing all the storyboards of each firm. It really shows how much work goes into an advertisement that is often taken for granted. That being said, I am very thankful for having the privilege to attend this tour and am even more grateful for being a member of Cal Poly AMA. I look forward to future corporate tours and maybe one day working for such amazing companies.

Bryanna McLoy
On Friday, I traveled to LA with AMA and visited two Advertising Agencies, Saatchi & Saatchi and Team One. I am very interesting in working at an agency after college, so learning about the different positions at the firm was beneficial and gave me an idea of what job I would like in the future. I’m interested in the creative side of marketing, and even more specifically the production side of advertising. I learned that production was a separate part of advertising, giving me more insight about what I should be doing now the will prepare me for an internship later. The best part about the trip was seeing all of the storyboards for commercials and being able to talk to the Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi. I would love to be in his position one day, and he gave good advice on how to get to his position.

Cal Poly American Marketing Association Succeeds at International Collegiate Conference

American Marketing Association(AMA) International Collegiate Conference

In March, a group of 12 Cal Poly students traveled to the 39th annual American Marketing Association (AMA) International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans, where they took second place out of 30 schools in the stimulation competition. Additionally, Cal Poly’s AMA chapter was recognized for its outstanding performance.

Throughout the conference, students competed in competitions, listened to talks given by industry professionals, and attended career development workshops. In order to prepare for the conference, Cal Poly AMA attendees worked on their competitions two quarters in advance. In the simulation competition, Cal Poly students Christopher Stubblefield, Christopher Walden, Reese Woodard and Marshall Zia took second place out of 30 schools. Cal Poly AMA’s chapter as a whole was recognized for its outstanding performance in all six functional categories including, chapter planning, professional development, membership, communications, fundraising, and social impact and community service.

Overall, Cal Poly’s AMA chapter continues to succeed and be ranked as one of the top chapters at the International Collegiate Conference. Due to the dedication of its members and Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing education, Cal Poly AMA has been ranked as AMA’s top 12 collegiate chapter out of 400 clubs.

Cal Poly American Marketing Association to Host Marketing Career Conference Feb. 17

Student team presenting at Cal Poly Marketing Career Conference

Cal Poly’s chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) will host its annual professional development and student recruiting event, the Marketing Career Conference, on Friday, Feb. 17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center on campus.

The career conference aims to link Cal Poly marketing students to professionals and alumni who can offer career opportunities and mentorship. This year’s theme, “Coloring Outside the Lines,” aims to inspire marketing students to imagine a unique future and then find the job or internship that will help pave the way for success after graduation.

Rex Briggs, founder and CEO of Marketing Evolution, will provide the keynote address at 10:10 a.m. in Phillips Hall. Briggs is a recognized expert in marketing return on investment.

The event will also feature a student pitch competition judged by a panel of industry veterans. New this year is the Creative Showcase Competition, where students can display creative marketing portfolios and gather feedback from marketing professionals.

The Marketing Career Conference will also feature dynamic industry panels and multiple networking sessions with industry leaders who are looking to fill internship and career positions within their organizations.

Business professional attire is highly encouraged, and a light lunch will be provided for attendees. For more information visit or send your questions to Register to attend at

Cal Poly to Host International Marketing and Public Policy Conference June 23-25

Cal Poly will host the American Marketing Association’s (AMA) 2016 Marketing and Public Policy Conference Thursday through Saturday, June 23-25. The event is expected to attract marketers, academics and public policy makers from around the world to the Cal Poly campus, representing a wide range of universities, agencies and organizations.

With the theme “fostering change for communities and societies,” speakers will explore how policy on large and small scales can ignite change and impact the quality of life for consumers. Cal Poly alumnus Peter Feldman (Business Administration, ’89), global product general manager at Amgen, will give the keynote presentation at an awards luncheon Friday, June 24.

AMA will also host an intensive workshop and doctoral seminar prior to the event June 20-23. The workshop is intended to increase the number of scholars and the quality of research in the marketing and public policy domain by providing doctoral-level education and mentoring sessions from accomplished senior researchers. Participants will have the opportunity to hear talks, receive feedback on research, interact and socialize, and identify new research ideas and directions along with these researchers and mentors.

The event is co-chaired by Brennan Davis, associate marketing professor in Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business, and Beth Vallen, assistant marketing professor at Villanova University.

Registration and conferences details are available at