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 AMA Chapter Tours Industry Firms

AMA members on the rooftop at AdobeCal Poly American Marketing Association (AMA) board member Michaela Iunker describes the club’s industry tour hosted during fall quarter.

On Friday, Oct. 28, a bus transported sleepy and eager AMA members to San Francisco to tour McKesson and Adobe while having lunch at Zynga in between. We were led by marketing lecturer and AMA Faculty Advisor Lisa Simon. On our journey to San Francisco, AMA members brainstormed questions to ask the speaker panel at McKesson. Upon arrival, all members were dressed to impress and ready to connect with the panel. Our group included many underclassmen and first-time freshman who were taking their first visits to major employers.

AMA members at McKessonWe received a tour in McKesson’s “Vision Room,” which displays all the products they create, all with messages on how much they affect, not only their cutovers, but also the medical industry. After the small tour, it was time to meet with the panel, which included Jeff Stalcup, VP of corporate marketing; Andy Burtis, senior VP of corporate marketing and communications; Stasia Lord, VP of brand for McKeson Corporate; Chi Nguyen, VP of health system marketing for the U.S. pharmaceutical business; Dara Shulman, senior director of marketing for the McKesson Specialty Health business; Rohit Parbhakar, director of digital marketing strategy for McKesson Corporate; and David Bone, director of enterprise employee communications for McKesson Corporate. The AMA members could easily see what it was like to work for a big organization like McKesson and if they felt like the culture fit their style.

Going on a corporate tour is more than having the opportunity to see really cool companies, but it’s a chance for members to see if working in those kind of environments would truly make them happy after graduation.

After the members finished with the panel, we hoped on the bus to have lunch at Zynga. I was a totally different style than McKesson, and it was a great opportunity to see a different style of company culture. We were also fed breakfast for lunch, which was fun for the AMA members.

Once we had a lunch and explored the company we were quickly whisked away to Adobe. Adobe was more creative-based and had a very friendly laid-back atmosphere. Members could really see the difference to what it would be like to work for a company versus a creative brand like Adobe. The really nice thing about Adobe was that the company employs a lot of Cal Poly alumni, so we got a chance to have a panel with them to learn more about the company and ask questions.

Cal Poly AMA would like to say a huge thank you to McKesson, Zynga and Adobe for hosting our group and supporting the success of Cal Poly marketing students.

Hear about the impact of the visit from a few AMA members who took the tour:

“Going on the corporate tour was an amazing experience because I got to see how diverse companies are within the same area. Being a first-year just starting to explore my opportunities in business, it was very beneficial to see how different companies operate, treat their work environment, and provide for the public. It gave me a better idea of what to expect in the professional world depending on what type of industry I choose to go in. The biggest thing that I learned from the corporate tour was that no matter what your specific background is, there are always opportunities to excel within a business, as long as you crave that success.” — Daniel Gonzalez

“It was extremely beneficial to hear a panel of around 10 Cal Poly Alumni discuss their experience and give tips & tricks to us, as they were in our positions only a few years ago. I thoroughly enjoyed bonding with other members of AMA and meeting new people as well, and I would recommend a corporate tour through AMA to anyone! I am thankful for this wonderful experience and hope that I have the opportunity to attend another tour in the future!” — Elena DeAngelis

“I really enjoyed going on the corporate tour this quarter. It was really cool to see so many different industries in one day. Going on this tour has especially sparked my interest in the healthcare industry and perhaps even McKesson. What I love about the corporate tours is that you get to see a side of the company that you wouldn’t otherwise get to see at a career fair or through a company’s website. At McKesson, you could really see the passion that people had for making a difference in other people’s lives, something that resonates with me. Overall the tour was a great way to get to know new members in a smaller setting as well as learn about what different industries have to offer.” — Casey Li

AMA members at Adobe“The corporate tour experience was wonderful. Before I went on this tour, I had never been to a successful corporate office or had the behind the scenes look that I received after this experience. I had never considered working at Adobe before the tour, but after it seems like a job that is very appealing to me. It helped me learn about opportunities and careers I’d enjoy that had never occurred to me before. It was great to get to hear from the panel at McKesson, they gave a lot of great advice that will stick with me for a long time.” — Rachel Yenofsky

“The professionals at McKesson had great advice regarding what to look for in a career. One of the panelists mentioned the analogy of picking a career like you would pick professors for classes in college. When we’re choosing classes, we always try to pick the best professors based on quality, whether we’ll actually learn something from the class, and if it will be a good overall experience. Deciding on a job position should be done in the same way. Rather than choosing a job based on simply the job description, the professionals at McKesson emphasized the importance of choosing a position that forces us to be better and more innovative than we were before. Overall, I had a great experience on the tour and am endlessly thankful for the opportunities and connections I’ve gained through AMA.” — Marisa

“As a freshman, I enjoyed seeing what different opportunities and experiences lie ahead for me in terms of my education at Cal Poly, and my experience in certain fields in the workforce. What really impressed me in all three of these companies was the amount of Cal Poly graduates they hire, along with their high praises of the preparedness of Cal Poly alums. During these tours, I was quite pleased to see how business and marketing could be applied to such a variety of fields, from healthcare to mobile games to software, and many more.” — Tali Pilip

Cal Poly AMA: The Link Between Classroom and Boardroom

Cal Poly’s American Marketing Association (AMA) chapter has become a vital link between marketing students and industry, taking students off campus to tour, network and experience a day at a number of California’s top corporations. In 2014 members had the chance to visit Citrix, Sonos, Appfolio, Symantec, Screen Engine and more on field trips that helped students see themselves leading marketing efforts on a grand scale. The Orfalea College of Business and Cal Poly took notice, recognizing the AMA’s efforts by naming it the 2014 Orfalea College of Business Best Club of the Year.

AMA has also made great strides in attracting industry leaders to campus through speaking opportunities at its popular weekly meetings and the annual Marketing Career Conference held each February. The conference has grown to host 20 companies with roughly twice the number of industry executives and recruiters. Today the event brings together Cal Poly’s top marketing students with professionals and alumni working in technology, healthcare and entertainment marketing for a fast-paced day of panel discussions, student pitches, and a keynote speaker exploring some of the industry’s biggest challenges. The event has also become a direct link for companies looking to source top marketing talent ahead of graduation.

Many marketing alumni stay connected to Cal Poly by lending support and insight to the AMA chapter. From participation in the Executive in Residence program to coordinating vital internships for students, reconnecting with Cal Poly enriches the marketing program and expands the alumni network. To get involved, contact or visit

Cal Poly Students Shine at the 2015 American Marketing Association International Collegiate Conference

DSC_3726In March, 12 Cal Poly students traveled with faculty to New Orleans for the 2015 American Marketing Association (AMA) International Collegiate Conference. While at the conference, Cal Poly’s AMA chapter was recognized for excellence professional development, chapter planning and membership. In addition to networking with marketing professionals from around the nation, Cal Poly’s cohort competed against dozens of other university teams in practical and simulated exercises.

Cal Poly’s AMA chapter placed second out of 35 schools in the Strategic Allocation of Business Resources (SABRE) Business Simulation. SABRE provides the competitive environment in which students leverage market studies to make strategic product planning, sales force deployment, advertising, pricing, and research and development expenditure decisions about a simulated company. The exercise mimics one year in the marketplace, determining market share, product contribution and overall profit for each company.

The chapter also took second place for its video contest entry promoting Be The Match, the AMA’s national philanthropic partner. Cal Poly students created an engaging mini-documentary to share stories about bone marrow donors and recipients whose lives have been changed forever by the organization. The videography team also captured interviews with Cal Poly’s Be the Match chapter president and edited the video together to promote the program on campus. View the video here:

More than 180 universities attended the AMA conference, including 1,481 students and 183 faculty advisors.