2023-24 Marketing Newsletter

Photo of Penn State Behrend sign with Marketing Newsletter Text

In This Issue

What's New With the Marketing Major?

Photo of Sean Yim

During the 2023-24 academic year, the Marketing program hosted a series of professional and networking events. In Fall 2023, the Marketing Day event showcased panel discussions with our marketing advisory board members. These experts shared their insights across various marketing areas and provided early-career advice.

Spring 2024 featured a Marketing Week event, which included our annual marketing advisory board meeting. This meeting was an opportunity to share updates in the program and discuss future directions for our curriculum. Furthermore, several marketing advisory board members joined class discussions on various marketing courses, such as buyer behavior, personal selling, and advertising and promotion.

A highlight of the week was a joint speech by Erie Insurance employees Kim Kaercher and Melissa Gustafson, Executives in Residence for Marketing and Project and Supply Chain Management, respectively. They introduced the concept of agile project management and its application in marketing functions. The session concluded with discussions on artificial intelligence, diversity, equity, and inclusiveness initiatives at Erie Insurance.

Looking forward, the marketing program is excited to introduce two new courses: Sports Marketing, offered in the summer; and Advanced Marketing Analytics, offered in the fall, both led by Dr. Ben Lee. We eagerly anticipate more exciting developments and achievements in the years ahead, aiming to enhance our students' learning experiences.

Dr. Sean Yim, associate professor of marketing, marketing discipline lead, Black School of Business

Faculty Spotlight

Photo of Amit Agarwal

Dr. Amit Agarwal

Dr. Agarwal is an assistant professor of marketing who teaches Introductory Marketing, Business-to-Business Marketing, and Global Marketing. His research interests include network effects, technology innovation and adoption, B2B marketing strategy, and digital media and communication.

What inspired you to pursue a career in your field of expertise?

During my MBA, I realized that marketing was the only area that could guide other business functions on how to align with customers’ evolving needs. As I was good with math and data analysis, I developed an interest in empirical marketing and decided to build expertise in it.

How do you stay updated and incorporate new developments or trends in your field into your teaching methods?

I regularly follow reliable and comprehensive sources of information such as reputed peer-reviewed journals, news media (e.g., Bloomberg News), and industry reports (e.g., McKinsey, Think Google).

What advice would you give to aspiring students or individuals considering a career in your field?

Be open to taking early-stage risks in your career without thinking too much about the sunk investments. If despite putting serious efforts, you are not able to put your heart into what you do, it is time to explore what fascinates you and develop skills in that area.

What non-marketing jobs have you held? What surprising skills were transferable?

Outside marketing, my role as a technical analyst made me well-versed in various programming languages and database management systems. My role as a consultant trained me on how to analyze a business problem and apply relevant technical skills to solve it. These two skills are essential in my current role.

Alumni Spotlight

Photo of Breanna McClain in front of a bookcase

Breanna McClain, '22

Breanna McClain is the marketing and event coordinator at Penn State Behrend’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences, where she helps advertise and coordinate various school events.

What were some of your most memorable experiences or activities during your time at Behrend?

During my undergraduate studies, I had an internship at the Erie Zoo, which was a fantastic experience that allowed me to mesh my love for animals and marketing. I was responsible for the silent auction during their most significant event, “The Mane Event,” and we were able to raise $10,405. This was undoubtedly an experience I won’t ever forget.

How did your time at Penn State Behrend prepare you for your career path?

My time at Behrend taught me to be an independent worker, which keeps me motivated to complete tasks promptly. I am the only one in our office making marketing decisions, so I must remain on top of everything occurring in HSS so nothing slips through the cracks.

Are there any projects or accomplishments in your career that you are particularly proud of? 

One of the accomplishments that I’m most proud of is the success of one of my events: Kochel Karnival. We had 400+ attendees during Welcome Week, which was listed as the most-attended event on campus in the fall. A lot of time and effort went into making this a successful event, and I was overjoyed to watch it unfold.

Student Spotlight

Photo of Abigail Cochran, '24

Abigail Cochran ’24

Abigail is a senior majoring in Marketing with a minor in Project and Supply Chain Management. Her campus involvement includes the American Marketing Association, BVZ Radio, and Schreyer Honors.

What inspired you to attend Penn State Behrend, and how did you choose your major?

The Black School of Business is highly ranked in comparison to other business schools across the country and provides the opportunity to talk with professors and not a student teacher.

Are you involved in any clubs or extracurricular activities on campus, and why did you choose to participate in these activities?

Through the American Marketing Association, I joined a network of Penn State Marketing alumni to attend speaker sessions with marketing professionals across industries.

Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of school, and how do you balance these with your academic commitments?

I enjoy staying active and try to work out at home or at the gym at least five times a week. I think that staying active is important to staying happy and healthy. My favorite ways to exercise and stay active include lifting weights, using the StairMaster machine, or running on the elliptical.

Have you had the opportunity to participate in any internships or hands-on learning experiences related to your major? 

I spent two summers working for Betts Industries in the purchasing department and working on multiple projects. Some of my favorite projects were a VMI project, a time study, and an ISO document review. I was also a marketing consultant for C&Z Rentals LLC last summer. Through this opportunity, I was able to create two brochures for their rental properties that were shown to potential buyers.

American Marketing Association Club Update

The Penn State Behrend American Marketing Association (AMA) Chapter provides a welcoming community for students to discover, share, and grow their passion for the marketing field. As a community, this chapter holds value in educating one another by promoting the unique and vibrant career pathways marketing has to offer. AMA gives students the opportunity to learn and become aware of valuable internship and full-time career positions, while also creating an environment where students can thrive from networking events and speaker series. AMA is open to students of all majors! Those interested in joining can attend one of the club’s monthly sessions. Information about meetings can be found on BehrendSync, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

Behrend’s AMA chapter is in the process of relaunching after its student president graduated and faculty adviser moved to a new opportunity. Despite these challenges, the organization thrived during the spring semester. The club co-hosted speaker events featuring employers from Erie Insurance, JOANN, and others. Additionally, AMA members have welcomed speakers to their monthly meetings, including alumni like Alexa Winkler, who interned with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The club also collaborated with the International Business Club and Delta Sigma Pi, organizing a study night during the fall semester.

Celebrating Behrend’s 75th Anniversary

Clip art of old newspaper advertisements

This academic year has been full of events celebrating Behrend’s 75th anniversary.

A fun marketing fact: The Marketing major was first offered at Behrend in 1998. Internet blogs first appeared in 1998 and remain a way for companies to stay in touch with customers. Keen marketers turned to web advertising, banner ads, and charted contact through page impressions. Online shopping began catching on, and “pay per click through” gained momentum. Marketing has come a long way from the days of print ads in newspapers!