The marketing industry opens doors to a wide variety of diverse opportunities. For undergraduate students in this discipline, homing in on a career path can feel a bit overwhelming as they begin their journeys and navigate options.
This is where the Broad College’s Marketing Leadership Advisory Board comes in. This advisory board consists of professionals who hold higher level marketing roles in various industries and have agreed to provide guidance to the college’s Department of Marketing through their service on the board. Most board members are also MSU alumni.
The student engagement committee of the advisory board aims to provide unique value to the marketing program by identifying new marketing strategies to incorporate into the curriculum. In 2021, they wanted to implement new ways to connect students to alumni outside of career fairs and networking events.
To do so, the committee launched the Marketing Spotlight podcast with a vision to help educate undergraduate students about a variety of marketing career paths, using an engaging format tailored to students’ busy lifestyles. Each episode features Broad marketing alumni from companies such as Google, Ford Motor Company and Valvoline who have established a robust career and are eager to share their experiences.
Katie Sadler (B.A. Marketing ’15), board member and chair of the committee, serves as host of the podcast. As a product brand manager at Whirlpool, Sadler uses her own marketing knowledge to steer the conversation and direct meaningful questions to provide valuable insight.
Along with Sadler, Eric Doerr, director of student and corporate engagement in the Department of Marketing, and podcast producer and editor Coby Moscowitz (M.S. Marketing Research ’20) work as a team to bring the podcast to life. Jessica Richards, director of the M.S. in Marketing Research program, was also a driving force, thanks to her prior experience in creating a Spartan Insights podcast for Broad’s MSMR program.
“Students can hear from MSU marketing alumni and get advice on getting that first job — finding a job, interviewing, negotiation tips — or starting your own business that is not taught in a classroom,” Moscowitz said. “Students can hear the personal stories from alumni of the challenges and growth they faced along their journey after graduating from MSU.”
Sadler added, “We thought a podcast would be a great way to expose students to a network of alumni on a large scale. We also know that connecting out of the blue can be intimidating; the podcast gives alumni and students common ground to start a conversation.”
The guest speakers offer career advice from a variety of perspectives and industries, from technology to start-up consumer goods. Oftentimes, they also discuss their lives outside of their current role, such as their passion projects.
For instance, Stephen Brieloff (B.A. Marketing ’13), director of product management at Expedia Group, joined Sadler as the guest on the latest episode, which aired Oct. 25. During the episode, Brieloff shared how he created a card game in his spare time and offered two valuable practices he has implemented to aid in his success.
“Surround yourself with really great people and people who will support you. I am someone who takes time every week to think about how I’ve done in all facets of my life. Very actively collecting feedback I think is key, especially when you can find individuals you trust to seek feedback from and course correct,” he said.
Across all the episodes, Sadler mentioned recurring themes such as the lasting impact Broad faculty have made on many Spartans’ careers. Additionally, several alumni have careers that started in marketing but then transformed, which serves as a testament to the idea that if one is a good marketer and understands how to market themselves, they can do anything.
“Every time I talk to alumni, I’m inspired by their passion to make an impact on the world. I think that is something that’s really unique to MSU,” Sadler shared. “Each and every Spartan has a true hunger to make the world a better place. ‘Spartans Will’ is not just a campaign, it’s a mentality.”
Doerr added, “It is our hope that the podcasts will help educate current and future students on the variety of roles and career paths that can be pursued with a degree in marketing, as well as inform the listener about the most relevant issues, opportunities, challenges within marketing today.”
From an alumnus who shares his experience working for P. Diddy to an alumna starting a career in fashion and founding her own lifestyle brand and everything in between, there are countless things to learn about through the Broad Spartans featured on the podcast.
“Marketing Spotlight has reminded me of just how large our Spartan community is. If you are passionate about an industry, a topic or a career path, I can guarantee you there is a Spartan somewhere that can help you blaze your path,” Sadler said. “The energy and pride that comes from being a Spartan is electric — and each alumni wants to share that energy with students and help them find their passion.”
There are currently 14 published episodes available, and about 10 new episodes release every semester. Listen to Marketing Spotlight on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and YouTube.