The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Panelists talk marketing careers

Nearly 40 undergraduate and graduate students made their way through the rain to see three panelists at the Careers in Marketing event Wednesday evening.

As part of SMU’s Campus Career events this spring, the panel discussion featured three women in marketing from Dr. Pepper, Mary Kay and Hewlett-Packard in the bottom floor of the Crow building.

Paige Johnston, president of the DFW chapter of the American Marketing Association, led the discussion, asking first how current students should prepare in order to succeed after school. Some audience members then put pen to paper, as if eager to soon feel at ease about the unsteady market they are embarking upon.

All panelists agreed that background of finance would help immensely. Rhonda Shasteen, chief marketing officer at Mary Kay, believed that the more generalists have an advantage – looking at a proposal with different angles helps in business.

“The ones who are going to be held back are the ones who can’t look at it with a financial perspective,” she said.

Emily Greene, in brand strategy and advertising at Hewlett-Packard, believes a well-rounded candidate makes for a good employee.

“Get experience in everything you can,” she said as she explained that one person might have to switch over positions at times.

Johnston continued the discussion by asking about the students’ generation. The panelists commented on how they deal with generation gaps in business and how young adults in the students’ generation need to improve.

Close in age to the generation but well-experienced, Angela Snellings, innovation process manager at Dr. Pepper, mentioned how young people expect too much out of their new jobs.

“We’re well-educated and well-exposed – we feel entitled to move up quickly,” she said with sincerity. As her facial expression changed, she yelled, “We’re not!”

As she called herself a “racehorse,” Shasteen also mentioned how her personal drive to move up in the business was unsatisfactory. As a newcomer to Mary Kay, she had planned on moving to the top.

“There are a larger percentage of racehorses in the population,” therefore everyone wants to make his name fast, get on top – fast, she said.

Currently at the top of her division, she says she was disappointed when that title came without the accomplished feeling for which she had longed. She had finally gotten the promotion that she had wanted and for which she had worked for so long.

That promotion “was a great moment,” she said, “but that’s all it was.”

Greene and Shasteen encouraged students to take in information while in school and forever after. According to her, it helps tremendously in the marketing business.

“It is so important to be continuously on a learning curve,” Greene said.

You must “have a healthy paradigm about growth,” Shasteen said as all four women on the floor nodded their heads.

As Snellings said, the “soft facts” can help one in an interview even. Knowing more personal things about a business makes relations stronger, and peoples’ view of your work better.

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