Samantha Marsilla spoke to the members of Binghamton University’s Women in Business (WIB) club via Skype in the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development on Wednesday about how she utilizes her business administration degree, with a concentration in marketing, as a sales planner at Ziff Davis, a global digital media company.
Marsilla, who graduated from BU in 2015, was the treasurer of WIB and majored in business administration. WIB hosted the event and members asked Marsilla questions about post-graduate life, her work environment and how she advanced within the company she works for.
She started out as an executive assistant for the CEO of Ziff Davis, and said she stood out by making herself an asset and constantly offering others assistance.
As a sales planner, she acts as a liaison by working with a sales representative for different clients, such as Lenovo, and communicates their needs back to Ziff Davis.
Marsilla suggested that if one is looking for a career in marketing, it is important to talk to professors who have a strong background to narrow down exactly what you want to do in the field. She also told attendees to look at qualifications necessary for jobs that they may want in order to prepare themselves accordingly.
“Once you have an idea of what area of marketing you want to go into, and what kind of job you want in the future, look up those jobs, look at the qualifications and see what kind of hard skills you’ll need,” Marsilla said.
Michelle Dec, a member of WIB and a sophomore majoring in accounting, found Marsilla through the group’s alumni list. Marsilla was noted as having a unique perspective because, according to Dec, business administration majors are often neglected within the School of Management, as many of the events the school hosts cater more toward students studying accounting.
Dec also said that she thought it was necessary for students to hear from an alumna with real-life experiences in the workforce.
“I think it’s important to hear from alumni because they have more relevant experience,” Dec said. “I could learn a finance formula and think it’d be the most important thing in the world, but I don’t know if I’ll actually have to use it.”
Marlee Burr, the president of WIB and a junior majoring in finance, said that the club wanted to provide its members with a different perspective that was more marketing-focused.
“A lot of the time we feel like [business administration] majors are underrepresented in a way,” Burr said. “We wanted to reach out to different alumni — but specifically with her and marketing — that way we could provide that platform for marketing majors to learn more about what it actually is.”
Marsilla also mentioned this underrepresentation and said that acquiring a marketing job is a lot different than acquiring a job in accounting or finance because the recruitment cycles are less concrete and many positions that are available only recruit immediate hires.
She also said that she learned through experience as well as by asking for help when she needed it.
“It’s OK to ask for help,” Marsilla said. “Ask people to show you how to do something, don’t ask them to do it for you.”