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Oklahoma Christian’s AMA hosted Alumni Panel

Oklahoma Christian University’s American Marketing Association held a special chapter meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 1. An alumni panel came to discuss how the AMA helped them succeed in the professional world.

Riley Redling, the vice president of AMA, said this was the first time to host an alumni panel.

“The purpose of this meeting was to have the opportunity to hear three recent alumni who are now established in the professional world,” Redling said. “They told us how being a member of the AMA helped them in the workplace, gave some general professional development advice and tips, and took questions from the audience.”

Redling said AMA at Oklahoma Christian helps students prepare for the working world.

“AMA is a professional chapter on campus devoted to enhancing the professional development of its members,” Redling said. “We do this by hosting guest speakers, leading professional development workshops (resumes, interviewing, etc.), organizing business tours in the OKC area, and more.”

The panel hosted three alumni: Brinkley Acord, Casey Swanson, and Madison Arnold. Acord graduated in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing management, and she served as the vice president of membership in AMA her senior year. Now, Acord works as the project coordinator of Evolve Research.

Swanson graduated in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing management, and she served as the vice president of professional development her senior year. Swanson now works as the Product Analyst of Paycom.

Arnold graduated in 2019 with a bachelor’s in marketing management with an emphasis in advertising, and she was the vice president of membership and the president of AMA in the following year. Arnold now works as the Corporate Partnerships Activation Manager of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

During the panel, Acord said motivation helps students succeed at a workplace. 

“Motivation is self-managing, and I think that is probably one of the most important qualities,” Acord said.

Acord said self-management and a willingness to learn or improve can increase motivation in the workplace. She said treating everyone well is a key element of her job. 

“Also, I want to touch on treating every person like they’re the most important person in the room,” Acord said. “We do a lot of work with different clients and you never know who is going to show back up and how they can help you down the road, so just treat everybody like the most important person for your connections that kind of ties in with us well.”

Arnold said connecting with professors is important to get a job or an internship.

“I will just say to plug your professors one more time, because they know what they’re talking about and they’re well connected,” Arnold said. “They’re willing to invest in you and to pour into you, and not everybody will be.”

All three alumni who attended AMA’s conference had presented a marketing research project while they were students. They said the experience of presenting was worth it.

“Being able to present it in a professional setting and show off the date is something that I could even talk about in interviews for jobs,” Swanson said. “I am now a market researcher, so it works well, and it’s a great experience and great on the resume.”

Redling thought the chapter meeting was a great time for students to hear the experiences of alumni.

“It was an exceptional opportunity to talk to three AMA alumni who are all thriving in their careers,” Redling said.

AMA has a chapter meeting once every other Wednesday. They usually have a guest speaker as a professional development activity after the vice president of Spiritual Development delivers a short devotional.

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