On Tuesday March 8th, top-level marketing executives from various firms located throughout the bay area flocked to Saint Mary's College in Moraga. The reason for their visit was simple: the opportunity to connect with SMC business students and potential co-workers at Tuesday night's "Meet the Firms" event. Organized by the award-winning Saint Mary's College chapter of the American Marketing Association (SMCAMA), this unique event sought to connect students, who have aspirations of a career in marketing, with local marketing executives and recruiters.

The first of its kind at Saint Mary's, SMCAMA president Kelly Fisher explains the impetus for creating such a noteworthy event. "A lot of business majors aren't necessarily looking for sales positions, so I figured SMCAMA could use our connections and create an event where they can have access to other business opportunities."

In the three years since SMCAMA began, the organization has hosted many events, but most have been small and drawn a single speaker who focused on a specific industry. This event however, included a diverse range of local, industry-leading firms, which spanned industries sectors as varied as finance, technology, media, food and beverage, retail and merchandising, and academia. But aside from the wealth of industry knowledge represented at the event, for the over one hundred attendees the qualitative benefit clearly was the opportunity to engage in face-to-face conversations and personal networking.

SMCAMA president Kelly Fisher explains what made this event so significant. "I think networking is critical to the success of a student getting a job. Not only can a student have an impression on a recruiter, but also a company can impress a student. You can learn a lot about a company, but until you speak to a representative, you won't truly know if you can fit in there. I found Target to be like that. They were hiring for Store Leadership Positions. At first glance, students were considering corporate instead of local managers. However, when you talked to the recruiters, you could really get a feel for why they chose to work for Target and why they continue to work for them."
Fisher also points out what drew these firms to attend this event. "Many of them do not have a direct "feed" of college students to recruit from when they have a position available." So, with SMCAMA's first ever "Meet the Firms" event turning out to be massive success for all those involved, what can you expect from the next one? You'll just have to attend to see for yourself.

For more information about SMC AMA or to check out some of their upcoming events, like a Sports Marketing Event with Mario Alito of the SF Giants, visit their website.

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