Come track (or hike?) with me from Beloit, Nike, Duke to Amazon
As a savvy cross-country runner, Martin walks or (runs?) us through his exhilarating journey from Beloit to cooperate strategy with Nike to Duke to marketing for the Washington Post to big-bold Amazon!
What drew you to Beloit?
More than anywhere else I was looking. I felt that Beloit pushed students to think differently about the world around them. At that time, I did not want a standard experience. I think there is a culture at Beloit that pushes you to have an opinion and understand the world around you. For me, that is really valuable.
For students who are considering attending Beloit, what is one piece of advice you would give them?
I can not tell you that Beloit is the perfect school for you, but I can tell you I had a memorable time there. It is an extremely welcoming environment. As such, you will meet amazing people and learn things that will blow your mind, and get to join in so many of the shared experiences that make Beloit a magical place. All the while, you will be learning how to approach problems differently, which, in retrospect, has been an enormous benefit to me throughout my career post-college.
How do you feel about your first-year experience at Beloit College?
For me, a college is a place for self-discovery and reinvention. I started college with a mindset that Beloit would be where I became an active and life-long learner and prepared myself for future successes. Beloit College has encouraged me to come out of my shell and pushed me forward relentlessly to develop and explore growth for my sake. My freshman year was just about meeting new people from all corners of the world, getting to know them, and learning from their stories. I also figured out what field I want to invest my time and effort in going in-depth. During my high school years, I already found myself interested in understanding how the markets and economies work as constituent parts of these world systems. So coming to college, I decided to take some Economics courses and quickly fell in love with this field.
What one piece of advice would you give to first-year students?
You will probably never find a time when it is easier to meet people, learn something new, speak a different language, get good at frisbee golf, or create some crazy stories. Four years really do go by fast, so try a lot of stuff and follow up on what you feel inspired by while exploring. To this day, I still remember singing at the top of my lungs and Bell-runs and late-night hikes and 1000 other cool things.
Year 2What are your majors and minors at Beloit? When did you declare each of these?
I double-majored in Business Economics (my former name was Economics and Management) and Political Science in my sophomore year. As mentioned earlier, after my freshman year, I discovered how much I enjoyed learning about individual behaviors and the impact of business activities on individuals and societies. I also decided to major in Political Science to further my understanding of how government decisions, policies, and laws related to the world economy.
What kinds of extracurricular activities did you get involved with at Beloit? Have any of these assisted with your career?
Beloit gives you the chance to try out a lot of cool stuff in an environment that is exceptionally welcoming. I joined cross-country when I was a sophomore because I thought the uniforms looked cool. It ended up leading to a lifetime of being a distance runner, which came with innumerable highs and lows both in college and afterward. My involvement with the Cross-country team undoubtedly taught me tremendous valuable skills, such as collaboration skills, persistence, and assertiveness. Those skills have been with me ever since.
Professor John Rapp of the Political Science Department has left the most impact on my growth during my time at Beloit. He encouraged me to build my reading habit by recommending many books outside the curriculum, and it was the first time I remember thinking about ideas. It really opened my eyes to how much cool stuff there is to learn out there.
What opportunities did you have as a Beloit College student?
All the experiences I had at Beloit were valuable and memorable. But I want to show my deepest gratitude to all connections and relationships I have made through Beloit - they have always supported me and guided me to the career journey I have embarked on. Beloit is small enough and tight enough that the community is really special. Any time I meet another Beloiter, it has always been a great moment. I have had a lot of help from the Beloit network through the years. Whenever I find a Beloiter working in a field that I am interested in, they are always more than happy to help out.
What path did you take from graduation to where you are now?
After graduation, I started as a research assistant and an analyst whose job mainly focused on building economic models at the Evaluation Office and The Department of Transportation in Oregon through the 2009 financial crisis. Then, I shifted to focus more on corporate strategy with Nike, started as the Financial Analyst of the Brand Business Planning Division, and ended my journey as the Strategy Manager (Stretch) of the Running Strategic Planning Office. During this time, I also improved my skills and knowledge by obtaining a master’s degree in Business Management at Duke University. After graduation, I worked in advertising marketing for The Washington Post, where I dealt closely with the CRM system and attribution modeling. Currently, I am back on the Retail side, starting my journey with Amazon.
What is your current job, and what does it involve?
I am currently working as a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Amazon, Fashion Division, focusing on brand management. For many people, brand management sometimes sounds vague, and hard to imagine what the job responsibilities are. So I want to give a brief explanation of what I am currently doing. Brand management is multifaceted and incorporates elements of psychology, graphic design, and finance. My work aims to increase consumer recognition of the brand and set it apart from competitors by molding the concept to appeal to a target audience. The favorite part of my job is to see brands come to life and observe the products that my colleagues and I have worked on in the wild (or on grocery shelves).