While sitting in class it can be hard to picture yourself utilizing the things you are learning in the real world. However, after interviewing Samantha Strebel on her experience working for Johnson and Johnson as a consumer-marketing co-op, we can see how useful her classroom knowledge has been to her in the real world.
Sam has taken two major-specific classes that proved to be necessary for her job in J&J. “Although marketing is such a broad function, the two specific classes I have taken within my major have helped me succeed at my job. A huge project that I am working on here at J&J is creating a business plan for Listerine Ultraclean. Within this project I must understand key consumer insights. To fully grasp this idea I need to use my research and analytic skills, which I learned in my marketing research class. From this research, I can dig deep into the insights to pull key consumer behavior learnings, and apply them to my business plan which will eventually impact the company in a positive way,” said Samantha.
Sam explained that what she learned at school built a foundation for her to keep learning even more at her co-op. She said she is a firm believer that hand-on experience is very beneficial to a student, but that the courses we take at Penn State are necessary to be able to thrive in a work environment.
Not only did her classroom experience help, but also her extracurricular activities. Sam has been involved with
Valley Magazine (Penn State’s life and style magazine) on their PR/Marketing team since she was a freshman. According to Sam, working with the magazine helped her learn how to promote using various tools, which she is also doing now for J&J. “Part of my job is managing day-to-day Facebook deliverables for our brand and planning and executing internal PR events for the oral care franchise,” said Sam.
Sam is a perfect example of how the work we do here at PSU and the things we are taught in class form the necessary stepping-stones to thriving in the workplace.