Blog: Be Open to Learn....Change
Author: Edwin Garcia
Posted: March 11, 2016

Click here to read the original post on PSU's Fearless Business blog.

Welcome to my journey through the School of Business Administration (SBA)! I am an advertising and marketing major. Through this blog, I will be chronicling my experiences pursuing the Athletic & Outdoor (A&O) Industry Certificate from start to finish. My career aspirations are to work in a creative and challenging business environment where I can interact with professionals to promote new products. In order to achieve my goals, I am enhancing my general education with internships, student groups, and certifications. Along the way, I invite you to interact with me via social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram), join me at the various A&O-hosted events, and say hi around campus. Let’s get started! Because of limited space, and in order to insure that my classmates are just as dedicated as I am, an application was required for MKTG 437 Channel Management in the A&O Industry. MKTG 437 is generally the last class in the certification process. The excerpt below is from my application to MKTG 437. I was asked to define my brand and story. To me, they are one and the same -- each developing the other over time.

“My path to this point in my education has been unique, and that path has come to define my brand. After two different majors at two different schools, I was quickly humbled by my mistakes. I had to focus on my strengths and persevere despite setbacks. Those strengths brought me to the SBA where I have gained the confidence to achieve success. Although the A&O industry is competitive, I am hardworking and I am determined to thrive in this environment. My motivations to pursue an education and career in this industry are authentic and rooted deeply in my passions. Before, I made decisions based on fear – fear of judgment, fear of career uncertainty, fear of failure. Now, I act based on love - love for achievement, love for myself, love for my family. My brand has been torn down and rebuilt. My brand is focused and persevering. My brand is confident and striving. My brand is competitive and hardworking. My brand is authentic and passionate. My brand is loving what I do.”

Thankfully, the SBA had helped me define who I am and what I want to do. The amazing thing about business is that it empowers me to combine my strengths and passions into a career. I want a career in the A&O industry because it is among the most competitive, exciting, and innovative. I follow adidas, Nike, and Under Armour very closely, as do millions of others. When I travel off the beaten path, I have preferences in my performance gear – Columbia, North Face, Patagonia, etc. – and I happen to live in the mecca of the industry. Luckily for us as college students, HR managers are seeking prepared, talented individuals to fill key business roles. Before I started this journey, I had the privilege of conducting an informational interview with a Senior HR Manager at adidas. From the interview, I gathered that the journey is difficult; he compared job seeking to playing the lottery. However, he also advised me that gaining the right experience is key to catching their eye, mentioning the A&O Certificate at PSU specifically. I opted to postpone my graduation to pursue the A&O Certificate. It was not long before the program showed its worth. I joined A&O Connect, a student group that hosts industry professionals to share their experiences. The first meeting I attended featured Russ Hopcus, the Senior VP of North America Sales at Columbia Sportswear. He had some words of encouragement and inspiration from his experience:

1. We Own Our Career Path.

2. Our Paths Are Not Linear.

3. Progress Through Performance.

4. Be Open To Learn...Change.

    Pursuing the A&O Certificate fits the criteria of all four, so I am on the right course.

    If you are passionate about fitness, the outdoors, performance gear, and sports, then I encourage you to get the right experience.



    Edwin_Garcia Edwin is a senior business student majoring in Advertising and Marketing. He is also a member of A&O Connect, a student group that hosts industry professionals.