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Just Doing It

1959596102014425289718591719972581nMarketing student Megan Moran, a self-described ‘Nike fanatic,’ is running toward her dream job.

Megan Moran journeyed more than 2,000 miles to discover that her ideal employer is located just up the road from her hometown of Portland, Oregon.

She chose to attend SLU because of its size, commitment to students and Jesuit affiliation.

“I visited and fell in love with the campus and the people,” she said. “It was exactly what I was looking for in a school.”

Moran’s college experience began in the College for Public Health and Social Justice, but she soon realized that her heart was elsewhere.

A class taught by Economics Instructor Lisa Gladson convinced Moran that she belonged in the business school. “She was an amazing teacher who really made me realize how much business could apply to your whole life, not necessarily just your job,” she said.

To hone in on a specific concentration, Moran considered what she was most passionate about outside of school. And the answer was clear: marketing. “I’ve always admired the way Nike has made its brand so global and how they integrate their brand in so many different ways. I’ve just always been intrigued by branding in a way that I hadn’t explicitly realized,” she said.

Marketing would also enable her to tangibly help others, a philosophy embodied by Nike’s Doernbecher Freestyle program. This annual campaign enlists patients from Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland to design one-of-a-kind footwear and apparel, with 100 percent of the proceeds donated to the hospital that helped save these kids’ lives. To date, the annual program has raised over $11 million.  

“When I started taking marketing classes, I realized it was exactly where I needed to be,” she said. “Every business, organization and club needs some type of marketing campaign to help them attract donors and support. I want to apply my marketing mind to those types of opportunities.”

To engage her interest in art, computer graphics and video production, she opted to minor in visual communication. She later added a sports business minor to enhance her marketability to potential employers.

 

Connecting with Nike

Moran is grateful to Adjunct Professor Carol Johanek for her willingness to provide practical advice before her first meeting with a Nike recruiter, an opportunity she found out about the day before leaving for Thanksgiving break.

“I was freaking out about it, so I emailed Carol, who taught my Introduction to Marketing Management class,” Moran said. “She gave me her cell phone number and offered to speak with me. She was so proud and helpful, and I was shocked that she took time out of her busy schedule to help a student she had in her class for only a few weeks. I don’t think you get this kind of attention at a school other than SLU.”

Moran was a finalist in Nike’s highly competitive internship program, which attracts about 14,000 applicants annually. “I got through six rounds of interviews, but because the position was for an in-store communications position, they went with someone who had Nike retail store experience,” she said. “That was a bummer, but I’ve learned through my past four years that ‘no’ may just mean ‘not yet’ or ‘not now.’”

She keeps meticulous records of every Nike person she’s ever interacted with and is diligent about keeping in touch with them and looking for opportunities to connect with new contacts as well.

“I’m a fan of informational interviews. I’ve probably done about 12 of them in the past two years,” she said.

If Moran’s dream job doesn’t pan out by the time she graduates in May 2017, she hopes to work for another global company, such as Anheuser-Busch. Or she may pursue a job with a college athletic department or an internship with a professional sports team.

In the meantime, she is continuing to rack up practical marketing experience. This past summer, she completed a PR and production internship with the nationally syndicated television interview series, “In-Depth with Graham Bensinger,” a role she continues to serve.

Moran also helps create flyers and other marketing materials for the Billiken Ticket Office in SLU’s athletic department. “It’s been super valuable to see how a college athletic department works and makes money,” she said.

She previously worked for the St. Louis Rams, engaging with fans at community events and conducting grassroots marketing to learn more about why people attend or don’t attend games.

Though she’s a diehard college football and Oregon Ducks fan, she has a newfound respect for the devoted fan bases of the St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Blues. “I didn’t grow up with professional sports teams with such incredibly deep-rooted traditions. It’s really cool to see how a city can have so much camaraderie around a sports team,” she said.

 

‘Obsessed with SLU’

11077927102064673888722968171312772285976957nMany of Moran’s most significant learning experiences have occurred while completing non-traditional assignments.

She is currently creating a marketing campaign for Mid-America Chevy dealerships in her Integrated Marketing Communications course, taught by Associate Professor Andrew Kaikati, Ph.D. Her class is competing with other colleges across St. Louis for the opportunity to present their ideas to the region’s automobile dealers. “We’re learning so much because he’s teaching by applying information to a real-life project,” she said.  

Outside the classroom, she participates in the Sports Business Association and serves as social co-chair of Kappa Delta sorority.  

Last year, she volunteered twice a week for “The Overground Railroad to Literacy,” an organization co-founded by one of her sorority sisters that provides tutoring in schools in north St. Louis. There, she helped students conduct science experiments, create art and participate in yoga.

“It was the greatest four hours of my week,” she said. “A lot of the kids don’t come from great backgrounds and it’s cool to be someone they can talk to and have a healthy relationship with.” 

Moran attributes her positive SLU experience to the people who make up the university. “It’s a small, tightly knit community. I truly believe that everyone enjoys being here and loves the university, and I don’t think you find that on every college campus. That has positively affected my college experience,” she said.

She’s also enjoyed the low ratio of students to professors. “I think the biggest class I’ve ever had was 45, which just makes your learning experience so much better and also makes you more accountable.” 

And she’s proud to serve as an unofficial West Coast recruiter for the University. “I’m obsessed with SLU and try to recruit people from my high school all the time,” she said.

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