Marketing Executive One-on-One Coaching: An MBA Student’s Perspective
coaching program inspired Sydney Chernish, MBA ’16, to surround herself with
smart, like-minded people who will push her to excellence
By Sydney Chernish, MBA '16
two weeks that were jam-packed with Battle of the Brands, midterms and corporate
briefings, participating in the Marketing
Executive One-on-One Coaching program was a welcome break from our usual madness. This annual
mentoring program, hosted by Warren Ellish ’77, MBA ’78, visiting senior
lecturer of marketing and president and CEO of Ellish Marketing Group, brings
top marketing executives back to campus to mentor Johnson MBAs focused on marketing.
The opportunity to interact with leading marketing executives as well as the
break in routine enabled us to take a step back and reflect on the bigger
picture of why we’re here at business school.
I knew I
would have the opportunity to interact with accomplished, executive-level
marketers by participating in the Marketing Executive One-on-One Coaching. What I did not anticipate was how
incredibly kind and invested these executives would be in our personal
development and future success. For two days, 36 executives took time out of
their careers (or retirement in a few cases) to come to Ithaca to participate
in panel discussions, one-on-one coaching sessions, Q&A forums, and, of
course, lots of good food and conversation.
scheduled to have individual conversations with three executives. We spent those
hours chatting about their past experiences, some of their favorite projects,
what they value in an employee, and what they think makes a good marketer. During
this time, each one also strove to understand my career aspirations and what
was important to my personal development. Based on our conversations, they each
gave me advice on my career as well as how to craft my story. Each of the
executives brought unique backgrounds, experiences, and points of view to our
exchanges, but one common theme surfaced throughout all of our conversations: each
executive stressed the importance of finding the right company fit. They credited
their career successes to finding a culture where they could thrive and grow.
importance of culture was not a new concept to me; fit and culture were two of
my main criteria in choosing which business school to attend, and why I
ultimately chose to come to Johnson. However, as we’ve all become increasingly
stressed out about finding a summer internship, I’ve noticed a tendency to
broaden my search criteria in order to be sure I would have something rather than the right thing for me. The executives’
echoes about fit were a welcome reminder at the right time; I recommitted to putting
fit as a top criteria for my job selection. I want to surround myself with
smart, like-minded people who will push me to excellence, while building a
network that will last for the rest of my life.
I will encourage each and every MBA student focused on marketing to take
advantage of this unique and empowering program. I hope that they will also
have the opportunity to step back from the busy life of the core to gain some
much-needed perspective and to enjoy the talented executives who comes to
campus to participate in the Marketing Executive One-on-One Coaching program.