Students Launch First Undergraduate Marketing Organization
Cornell has 1,200 student organizations and that number continues to grow. Yet, there hasn’t been a go-to marketing club on campus. Six students finally realized this anomaly and took action to create the university’s first premier marketing club. Cornell Marketing Organization (CMO) strives to create value in the marketing sector for both its members and partners.
Like any idea, it started with a conversation. “Ari and I were talking casually and happened to come across the idea of a marketing club. Then, we looked for people who would be interested in helping us start the club,” said Niagara Pal ‘19. She and President Arihant Jain ‘19 recruited four members to their executive team, including Peter Cetale ‘19, Ellen Ghong ‘19, Dana Nieh ‘19, and Brianna Mills ‘18.
Jain added, “We started this club because we saw an opportunity to add tremendous value to Cornell’s campus. We are all very passionate about marketing and we have developed strong businesses with our club’s talent.”
Finding the right mentor to help guide them was also crucial. They chose Professor Debra Perosio, a Merrill Presidential Scholar and Senior Lecturer in the Dyson School, who has an established marketing background in food and agricultural businesses, both from a production and management perspective.
As the team came together, they finalized the club’s constitution and bylaws and over the summer, they prepped for ClubFest in September. Cetale emphasized why students should join CMO, “No matter what your career interests, marketing is one of the most important skills to have. You have to be able to market yourself and we will help you grow your brand. We provide professional experience as well as a dedicated network to help build on your success.” A successful pitch launched a great semester of recruitment, with the club admitting a very selective amount of dedicated and passionate members from a large applicant pool.
Cornell Marketing Organization works with real business, providing value to its marketing teams. This semester, the club is working with Cayuga Crunch, IthaCash, Religio, and Vita Shoes. Members receive hands-on, exclusive experience developing marketing and consulting strategies for these firms, even working with the CEOs and executive management to help them grow. The E-board members lead the project teams, but give members the independence and creativity to follow through with their own ideas, embracing the entrepreneurial spirit of marketing.
The club also offers an educational series for members to learn about marketing techniques. Each E-board member hosts an informative presentation on a marketing topic, ranging from sales marketing to brand management.
As a new club, they had many ideas on what to incorporate. One challenge was prioritizing the plans. Niagara mentioned that it was hard, “figuring out what we wanted to do, like what was the base for the first semester and what to do in future semesters. It was tough to postpone certain plans like doing a speaker series featuring successful names in the business sector.”
That said, the club has very promising goals for the future. They hope to expand the network of startups and established businesses they work with and offer a variety of industries to emphasize the versatility of marketing. Mills added, “we’re focused on getting our roots deep into the undergraduate community to ensure that when we graduate, our organization continues to be impactful.” Their goal, she explained, is to, “build an organization with a network of unique individuals that fit our culture of passion, creativeness, and drive.”
“From day one, we have emphasized a strong organizational culture that holds members to the highest level of competence. This has allowed members to break through obstacles with ease to achieve the utmost success. We have achieved a lot already and we will continue to achieve even more in the future.” said Jain about Cornell Marketing Organization’s current and upcoming progress.