Marketing student loves new opportunities

June 28, 2013
Sarah Janowski

Sarah Janowski will spend most of next month getting her toes wet in a variety of industries at marketing research firm Harris Interactive's London office. Perhaps best known for the Harris Poll and its marketing research methodologies, Harris Interactive offers corporate brand and reputation strategy solutions as well as marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research.

"I may be doing press releases, managing their website and social media accounts, coordinating events, assisting with advertising and general administration," said the rising senior marketing student, who hails from Reston, Va. "They're involved in a bunch of different industries, which is cool. They do work in health care, technology, energy, public affairs, telecommunications, financial services and packaged goods. I'm doing a sales emphasis and thought my internship would be more about sales, but I'm excited about this research company."

Janowski isn't sure what industry appeals to her yet, but she's excited to learn as much as she can about each field.

Her internship is part of a six-credit-hour, WVU faculty-led opportunity. "I'm going with a group of people from all different majors. We'll all be in different companies throughout the area," she said.

Although Janowski may be new to the culture in London, this isn't her first rodeo when it comes to internships. She served for two summers at the CQ Press in Washington, D.C., first as a sales research intern and then as a sales and marketing intern. During the summer of 2011, she also assisted the town of Herndon, Va., as an intern in the Parks and Recreation Department for their annual Herndon Festival, securing sponsorships and distributing promotional materials.

Janowski said that lessons she learned from her internships have "definitely" coincided with information learned in her coursework at B&E.

"It was so funny when I started all my BCOR classes, because everything related (with things I learned at the internships.) I worked a little with human resources, which went along so much with my management BCOR 370 class with Dr. (Jeff) Houghton. One guy who was like a mentor to me gave me a book last summer called The New Rules of Marketing and PR, and most of my books for class last semester all referenced that book. I felt fortunate," she said.

Janowski took her first online class last spring, Selling With Digital Media with Dr. Andy Wood. It was her favorite class of the semester and taught her about another area of marketing that she has come to love – social media.

"It made me realize all the business aspects of Twitter and Facebook, the importance of LinkedIn and how technology is growing so much and everything's always changing," she said.

Janowski has had positive experiences and new learning opportunities during her time at B&E.

"I haven't had a bad experience in the College. Coming in, I received a scholarship (The Thomas A. & Dr. Thomas G. Ponzurick Marketing Scholarship) so I was really excited from the start," she said. "I love the atmosphere and the school spirit here. I came (to WVU) not really knowing what I wanted to do yet. I became increasingly interested in (marketing) thanks to Career Services and some of my parents' friends in sales. I love talking to everyone and using all of WVU's student resources."

One opportunity she likes to take advantage of is the B&E Distinguished Speaker Series.

"The John Chambers lecture was one in particular that was really cool. Joe Hardy, too. I love hearing people talk about their business experiences," Janowski said.

She says her choice of minor, leadership, often enhances what she learns in her B&E curriculum.

"It's all hands-on service projects combined with theories on leadership," Janowski said of her minor. "You learn about various types of leadership, including bad leadership, which will be extremely helpful in the business world. It's been a great addition to my business ethics class. It's really beneficial to know the styles of leadership, because (workplaces) are so diverse with so many different kinds of people from different cultures," she said.

In addition to keeping busy with her coursework, Janowski also participates in several extracurricular activities, including the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society (where she serves as web editor), Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority (where she holds the title of Education Chairman), and recently became a member of the Marketing Club.

"As Education Chairman of Kappa Kappa Gamma, I plan events for the chapter for educational development. I had speakers come to talk about resumes and cover letters. Many girls from the younger pledge class came, and many of them didn't have resumes yet so they definitely got a lot of value out of it."

Janowski has one year of school still to go, and she's racked up some advice for underclassmen along the way.

"Be aware of what's going on on-campus. Be open to trying new things and going to speakers — even if your friends aren't going," she advised. "Put yourself out there; don't be intimidated or scared. Put a lot of effort into things. Sometimes you might think ‘Why am I working so hard?' but it does end up paying off and it's very rewarding."

Even though Janowski hasn't pinpointed exactly where she wants to take her marketing career, she looks forward to her senior year and the job-hunting process.

"I want to remain involved and I'm excited to start the job process early. I love marketing because there are so many things you can do (with the degree.) I like social media, I like sales, I like research. I'm going to have to decide. I'm so happy and fortunate to be in school studying something I'm passionate and excited about. I feel like I'm truly learning, not just going through the motions of getting a degree, and it's awesome."