The evolution of a marketer
One of six marketing fellows in the class of 2011, Jeremy Schellin came to Chicago Booth searching for ways to harness data for marketing insights and to grow into a more well-rounded general manager. Schellin's fellowship is sponsored by Tom Doctoroff, '89, who also serves as his mentor.
My decision to come to Chicago was an evolution of my viewpoint of marketing. I started on the creative side. At General Mills, I was working with NASCAR and movies and doing all these really fun things. In my last role there, however, I was in price promotions and looking at things like thinker mentality, redemption rates, and the ROI on different initiatives.
I was getting a lot of studies back from the quantitative agencies we worked with, and what I thought about marketing and what I could do with marketing evolved. I saw an opportunity to be a better marketer by bringing the numbers side into things, so I started looking at MBA programs where I might be able to address specifically what I was looking for, which was to become more comfortable with numbers and develop into a more well-rounded business person.
Valuable Mentoring Relationships
Getting into Booth was great. I was excited when I received a marketing fellowship, but even more exciting was the fact that I would be placed with a mentor. They didn't tell me who my mentor was right away, but I could see the Kilts Center Steering Committee list and think, 'Wow, it could be him. It could be her. It could be anybody." The list of possible alumni mentors was like a candy store for an aspiring marketing professional.
My mentor, Tom Doctoroff, '89, is a fantastic resource for me. He's somebody who has done a lot, seen a lot, and made an international career. He recognized that brand management was where I really wanted to take my career, and he helped me to get to that place.
Training You Can Count On
I did my internship at PepsiCo. One of my jobs was to figure out the marketing mix for a new product. They had six months of data but they wanted me to figure out how to reach their optimal customer.
Taking a look at that huge data set presented a question of where to start. It didn't jump out at me right away, so I went back to my training and literally took a homework assignment done a month or two prior and followed it almost step by step to do a very real analysis.
Also, I learned that a corporation that big and a brand that successful has a lot of people making it that way. Being able to step in and work with everyone from finance to sales to promotions to packaging to operations requires a certain level of leadership and a skill in communication and teamwork. Fortunately, I learned those things through Leadership Effectiveness and Development (LEAD) and my classes and extracurricular activities.
After graduation, I'm going back to General Mills. I've accepted a role as an associate marketing manager, which is the next step from where I was before. Booth prepared me to make that leap, and helped get me to where I wanted to go.