What do your Morals look like? And What Matters to you?

*Take a look at this video and get a sense of marketing and it’s effect on nonprofit organizations, specifically using this marketing professional in Lincoln.*

Getting to know Williamson:

David Williamson makes a lot of great points in his essay, Marketing and Communications in Nonprofit Organizations” however three of the main takeaways that I thought most important were the following:

  1. Your brand defines your organization to the world. Take the initiatives and define yourself, before one of your enemies tries to define you.
  2. You can’t go far wrong in communications if you stick to the Holy Trinity: Audience, Message, and Vehicle.
  3. There is no such thing as the general public. Find the audience that matters most to your mission, and focus on them like a laser beam.

Now these three “morals” as he calls them in his essay are essential to any marketing strategy I believe, whether in a nonprofit organization or a for profit organization. This is part of the reason I picked these three specifically, is because of the interchangeable manner.

I will begin by diving a little bit deeper into the first moral: your brand defining your organization. In other words don’t let your competition create your reputation or even what you stand for. Make sure you have made it obvious what your mission is and what you define your organization as because chances are the competitors’ definition of your organization will not be what you may want the public to see it as.

Secondly, following the three key aspects of communications. This is essential in any organization when thinking about marketing strategies and tactics. Make sure you know what your plan is in terms of who you are sending the message to, what the actual message is and how the content will connect with the audience, and lastly, the way in which it is going to be told or rather how you will get your message out there. Will you be using billboards? Will you use television? These are only a few of the examples that can be used.

Finally, know the group in which you are trying to catch their attention. Make sure that you have detailed “targets” that you want to find and reach out to. Reaching everyone or rather like Williamson says, “the general public” is impossible. Trying to find some way in which every person will connect with is near impossible. For this reason you want to make sure you are focusing on a specific demographic or audience that you think will be the most inspired by your mission. Once you have found this group of people/audience make sure you are finding everything there is to know about them and how you can reach them the best. They will become your project and you will need to find out what they want to see and hear. Then it becomes easier to narrow down what you will do!

Let’s Dig a Little Deeper Now

Now that you know what each of the three morals means and what the difference is between the three. Let us dive a little deeper into examples of each of the three.

Beginning with the first one, making sure that your brand defines your organization before your competitors do. An example of this would be: Louis Vuitton. If you take a purse company such as Louis Vuitton and dug deep into their brand and realized that they have defined their organization. They are an upscale purse and leather brand whose bags represent an upper class society. They define their brand, specifically, with price placement. They place their prices at the higher end of the spectrum thus contributing to the common notion of the public nowadays, which is, higher price, and higher quality.

I mean if you think about the brand defining an organization another organization to look at would be Scripps Networks Interactive. This organization holds many different positions in the media industry but all of their brands define the organization as a “the leader in lifestyle media.”


Moving onto the next moral, focusing on the “Holy Trinity” as Williamson called it. An example of a company/organization making sure they focus on the audience, message, and driver/vehicle would be almost any organization that has a sound marketing strategy! All organizations have to decide how they want to market and the holy trinity is the key and solution to all questions when developing a marketing strategy. Take an organization such as Johnson and Johnson. The amount of brands they have is unreal so they have to have multiple different channels of communications. They not only need to have advertisements and marketing in magazines, but also in television ads and even radio. Their messages have to be appropriate for all ages to make sure they hit all ages and they have to decide which audience they are targeting within each brand.

An example within the Johnson and Johnson example would be Neutrogena. Neutrogena ads that are being displayed in magazines such as Teen People, Seventeen, and Teen Vogue or even on television networks like ABC Family may include a celebrity that is a role model for that range of ages. However, in a TV ad being aired on USA networks, the Neutrogena ad may be targeted toward older women and the product being advertised may be more about skin wrinkles and anti-aging creams.

The audience, message, and vehicle are key to brand presence and visibility within the market.


Lastly, finding a target audience to focus on. The example of this would be very simple to the previous example of Johnson and Johnson. For example if you are a shoe company and you find that most of your sales are coming from women ages 64-75 years old then you should start focusing on that demographic and making sure you are reaching that audience. If you are trying to focus on comfort and stability then focusing on the college girls may not be the easiest target because in college many times the shoes are not the most comfortable but it’s what is in fashion or whichever shoes are the “cutest”.


Third Party Opinion

All of these morals were discussed by one person and that was David Williamson whether or not he is right on point is not up to me, but I can say that in my opinion I think that his key takeaways are exactly on point.

There may be other marketing professionals who may disagree with his claims, but I doubt there are too many!

Using a specifically company who says very similar claims as Williamson would be one company called, Mission Minded.

They too believe nonprofits need help when it comes to marketing and communications. In their About Us page they say,


“Although strategic communications are more common today in the nonprofit sector than they were a decade ago, there is still a real need for a trusted partner to provide professional guidance on honing an organization’s brand, strategically crafting messages, and creating campaigns, websites, and printed materials that are easy to understand and that move people to action.


Because Mission Minded works only with nonprofit organizations and foundations, we understand their special needs and challenges. We provide the expertise nonprofits need to achieve their communications goals.”

So here is a third party company and source that has said that they too find it very important for nonprofits to focus on communicating well in order to achieve their mission.

Screen Shot 2013-03-11 at 7.42.49 PM

Another source (nonprofitmarketingguide.com) said very similar things as well. They published an article titled, “10 Marketing Realities Nonprofits Need to Accept to Succeed.” Many of their 10 realities are similar if not exactly the same as Williamson’s. They too say that there is no such thing as the general public and much more.


Screen Shot 2013-03-11 at 7.45.58 PM


Coming Together:


So after all of the research and the reading it is very obvious that marketing in the nonprofit realm has become essential. It has become not only helpful but necessary to succeed as the source said. But why is it that nonprofit organizations are so hesitant to participate? But that’s the thing, they are not as hesitant as they used to be because of the obvious changes that it makes when you begin to find the correct marketing strategy for your mission. It is all about your mission and the message you send out. If you have the right channel of distribution for your message and you have the right people to talk to then you are on the path to success!


 This Blog post is part of an assignment for an Elon University Marketing Course. 


You Think You’re Shoes are Sweet…

So every girl loves shoes, right? I mean who doesn’t love a nice pair of new shoes? But we haven’t seen anything yet! Technology is always changing and making this world more and more unbelievable. I mean you have Apple coming out with talking phones [Siri], then you have Google announcing the eyewear, so what next? Well you will never guess it but here it is:

talking shoe


According to a Fast Company article, “Google showed off computing in a new location: on a pair of Adidas shoes.” Google has paired up with Adidas and has made the newest and latest technology in SHOES. So what can the shoe do you ask? Well it is a live and in color walking and talking shoe.

Apparently the idea behind the shoe was:

” The idea, as developer Leif Percifield, was to see if “an inanimate object can have a personality of its own.” So his team strapped a a speaker to the tongue of the shoe that gives feedback and motivation as your move throughout your day.”

You want to see the shoe at work? No problem! Check it out for yourself,

You think all of this is a big deal, well you haven’t even heard the craziest part of it all! It gets better! The shoe not only can talk but also has a bluetooth connection that will keep you connected throughout the day. The shoe will report and share your progress and what you have done all day onto your social media networks! Talk about people knowing your every move (literally!).

But here is the bummer! You will never see the shoe in stores or available for retail unfortunately. The article says,

“The product is not meant for the market, unfortunately. It’s just a fun experiment Google put together with the help of Adidas, ad agency 72andSunny, and interactive startup YesYesNo, where Percifield works. Percifield says the shoe we saw–displayed at Google’s “playground” at SXSW–“is not using nearly as many of the capabilities of the implementation,” meaning more fun features could be coming down the road.”

But this is still awesome and just goes to show you that in this world and with the resources we have available NOTHING is impossible, not even talking shoes!

This blog post was used for an Elon University course. 

Sell Yourself!


You know that phrase that you hear over and over again from the time you take your first class in College to the day you graduate, “Sell yourself.” Well lucky for me I was able to sell myself this past weekend.

Before the fact:

After hours in the Raleigh Durham Airport, an hour and a half plane ride, I was finally there. I was in New York City ready to sell myself. I arrived on a Thursday and had two interviews the following day for two separate companies, talk about a lot of walking! I made sure to prepare for both of these as well as I could. Some of the things I did to prepare, and I would recommend to many students to do before an interview, specifically in the Marketing/Advertising industry are as follows:

  1. Make sure to print your resume, writing samples, and any other references you may have gathered over the years
  2. Make sure you are up to date on current events and industry’s trades. For example for the industry in which I am hoping to work I looked over Advertising Age, Ad Week, and even browsed the general news sources such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal
  3. Thirdly, make sure you come up with some great questions to ask your interviewer. On this specific occasion I was prepared with questions and I think it really helped me!
  4. Lastly, make sure you have researched the company and know what they do and who their clients or affiliates are. This is very important because you can’t sell your product if you don’t know what it is!


After doing all four steps I was ready for my interviews. My first interview was at Scripps Networks Interactive for a Sales Intern position in their Travel Channel brand. I was so excited to be returning to a place that I loved (I had interned for Scripps Networks Interactive last summer in their Marketing department for The Food Network brand). And my second would be with Universal McCann or UM, an advertising agency.








The conversation was great. I was able to talk about Sales and the classes I took at Elon. If I could recommend a few classes for students to take, if you are studying Marketing or Sales, would be: Professional Selling and Integrated Marketing Communications. The two classes combined are a lethal combination. Professional Selling gives you the edge and skills you need to sell yourself and the confidence to speak eloquently, while Integrated Marketing Communications teaches you the tricks of the trades and the ideas behind the tactics used. The two classes together helped me prepare tremendously for both interviews.


The Aftermath:

After I was done with both interviews I realized that I had a lot to do still. Your interview is not over once you leave the building. You still want to maintain a relationship with the employer and for that reason you need to make sure to send a follow-up email. Make sure you are professional in your email and thank them for their time. They spent the time to get to know you better and give you a chance to learn, so make sure you are grateful for that.


The follow-up is something that I find to be one of the most important phases of the interviewing process. No follow up could mean what the common phrase means, “Out of Sight Out of Mind.” You want to make sure you are leaving a sweet taste in their mouth if you will.


After all of the traveling and interviewing it was time to return to school and focus on learning the most I could and to take back what I had learned through this experience.


Thanks so much for reading!


This post is a result of an Elon University class Assignment. 

How Can You Give Back?

Everyone has a passion, whether it is sports, fashion, social causes, people, etc. However, everyone’s passion stems from somewhere different. One thing that is commonly found in all of these passions is personal connection and tie to the object of the passion.


I will be specifically focusing on the social causes aspect of passion and drive. There are a lot of different social causes out there today, so how do YOU choose? Is it because you think their cause is the best? Is it because someone from your family has dealt with the cause personally? Have you personally been impacted by the cause? You have probably answered yes to one of these questions, at least. This brings me to my next point about a specific nonprofit that began simply from a study abroad trip turned into business/nonprofit venture.

ABAN stands for A Ban Against Neglect. The mission of ABAN can be put simply and that is giving women and children in the streets of Ghana something to do in order to raise their children independently without having to involve themselves in jobs such as: prostitution just being one of them. According to aban.org:


“An estimated 21,000 children, 6,000 street babies, and 7,000 street mothers (under the age of 20) are said to be roaming the streets of Ghana’s capital, Accra. These children come from many different backgrounds, yet whether they have been victims of poverty, abuse, or abandonment, all have one unfortunate common thread: neglect.”


The hope of ABAN is to eventually grow their population of women that are graduating from the ABAN school and the number of women whom are developing life skills such as sewing to support their families.


After learning more about ABAN I began thinking about the nonprofit – for profit relationship and how brands can benefit from partnering with a nonprofit. There are many nonprofits that have partnered with brands and products to promote both awareness and help the brand develop a sense of philanthropy. However, one specific nonprofit/for profit relationship that I find specifically intriguing is that of Operation Smile/Sephora.


Operation Smile is an international organization specializing in children’s surgery. They specialize in inspiring plastic surgeons, dentists, and other medical professions to volunteer to restore cleft lips and palates for young children all over the world. Source: reingold.com


Sephora is a for profit organization specializing in beauty products and they joined in the effort to provide more kids all over the world with the opportunity to be beautiful too! They joined forces with Operation Smile and created a Lip Baume that is now called Sephora Operation Smile Lip Baume. When you buy a Lip Baume all the net proceeds go to Operation Smile.


This partnership makes sense because of the commonality between the two. Sephora is providing beauty products for the population and Operation Smile is helping, cosmetically, children with cleft lip or cleft palate. By partnering together and creating a Lip Baume it is absolutely relevant and makes sense because the area that Operation focuses on are the mouth and face and what better then to create a Lip Baume that supports a cause!


What did I learn from researching that one? Well I learned that some partnerships don’t make as much sense. Sometimes it seems as though products are only partnering with certain not for profits to get the publicity, however my previous example made a lot of sense and I think is great.


Another example of a partnership that also incorporates a point that Holly Stewart touched on when she came and visited our class was the idea of: “Heartache to Hope”. My example is the Dawn partnership with “The Marine Mammal Center and Bird Rescue.” With the idea that there are so many animals that are dying and struggling because of the polluted waters, Dawn decided to help!

Screen Shot 2013-02-25 at 9.34.50 PM

Dawn and The Marine Mammal Center and Bird Rescue have started and developed a program that teaches teachers, families, and children about the impact of oil on wildlife. Together they have been able to help the heartache that people felt specifically with the large BP oil spill in the Gulf and have made an effort to help the creatures that people feel so sorry for. They have even created a Facebook page which shows that the they have adapted to the generational differences and have used Facebook to reach out to more people.


One last thing that I have found when looking for nonprofit organizations pairing up with for profit organizations is the link between the partnership is either very evident or they are sort of just donating money to the organization instead of making an effort to help the cause. The past two examples have been direct correlations in both what the product stands for and what the organization hopes to achieve.


Many brands are now serving not only a product but also, an experience, according to Holly Stewart and I find that to be one hundred percent accurate especially when you are talking about partnerships. When buying the product they are creating an experience because when you buy the item you know that you are helping a cause, thus making you feel all warm and fuzzy (most of the time!).


So how does all of this tie into ABAN? Good question. All of this partnership research got me thinking about how we can partner with an organization to do two things: create awareness for ABAN and also allow ABAN’s products to be seen throughout the marketplace.


My group and I have developed multiple partnership ideas and we are very excited to present them when the time is right but as of right now I expect that you keep your imaginations running wild because the ideas we have for you are one of a kind! So at a later date everyone will know our examples but until then, we look forward to learning more about what you have to say!

I am sorry but I just get so emotional!

How many of us can say we have cried in a movie? A lot. How many of us can say that we have bought something that they used in a commercial? Probably a good percentage of us can. Both of these scenarios exist because of our emotional reactions to media and marketing. Emotional marketing is one of the smartest ways to get people interested in a product or brand. Make a person feel pretty or smart and they will keep with your brand.

The clip below is an example of an emotional movie trailer clip that many would recognize!

Another perfect example of emotional marketing would be Louis Vuitton and many high-end brands. High-end designers can charge a certain amount of money for their bags, etc. because they have targeted the emotional connection which is women wanting the status symbol that the brand brings. Look at any name brand, they all do the same thing and that is: status. They all provide a woman or man with a certain status symbol. If someone is carrying a Gucci person it is assumed that they are doing well. This taps into our emotional reaction and we automatically judge this person based on the brands they carry.

Celebrities using Louis Vuitton bag as status symbol.

Celebrities using Louis Vuitton bag as status symbol.


The Not For Profit:

A Not for profit organization does the same thing, in a sense as these “for profit” brands. They have a way to make you feel empathetic towards them, sometimes even sympathetic toward the cause. Whether it is from the commercials or the pictures, even the cause itself or a personal connection all of these things rely on an individual’s emotional reaction to the situation.


example of emotional ad for a nonprofit

example of emotional ad for a nonprofit










Marketing is about maintaining and creating relationships but especially in not for profit organizations it is extremely crucial that the relationships are strong because there is no other binding, except for the good feeling someone gets when they have helped someone else. There is no deliverable that the donator is receiving just a sense of duty, so once that relationship has been broken there is no returning back.

Let’s Get Your Favorite Nonprofits Now! 

One student said that the most important not for profit organization would be the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. His reasoning was of course connected emotionally. His uncle has had the disease for almost two decades and it has had an effect on his family. When there is an emotional connection people are more likely to care. It is all about the personal or emotional connection aspect and that is why not for profits have so many people interested that have been effected themselves or in the family.


Another student said that the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America was really important to her because of the link that it has to her family. Her grandfather has been struggling with the diseases and it has caused a lot of pain for her family to watch him suffer through it. This awareness has caused made losing ones identity one of her largest fears. The student says, “I really want a cure to be discovered. I don’t think it’s fair that someone so generous was burdened with this disease.


Students all over have different reason why they follow or pay particular attention to a certain nonprofit and almost ninety percent of the time it is due to a close personal link to that cause. For example, I personally follow breast cancer very closely because unfortunately I have had many people in my family battle the disease.

 Back to the Main Idea:

Specifically focusing on television as far as emotional branding goes it is one of the largest mediums that is effected by emotional branding and loyalty. A recent Adage.com article talked about social television and the emotional aspect of television. One man, Mr. Ghuneim, founder and CEO of Wiredset and Trendrr, said,


“A socially engaged TV audience is the most powerful marketing team networks have ever had. “And social TV gives us the opportunity to understand and leverage an audience’s emotional attachment to a show, because TV is no longer a one-sided experience. Finally all our shouting at the TV can actually be heard. Brands that are smart enough to listen and leverage that emotional response can unlock valuable attention from an audience that actually cares.”


When we take a look at the articles about emotional branding it reminds me of Aristotle’s On Rhetoric and how he described the multiple modes of persuasion. Pathos, being the mode that appeals to the audience’s emotions, would be fitting here. Gobi would probably agree with Aristotle’s modes of persuasion because he too believed that the emotional aspect of branding was key to success. He said that, “it is all about trust and dialogue.”


This is an example of Pathos and how it would effect us.

This is an example of Pathos and how it would effect us.

Gobi also pointed out the four pillars of emotional branding. These being: Relationship, sensorial experiences, imagination, and vision. All four of these pillars allow the consumer to feel something new. It allows them to feel “warm” with the relationship while at the same time imagining the things that could happen and even watching them happen. This whole idea of emotional branding also ties in with last weeks article about customer engagement. The more emotionally binded a customer or consumer feels the more engaged they will become.

Let’s Wrap It Up

After looking at all of the sources talked about above I have realized that I not only fall victim to emotional branding everyday but that EVERYTHING is riding on emotions. NO matter what is in the news or in the advertisements it all plays on our emotions. If we feel a certain way about something it effects what we do about it. An example would be the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school. Emotions change the way people think about everything, whether it be a product or in the Sandy Hook case a policy or law. Emotional branding comes in many forms and products is only the beginning.

I hope this blog post has gotten you thinking about how you are being effected by emotional branding everyday and what tactics work and which don’t!

Until next time!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the newest thing on the market: YOU!

Visualize this. You are sitting in your home watching television, only you are not only watching the television but the television is also watching you! Crazy right? And maybe even a little bit creepy. Customer engagement has become so important that according to an article on AdAge.com, a television with a camera on it is on the way! If that doesn’t say customer engagement, I don’t know what does!

Photo from adage.com

Erik Huggers; Photo courtesy of adage.com

The idea behind this television is to improve the viewing experience of the customer. The television tracks the customer and what they are watching, thus providing the customer with more recommendations of what they like. As a little disclaimer, Mr. Huggers, General Manager at Intel Media did say,

   “People will be able to close the shutter on the camera if they so choose

 But he believes many users will actually choose to expose themselves

to visual tracking to enhance their viewing experience.”

Would having a camera on a television really enhance your “viewing experience or would it help to target ads? Either way you look at it, it is a step toward even more consumer and customer engagement. I shall call it: Customization!

In two different ways this television makes me think about Big Brother and the Macintosh commercial. It makes me think that there is a way things have always been and now suddenly we are “throwing a hammer (like in the commercial)” at the old ways of marketing. But at the same time the commercial makes me wonder if the television is our first step toward the idea of no privacy. You decide.

Sounds like a bit of a different approach then Don Schultz right? Back in the 1950’s it was all about the Four P’s and the importance of making sure that we focused on those when coming up with a marketing strategy. Thinking of the customer first would have been absurd. It was all about the Price, Placement, Promotion, and the Product itself. But it’s as Bob Dylan said, “Times they are a-changin,” only this now they have already changed!

Photo from Google Images


The Big Shift

We have all fallen victim of customer engagement “tactics” as I will call them. Whether it is the “recommendations” on shopping sites, sidebars on Facebook with ads that are based off of your interests, suggested followers on Twitter, and even the casual survey that pops up when you go to a site.

Screenshot of Facebook

The contact points, as Kenneth Clow (Author of Integrated Advertising, Promotion, and Marketing Communications) calls them, have changed and they are no longer what we believed them to be before. Contact points before referred to any place that the consumer saw an advertisement or was dealing directly with the brand itself. But this has changed and it changed when we started using The Internet.

Me? What Do I think? Well Since You Asked!

I know that specifically to me, customer engagement matters. It is a way for the brand to entertain me. It gets me involved and keeps me wanting more. One person I know who would agree with me about customer engagement being vital is Willems. Have you ever heard the saying, “The Customer is always right?” Well I am sure you have and it was Willem who said in his article that the “customer is the king” and they have more power now than ever. That saying is a perfect example. The revenue comes from the sales and we all know where those come from so ladies and gentlemen we might as well welcome the newest product on the market, YOU. It is all about you now and how they [companies] can keep you wanting more.

From google images

Don’t Turn Around He’s Watching

Let’s go back to Willem’s article. In it, he also talks about the creation of what is called the Blueconomy. What is this you might ask and what purpose does it serve? You know all of that information that companies are gathering about us and our trends and what we look at? The Blueconomy helps the brand managers combine all of the information and share it to receive a better understanding of the customers. Gathering information about people and then sharing it? How far is too far?

Think back to the television with the camera. Is that an invasion of privacy or is that just customer engagement as internal as it gets? Think about tracking devices on your phone, tablets, etc. What about Facebook and the locations application that you can turn on or off? All of these new world innovations are creating a marketing environment where reaching the customer has become both necessary and less difficult then before. Do you like it? Or does it creep you out? There is one way I think about this process. A professor once said, “I turn chaos into structure” and I feel as though marketers are trying to add some structure to our habits and reducing some of the noise that we try and avoid anyways. So if you ask me, I think people complain about things that don’t apply to them but when it comes to finding out how we can make it apply to them it suddenly becomes inconvenient and invasive.

Site: Google Images

So let’s recap. Is customer engagement important? Yes. Is the use of the Internet becoming more and more apparent in the world of marketing? Absolutely. And lastly, what is next? Televisions with cameras on them!

What will be the new phenomenon? Who knows and until then I will keep you all updated on what’s going on in the world of Integrated Marketing Communications at Elon!

This Blog Post is an assignment from an Integrated Marketing Communications class at Elon University.


Works Cited:

Schultz, Don; Heidi Schultz (2004). “Creating Customer and Marketplace Value”. IMC: The Next Generation. New York: McGraw Hill

Willems, Hans (2011). “White Paper: Customer Driven Online Engagement”. GX Software.

Google Images: Tracking image, Customers are always right, Bob Dylan, Erik Huggers


About Me

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Hello! My name is Alessandra Losa, I am junior at Elon University pursuing a double major in marketing and journalism. After living in India for a year I became known as Ally and my journey of names did not end there, so feel free to call me what you please. I have been called Ally, Alessandra, Ssandra, Sasha, Losa (my last name), and more. My life revolves around my family and friends and I am a huge homebody. Don’t get me wrong, I love to study but to me anywhere my family and friends are that’s home!

I am a passionate, driven, and  a confident student who is hoping to one-day work in the media communications industry, specifically in Marketing or Sales. I enjoy lots of different things, which is what has made college so great for me; I have been able to explore different interests such as Photography and Foreign Languages.

I love the beach. I am extremely enthusiastic about everything I do. I find Marketing to be one of the most fascinating fields of study out there for students today and I hope to get the opportunity to explore the skills I have learned inside the classroom, outside in the real world.

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After interning at the Food Network during the Summer of 2012 I realized that I really loved the media industry and specifically the cable industry. The work that happens behind the scenes is incredible and I would love to end up working for a network one day. It was for this reason that I decided to take Integrated Marketing Communication. The idea of almost mixing both of my majors is so cool to me, don’t you think? I mean getting to mix both of my majors in one class is why I love Elon. 

I look forward to learning more about Marketing and Communications and getting to do some hands on work with Aban!