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Xerox gives advice to students

By Priscilla Lombardi
On March 5, 2012

  • UConn’s Marketing Society put together a presentation with Xerox Chief Marketing Officer Christa Carone to inform students about the marketing world. Rochelle BaRoss

In the changing digital world of marketing, Xerox Chief Marketing Officer Christa Carone said she would rather hire a student with Twitter followers, blogs and internship experience than a book-smart graduate student.

In a presentation hosted by UConn's Marketing Society, Carone was joined by Xerox's vice president of global advertising, Barbra Basney, and public relations consultant Karen Arena Monday night in the Business Building.

"This is the first time we've ever had more than one guest speaker, especially from Xerox, the biggest company in Connecticut," said UConn Marketing Society Vice President Jesse Rifkin, who began coordinating this event in November.

Xerox is currently ranked 121 on Fortune 500's largest American companies, according to CNN. The $23 billion company, which was once known for selling copying machines, is now a promotional marketing service, according to Carone.

Before taking on the CMO role, Carone worked for a non-profit organization fresh out of college with a bachelor's degree in communications. Throughout the presentation, she encouraged students to begin there.

"People don't tend to start with a non-profit organization because you don't get paid much, but you learn a lot," said Carone. "In the end you've gained marketing experience that Xerox nor any other agency can give you."

Carone, Basney and Arena stressed the importance of how digital multimedia integration is transforming the company. Arena explained how the company needs individuals who dare to be different, ambitious and get work done.

"Marketers are looking not through the typical marketing funnel anymore, but the cycle of advocacy," Carone said. "Our marketing strategies are only as good as our implementation, and our implementation is as only good as our people."

Carone said students should focus on internships and wait until employment before spending money on a graduate degree.

"You'll learn much more in an internship than you ever will in a classroom," said Alex Behjati, president of the UConn Marketing society. Behjati, an international business major, said he now wants to work in marketing after his internship experience in sales.

"I thought their company was very innovative, and their presentation was very interactive," said 4th-semester business major Victoria Derosa.

"I like to come to these events because I want to learn the strategies of marketing and apply them to my future," said Jessie Southwick, a 6th-semester marketing major.

Although the world of advertising has changed dramatically, what hasn't changed is creativity through a good business strategy, Banzie said.

Banzie showed Xerox's commercial promotions and print advertisements with Target, Marriot, Michelin Tire and various other brands.

"We're targeting business decision makers in big companies," Banzie said. 


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