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Aetna's marketing VP talks job opportunities

By Alexandria Garry
On November 5, 2012

Robert Mead Aetna VP of Marketing Product and Communication spoke to the UConn Marketing Society on Monday.
He spoke on many topics in marketing ranging from his own experience in education and finding jobs, to the nature of the healthcare industry to the importance for students to take advantage of opportunities in order to compete in the market.
Mead began with the mission of Aetna and their own revamping of their brand, from changing their logo to their mission statement of making healthcare more affordable and more comprehensible to their consumers.
"The healthcare industry is extremely complicated, personal and confusing." said Mead. This is part of the issues that his marketing department faces and they are trying to correct. Some of the ways marketing is making healthcare more accessible is through technology, social media campaigns and smartphone applications which give the consumer an interactive way to understand the product and Mead feels this will be the future of marketing.
"Old advertising was you made a big commercial put on television to push your product, new advertising is your customer tells you what they want." According to Mead the jobs in the marketing industry will be in new media and data analytics.
He told students that if you are good at math get into the analytics field. "I can guarantee you a job in this, the other stuff is a different story."
Other advice that Mead emphasized was the importants of making the most out of opportunities and taking advantage of connections. He says who you know will always have a huge factor on getting jobs.
"It could be you know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone and that's how you will get a job."
Internships, interviews, seminars, connections with professors and class projects are all opportunities that should be taken advantage from.
Waylon Williams also from Aetna added that as young people going into the field he understands that our number one focus is on getting a job with a steady pay check, having a roof over our heads, and be able to eat. However, it is important to do something that is important, meaningful and exciting. "Working in healthcare right now is really interesting, how much the industry has to change in the next couple of years will be really exciting."
Mead said that when he graduated from the University of Texas it was during the worst recession Texas had seen since the Great Depression, he went into the political industry, got experience, made connections and went back to school to eventually get into the corporate world.
He said from the here on out it is a competition for all college students, we are competing with the best from around the world, the importance is for us to not take anything for granted and to go for everything.
His words of wisdom to students who are undecided in majors, or are in the marketing field but do not have a focus was to point out that stats show students in our generation will have six to seven different employers in different fields. Your major he says is not as imperative as your experience and knowledge that can be applied to the task.
Take advantage of the opportunities here, because you do not know when you will have that chance again.

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