The Student Marketing Association (SMA) aims to provide students from all faculties the opportunity to gain real-world knowledge in many areas of marketing, such as public relations, event planning, promotions, and social media. They hold several social and professional events throughout the year, with their most notable event being the annual “Marketers’ Night”. As one of the largest student-run networking events at SFU, this event brings together students and industry professionals to connect and discuss the latest trends in Marketing. In addition, another signature event to take note of is “Marketing in Focus,” which allows students to network, receive valuable advice through interactive panel discussions and presentations, as well as explore the possible careers out there in the industry.
Established over 20 years ago, SMA has had a long history at SFU. They have built on their success from previous years, continuing their goal to create the ultimate experience for students – gaining valuable skills, having fun, and expanding their network with students and professionals alike. I had the opportunity to interview the new president of SMA for the 2014-2015 year, Baray Chan, to learn more about the club and his involvement with SMA.
1. To start off, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and why you chose to get involved with SMA?
Hello SFU Engage! I am Baray Chan, business student and president of the Student Marketing Association.
In my freshman year, I was keen to explore, so I actually joined all of the business clubs, working on short projects with each one, before finding my best fit in SMA. Through SMA, I became the manager of multiple projects and joined the executive team last year. Now president, I look at our goals at an organization-wide level, so that every member can maximize benefit. We strike a balance between our casual and professional sides, and as a result, manage to build a strong community. It is this SMA family that attracted me and much of our member base.
2. If you could describe SMA in just a few words, what would they be and why?
I often used this line a few years ago: "Work hard, play hard."
You might not notice, but even the most serious members like myself have our moments of fun. Our events are equal parts professional development and networking. Practicing business, especially in the marketing field, isn't just about your own operations, but also about working with other stakeholders. We find that building relations in advance through casual interactions make business processes more efficient and enjoyable.
3. What are some upcoming events that SMA has in store for this semester?
As usual, we have our weekly committee meetings and monthly general meetings. These are practical learning environments, where we give workshops on Business Development, E-Communications, Promotions and Public Relations. For our general meetings, we even invite professionals to share us some tips and personal experiences. Anyone interested are welcome to look up our times on our website (www.sfusma.com) and drop in!
For our signature events, summer is more of a preparation period. We will be sending out applications to for OC positions on our Marketing in Focus and Marketers' Night events later during the term. These are large-scale events hosted to connect students with marketing professionals. If you are interested in attending, keep an eye out for them in the Fall and Spring.
4. What has been the most rewarding part of your experience with SMA?
I already mentioned our SMA family, and without a doubt, they are the best reward for my work. Prior to joining SMA, I already had my unique, established working style. Through SMA, I found mentors and partners who influenced me to enhance my methods. I learned skills that I otherwise would have overlooked, and then gained hands-on opportunities to practice these skills in. Finally, through these opportunities, I gained long-lasting friendships.
Now a mentor to others, I hope to protect and build upon this tradition, this community. If you wish to join us, make sure to contact any of my team or myself.
5. Finally, do you have any advice for students also looking to join SMA or to get involved at university in general?
At SMA, we always accept new members, no matter their year of study or prior experience. Skills learned in marketing are infinitely flexible, even for those of you not concentrating in marketing or majoring in business, so sit in on a few of our meetings! Anyone looking to be active on campus should always be willing to meet people and be open to new experiences. SMA is a perfect avenue to that goal.