Hispanic Marketing Center Travels to Atlanta for Advisory Board Meeting

HMC 2015 Board Meeting-01


by Laicelis Haro

Throughout our lives we encounter individuals who inspire us; these encounters are often by happenstance. At Florida State University’s Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication the opportunity to meet seasoned individuals in related fields of marketing is coordinated. The Center has a carefully selected Advisory Board that encourages students to follow their goals and they provide first hand insights on how those goals can be achieved.

Their position titles include Director of Media, Chief Hispanic Marketing Strategist, Group Director of Hispanic Marketing, Vice President of Sales, Co-Founder, Founder, Vice President of Consumer Insights, Executive Vice President, Chief Executive Officer, President, Executive Vice President, Senior Vice President, and Chief Operation Officer.

However to dedicated members of the Center, we call them Alberto, Rochelle, Alba, Geoff, Betty Anne, Felipe, Adrien, Mark, Cesar, J.J., Jorge, Mariela and Joe.

On the evening of September 24, 2015 students and Board members travelled to Atlanta, Georgia for the bi-annual Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication Advisory Board meeting. In honor of both the Advisory Board and the students, Coca-Cola Co. invited us to an informal social at Ecco Restaurant in Midtown Atlanta. At the social we were showered with welcome messages from Coca-Cola’s, Alba Castillo, Group Director of Hispanic Marketing and FSU Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication board member.

As the evening progressed we students seized the opportunity to speak to and get better acquainted with various Board members and mentors. Conversations ranged from simplistic and trivial topics, such as the iPhone 6s, and yet at times delved into more in depth and complex things such as life and the uncertainty of the future.

The next day we walked into Coca-Cola HQ, anxious by the anticipation of our upcoming presentations and introductions to the board. Luckily we received the opportunity to hear Wendy Clark, Senior Vice President of branding at Coca-Cola speak first. There stood a prestigious woman who was featured twice in Forbes “40 Under 40” 2009 and 2010 issues, an FSU alumna, with a Venezuelan-British background, speaking to us.

Out of the many encouraging and empowering statements on Millennials and Hispanics made by Wendy perhaps the most memorable was her reminder that we are all capable of achieving our goals.

Wendy’s message filled us with the confidence to introduce ourselves in addition to the Center’s current research. Our current focus is on the factors that influence the Hispanic Millennial throughout their career decision-making process, sponsored by Wells Fargo. Another exploration is how traditions affect the adherence to brand products such as Mazola. Students were also offered the opportunity to speak on their community outreach experiences in underdeveloped countries such as Guatemala.

Upon the conclusion of the open board meeting, the students were given a tour of the headquarters. Hallway by hallway we were surrounded by Coca-Cola’s brand identity including classical advertisements and souvenir shops. We found a very unique attribute within the headquarters, and that was that all vending machines were free! Whether we were craving Coca-Cola, Dasani water, Minute Maid fruit juices or even Power Aid all we had to do was press the designated button and voila a refreshingly cold beverage appeared.

After the initial awe, we recollected our emotions in order to prepare for our one-on-one meetings with our mentors. Juancarlo Villatoro, a first-semester IMC graduate student made a statement on the importance of having a mentor, “By having a trusted expert as a mentor, providing insight about their own experiences and providing secure platform to bounce off ideas about concepts in IMC that inspire me, I will have a clearer understanding of my own career objectives.”

For students such as Juancarlo, we at the Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication ensure that the possibilities of inspiration are guaranteed. On behalf of the students I would like to thank the Advisory Board, the Center’s staff, and our wonderful Director of the Center, Dr. Sindy Chapa.

More on the Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication’s academic programs can be found on their website.