By Janaki Soni
Every student entering graduate school is often presented with the same opportunities to get involved on campus, but what makes a difference is whether you act on those opportunities to shape your experience into exactly what you need.
I knew coming into Kellstadt that I wouldn’t hesitate to apply for or try out different clubs because I wanted to be able to look back at this time knowing that I tried to fully utilize the graduate school experience. I also intended to get some leadership experience on my résumé because as a woman, a person of color, and someone young in my career, I knew that on paper I had everything working against me. So, I joined Kellstadt Marketing Group (KMG) to get actively involved in the DePaul community, enhance my graduate school experience, gain valuable leadership skills, and build my network.
KMG is a professional, graduate student-led organization specializing in knowledge-sharing events. The organization is in its 14th year with a strong community of more than 2,000 members. The group consists of students, faculty and industry professionals committed to driving the development of the marketing and business landscape. KMG serves as a hub for networking, ideation, career development and more.
As an aspiring leader, I was attracted to KMG because its mission aligned with my career goals. Being a part of the organization has helped me cultivate my people management skills and has pushed me to utilize my time management skills, as I manage multiple priorities at once, from work to courses to clubs to a social life. It’s given me a chance to look at things with a more strategic and high-level perspective across the different functions of the organization, and it has also allowed me to meet some amazing colleagues and friends, which would have been more difficult in the pandemic while we were all virtual.
I understand that almost every student organization states “networking” as one of its benefits, but for Kellstadt Marketing Group it really is true and even goes beyond that. The community is tight-knit and genuinely wants to see you succeed. Besides networking opportunities, we host speakers who share expertise on different topics to cater to people with a variety of interests (branding and creativity, women in business, marketing and sustainability, sports marketing, etc.) The KMG alumni network is also phenomenal as the community keeps giving back to current students with speaker panels, job opportunities or thought-leader videos and articles. I have grown from many of the opportunities and connections that KMG provides.
If you are a graduate student at DePaul and interested in joining KMG, please visit: kellstadtmarketing.com and follow our Instagram page @KMGDePaul for upcoming events. Our biggest events include the Fall Kick-Off, Case Competition (winter quarter) and a Symposium (spring quarter) each year.
Janaki Soni works full-time and is an MBA candidate at the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, and president of Kellstadt Marketing Group, previously holding the role of vice president of public relations and membership. Janaki is a double-demon and graduated in 2017 with a BS in business management information systems. She has always had a passion for the marketing space and enjoys taking on active leadership roles to increase community involvement and connect people with similar interests. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading and kayaking.