Armed with a portfolio of marketing projects developed while a student at UTSA, recent marketing alumna Rhea Palicha, ’15 capitalized on her experiences to land a position as a social media specialist with IBM in Austin.
Crediting what she learned in her Social Media Marketing class with lecturer Wendy Boaglio, MBA ’11, Palicha is the social media voice for IBM’s cloud division.
“As part of my interview I was asked to create a social media plan,” said Palicha. “Since we had already done that for a real client in my social media class, I was able to create a plan, identify the target audience and explain to them how I would track the campaign’s progress.”
In addition to her social media class, Palicha received a well-rounded marketing foundation from the College of Business. Her favorite professors included Boaglio, Rajesh Bhargave, assistant professor of marketing, and Richard Utecht, associate professor of marketing.
“The professors made the material interesting by assigning hands-on applied projects that gave me a lot more experience,” said Palicha, who also interned with Halliburton as well as with a San Antonio marketing agency. “While interviewing I realized how much I really knew, and how much I was applying from my undergrad.”
Transferring skills learned in the classroom directly to her job, Palicha says that each day is different and could include tracking key performance indicators or live tweeting at an event.
“My role really surprised me. I thought I’d come in and everything was going to be handed to me and very structured,” said Palicha. “That was not the case. But, it is fun to learn something new every day and keep acquiring information. Seeing that my social media plan drove attendance to an event or that my hashtag is trending is rewarding.”
Enjoying working in Austin with a vibrant team of young digital marketing professionals, Palicha is excited about what her future holds. “I would like to see where social media takes me,” she said. “I would love to stay with IBM and grow with the company. Marketing evolves every single day. I’m excited to see what happens in social media in the next few years.”
Palicha encourages students to take advantage of the resources offered in the College of Business. “Take an interest in your classes,” she said. “You never know when one of your classes may spark an interest that can lead to your future career.”
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