This month, the Department of Marketing spotlights Sarah Smith—a student advocate in-action!
Sarah Smith is a senior studying Professional Sales and Marketing here at Missouri State. She will graduate in Spring of 2023 and is currently also enrolled in the Accelerated MBA Program. Originally from Kansas City, MO, Sarah now serves as Social Media Coordinator for a local nonprofit agency called Fight CRC. Their mission is to fight colorectal cancer and serve as relentless champions of hope for those affected by the disease through informed patient support, impactful policy change, and breakthrough research endeavors.
Sarah has worked with Fight CRC since January of 2022, managing their social media accounts and building quality relationships through community engagement. We were intrigued by Sarah’s experience at Fight CRC. So, we decided to interview her to learn more about the position, and pick-up on some advice that she might have for other students in marketing. Here’s what she had to say:
Q. Why did you decide to apply for a position with Fight CRC?
“I have always been interested in nonprofit work. My family owns a nonprofit in Kansas City, so I got to watch my parents start the business from nothing and turn it into something so amazing. Every day that they go to work they help others and help the community of Downtown Kansas City; so, I knew I had to find a nonprofit to work for.”
“In 2020 my mom was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer, and I found out over the phone. It was hard for me because I didn’t have anyone to talk to about what it was like to have your parent diagnosed with cancer. That same year I went to the Missouri State COB Job Fair and saw Fight CRC’s booth. I went up and told them that I admire the work they do and explained my involvement with my family’s nonprofit. After we talked for a bit, they took my resume and ended up reaching out to me the next day. I went in for an interview and right off the bat knew I wanted to work there. Not only was the work culture super cool, I knew that the work they did saved so many people’s lives and for the first time, someone else would understand what I was going through with my mom.”
Q. What did you start out doing at Fight CRC?
“I started as a SEO intern working on the website and rewriting content. After I went to Washington, DC in March to help with the first ever Colorectal Cancer installation on the National Mall, I knew I wanted to find a career here at Fight CRC. A couple weeks later they offered me a part time position as the social media coordinator, and I have been doing that for almost six months now.”
Q. What do you do in your current position?
“As the social media coordinator, I schedule daily content for Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I also help create graphics, and recently I have been spending a lot of time making reels and TikToks.”
Q. What is your favorite part about the job?
“My favorite part of the job is getting to work for an organization that fights for people. We talk and work with congressman and women and are consistently fighting for policy change. Anjee Davis, the president of Fight CRC, was invited to the White house multiple times. We are advocating for the people who can’t.”
Q. How has it shaped you?
It has made me more aware of the disparities in our healthcare system, and the stigma that is put on cancer patients. It’s helped me realize I never should take my health for granted.”
“It also has taught me so much career wise and helped me grow as an individual in the workplace.”
Q. What are your plans for post-graduation?
“Post-graduation, my plan is to come on full time at Fight CRC!”
Q. How has your education in the MSU Marketing Department helped you achieve your professional goals?
“Most every professor I had genuinely cared about their students and wanted to see them succeed. I have learned a lot in all my marketing classes, but I would say the three classes that I really genuinely enjoyed and grew from were with Dr. Rast, Dr. Grigsby, and Jessica L. Burkland – all of them made an impact on my life. They invest a lot into their students, and you can tell. I am so thankful to have the opportunity to go to a school that cares about your success even outside of the classroom.”
Q. Do you have any advice for younger students looking to gain professional experience?
“It starts Freshmen year! Show up on time to class and build good relationships with your professors. So many of my professors have written me letters of recommendation and or offered me job positions! Always look for opportunities to build your resume and gain experience. My first marketing position was at a tiny print shop, and it wasn’t always the easiest job, but it taught me a lot and was a steppingstone to my current job. The work you put in, in the beginning, will pay off. The best thing you can do is make connections and friendships — that is the easiest way to succeed.”
Thank you much for meeting with us, Sarah! We look forward to keeping up with your endeavors and seeing what other students have to share about their experiences with the Department of Marketing.