Zarb Student Success Stories
Name: Venessa Ashley Trofa
Major/Degree: Major: Marketing, Minors: Spanish and Global Studies
Why did you come to the Zarb School?
I originally entered Hofstra University completely undecided about my major. During my freshman year, I took a career assessment and was encouraged to look into the career of marketing. In my second semester, I enrolled in my first marketing course and it was there that I found my passion. I was impressed by the countless opportunities in the industry. I was excited to declare my major in marketing and double minors in spanish and global studies during my sophomore year.
I obtained my internship at The Direct Marketing Association through The Marketing Edge Summer Internship Program. As a Conference and Events Intern, I helped plan a conference for over 8,000 marketing professionals held in San Diego during October 2014. It was a great experience, which improved upon my professional writing skills. Most recently, I reached out to a professional from Nickelodeon and alumni of Hofstra for one of Hofstra American Marketing Association’s events and he offered to set-up a tour for our organization during fall 2014’s Marketing Week. He later offered to recommend me for Viacom’s summer 2015 internship program. I interned for Viacom’s Nickelodeon within the Consumer Marketing Department’s Property Marketing team. As a Property Marketing Intern, I worked on the marketing both internally and externally television shows for children ages 6-11. I analyzed strategies of Nickelodeon’s direct and indirect competition, updated company one-sheets on specific Nickelodeon shows, and used NetBase to analyze fans’ social media accounts. These two internships allowed to me to discover the world of marketing beyond the scope of a classroom.
For my first three years at Hofstra, I worked for The Career Center as a Student Employee. The Career Center not only provided me with the opportunity to grow within a professional office setting, but also enhanced my ability to communicate with professionals and students. They became my work family, and they supported me in ways that I cannot even begin to thank them for.
How did the Zarb School prepare you for your career?
Through the required business courses in each aspect of business, from finance and accounting to legal, international business, and even economics and business analytics, the Zarb School has set the foundation to enter any discipline of business. The courses available in marketing have allowed me to focus on elements that I am interested in, including interactive and direct marketing and advertising. Working one-on-one with professors with the courses I have selected as honors options also allowed me to have a more in-depth understanding of marketing. Most recently, I participated in a marketing case competition course through the American Marketing Association, which specifically focuses on a particular existing product on the market and allows us, as a small class of 6 to 10 students, to create new marketing strategies and tactics based upon our research and findings. This class gives us, as marketing students, a glimpse into what our future careers could hold. While attending classes, the Zarb School also offers us with multiple ways to become involved through student organizations, executive speaker series events, student teaching positions, and various ways to give back to the campus and outside community. In addition, the Zarb alumni I have met are extremely active on-campus providing career guidance, advice, and opportunities to students.
What is your favorite memory/experience at the Zarb School?
Since I declared my major, my favorite memories and experiences with the Zarb School all encompass the theme of meeting and getting to know different students, faculty members, and professors. Faculty members’, professors’, and even student leaders’ commitment to offering Hofstra students an amazing experience beyond their education has been overwhelming. I have so enjoyed being able to learn through one-on-one honors option programs and conversations with my professors, mentors, and faculty. Some of my closest friends that I have made have been through my leadership positions with Hofstra American Marketing Association. Each and every person has impacted and influenced the positive experience I have had at Hofstra, one that I hope to be able to continue giving back to as an alumni.
What advice do you have for students who want to follow in your footsteps?
The advice I would give to any student at Hofstra would be to become involved. The experiences I have gained outside of the classroom have provided me with the greatest sources of personal and professional growth. Becoming an integral part of the Zarb School of Business opens up such wonderful opportunities to give back to the local communities through programs like the Money & Me Program and Ladder to Leadership. I would definitely encourage students of all majors to attend networking programs and events hosted by student organizations and the Zarb School of Business, as they may lead to potential future internships, careers, and lifelong friendships.