Stepping Outside the Comfort Zone: Marketing Student Kateryna Umanets

Kateryna Umanets, class 2019, is a Marketing major from Ukraine. She is President of the Grassroots club, Orientation Leader, and the Student Government’s Webmaster. In 2017, she participated in JCU’s Career Fair and started an internship at OCOCO as a Graphic Design and Social Media Manager.

Kateryna Umanets

Kateryna Umanets

What brought you to JCU?
I was looking for an American university anywhere in Europe and chose JCU because it suited my intention of studying marketing within an international environment. JCU’s vibrant community and student life facilitated my transition to the American higher education system. I had read the information about the Grassroots environmental club even before coming here and couldn’t wait to join it. Now I’m the President of Grassroots, something that I could not imagine possible when I first heard about it.

Which professors at JCU have made an impact on you and why?
Some of the professors at JCU made me fall in love with subjects that have quickly become my favorite, like Statistics I with Professor Jeff Link. He showed us the many entertaining and effective practical applications of statistics. This pragmatic approach to teaching has many advantages. I also try to channel it when I teach English in a summer camp in Ukraine – by being open, friendly and entertaining like my professors.

What are your career plans after graduation?
Besides marketing, my other passion is graphic design. I’m still deciding whether I want to concentrate only on marketing or work toward another degree in the design field. I’d like my future career to involve some creativity, and I hope to find a path that will combine my interests and allow me to express myself.

What do you think makes marketing so important nowadays?
I like the power that marketing has on people. Marketers influence our everyday lives, our habits, and even our desires and dreams. I believe marketing tools could be used to promote many good ideas connected to charities, social businesses, and social movements. The excess of information and competition makes marketing today especially important – consumers need guidance in making choices since there are so many products, services, and sources of information available.

Tell us about your internship at OCOCO. What have you learned from this experience?
It was one of the most enriching experiences I have had in Rome. Working in a relatively small team comes with many benefits – first of all, it teaches you flexibility. My main responsibilities were: creating content for social media, website and blog and designing both online and print branded materials. The fair “Rimini Wellness” was the most rewarding moment of my internship. I managed two stands and oversaw the work of our partners, communicated with people in different languages and through the company’s social media. Throughout my internship, I improved my design and social media skills, got to know the market of organic products, and practiced my Italian.

You are a very active member of the JCU community. How has this shaped your academic experience?
Before JCU I was the President of three Student governments: in my school, my city, and my region. In my first semester at John Cabot, I felt a bit lost without my usual activities. Just going to classes and then going back home was not enough for me. Joining clubs has been my way to come back to what I am used to, my home away from home. I’m sure that student activities and my internship at OCOCO are the reasons I’ve never felt homesick or out of place.

What is your advice to prospective students?
JCU is a great community where you’ll be supported and welcomed. At the same time, it gives you a lot of opportunities to leave your comfort zone. A few weeks ago I did my first Stand Up comedy ever! There are many ways you can challenge yourself, get involved in community life, learn new things, and grow from these experiences.

Academically, I found advising especially helpful – my advisor Professor Alessandro Signorini is very knowledgeable and supportive. Being in a completely new education system, it would have been difficult to me to plan my studies without my advisor. I am also deeply thankful to the Career Services office for my professional experience and would advise students to take advantage of the many internships they offer.