Smeal spring 2020 marketing marshal credits parents for inquisitive nature

May 06, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — For many students, choosing to study marketing in the Penn State Smeal College of Business would be an excellent, but otherwise unremarkable choice.

A photo of Ziqi Yin

Ziqi Yin

IMAGE: Provided

For Ziqi Yin, who hails from Szechuan, China, her decision to come literally halfway around the world to University Park meant trading pandas for lions and the comfort of home for the unfamiliarity of Penn State.

Yin, who will graduate May 9 with a degree in marketing and a minor in digital media trends and analytics, has been selected as Smeal’s spring 2020 marketing student marshal.

“I am from Szechuan, China, the home of giant pandas. I grew up in an open-minded and supportive family that allows me to share my original ideas and make my own decisions. Since I was young, they always encouraged me to try new things and step out of my comfort zone,” she said.

“Their parenting formed my adventurous and extroverted personality. I like to take challenges and expose myself to diverse environments. At the end of my junior year in high school, I suddenly decided to study abroad for college because I wanted to experience a new culture and a different life.”

Her relative unfamiliarity with Penn State and Smeal commencement customs colored her reaction to being named the marketing marshal.

“I was excited, but I did not really know how great the distinction of being selected as a student marshal was when I received the email. I thought every department has several offerings, and I posted an Instagram story asking if anyone else got in,” she said.

“Then, my friends informed me it was a distinct honor. At that moment, I was truly thrilled and messaged my parents and friends right away. I had a great sense of accomplishment and have been anticipating commencement.”

Her introduction to the appeal of the marketing curriculum was also a gradual process.

“I am creative and extroverted and interested in business. However, I did not know and like much about marketing before I really dove into this. I chose marketing because I thought it was a good fit for me,” she said.

But after taking courses taught by Franklin Carter, the William A. Donan Clinical Professor of Marketing, and Meg Meloy, the chair of the Marketing Department and a Calvin E. and Pamala T. Zimmerman Fellow, Yin’s interest in marketing accelerated.

“As I studied further, I found marketing really intriguing since the concepts are consistently evolving over the last decades from mass promotions of sales to personalized marketing,” she said. “It is such a dynamic, comprehensive, creative discipline that stimulates me to keep learning and be innovative to follow up on the rapidly developing world. Its unknown and flexibility provide me with a space for imagining, challenging, creating, and connecting with diverse people.”

Matthew Checchio, instructor of marketing, saw Yin’s emerging passion for marketing in his course.

“Ziqi brought a high level of initiative and drive to maximize her potential to learn every day in Marketing 450: Marketing Strategy. She would ask purposeful questions and make insightful comments, which I always looked forward to in class,” he said.

“Her assignments evaluating a marketing case to then make strategic recommendations with supporting evidence were some of the best I’ve read in my time at Penn State. This embodies, along with her positive and friendly demeanor, her qualities for future success in graduate school and in her career.”

Following graduation, Yin said she plans to enroll in a graduate school to study business analytics and integrated marketing. She said her parents’ support enabled her to take the first step in her academic journey to Smeal and will carry her forward.

“Even though they knew it would be extremely difficult, they supported my choice and did their best to help with my application,” she said. “Without their unreserved support, I would not even be here.”

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Last Updated May 11, 2020