Jillian Smerechniak (CALS ‘21), hailing from Long Island, NY, is a sophomore majoring in Applied Economics and Management with a minor in Fashion. Outside of SAI, Jillian enjoys travel and food photography as well as ocean lifeguarding.
Jillian first discovered SAI during her freshman year while exploring the variety of organizations Cornell had to offer. She was particularly drawn to SAI for the opportunity to have a meaningful impact with her work and to assume the significant responsibility of running a business. The creative and entrepreneurial environment of SAI motivated her to apply during her freshman year. While she was ultimately not offered a position, Jillian was driven to improve her skill-set and reapply the following year.
When reapplying this past year, Jillian found Campus Promotions the most appealing to her interests in marketing. Last summer, Jillian worked at a Fintech start-up, LMRKTS, and found that experience truly rewarding. Jillian enjoyed the office’s flat structure, learning a great deal from working across different teams, developing relationships with her bosses and coworkers. Jillian knew that from Campus Promotions she could grow skills in operations and sales while gaining the experience pivoting the business as digital media and analytics become a key driver of revenue. In retrospect, Jillian did not realize how much freedom she would have in creating her path. While students receive guidance from the professional staff and the executive team, the immense amount of autonomy she has experienced thus far has been an invaluable learning experience.
The biggest obstacle she has faced thus far as manager of Campus Promotions was finding ways to grow new revenue streams while also bolstering CP’s most profitable services like postering. The hard work put in to overcome these obstacles has paid off: the CP team has celebrated many triumphs thus far. The most significant success for Jillian was spearheading social media campaigns, and hearing community members talk about client products on campus. It was rewarding for her to see that CP’s efforts were creating brand awareness on campus. Her next goal for CP is to establish a sustainable business model and ensure that the business is continually evolving.
In the upcoming year, Jillian is most excited to bond with the CP management team and the SAI team as a whole. While the summer in Ithaca will be quite different from this past one that she spent in NYC, Jillian looks forward to learning more about entrepreneurship through the startup community at Cornell and in Ithaca. In terms of what she envisions for Campus Promotions, Jillian is wishes to continue its digital growth and develop the value that her team as college students can deliver to both local and national businesses through consulting, data analytics, and digital media campaigns.