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Marketing Association

  • To foster a sense of camaraderie and community among its members that creates long-lasting bonds of both personal and professional friendships
  • To further the interests of the marketing association by creating a community of students with diverse backgrounds and similar interests focused on linking experienced leaders of the business world with the individual growth of the association's members
  • To create opportunities within the organization that provide every member full-time employment in an industry that is in alignment with their career interests and aspirations.

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Officer Bios

Erin Evans Kirti Bhailal Patel, President

Kirti Bhailal Patel is the President of the MBA Marketing Association. As President, he strives to facilitate the required resources Marketing Association members seek to achieve their aspirations in Marketing. He actively promotes the Marketing think-tank of Smeal in the industry and creates opportunities for association members to learn from and  connect with industry leaders by organizing speaker series and industry visits.

Kirti has eight years of entrepreneurial and international B2B marketing experience in the electronics/high-tech industry. In his previous job as a Business Development Manager at CoreEL Technologies, he increased revenue by 200% in three years by developing a new product portfolio, remapping the existing product portfolio to new market segments, and nurturing strategic customer accounts. In one of his previous entrepreneurial stints, he grew a start-up, Masamb Electronics, from ground-zero to 30 engineers and $1.2M in revenue in 18 months by penetrating into critical customer accounts and outworking the established competitors.

Smeal’s truly supportive culture, small class-size and highly reputed faculties attracted Kirti to Smeal.

 Yordan PankovJohn Brodie, VP of Corporate & Alumni Relations

John Brodie is the Vice President of Corporate and Alumni Relations for the MBA Marketing Association. In this role, his focus is to provide career development opportunities for fellow MBA candidates by harnessing relationships with alumni and corporations. He organizes partners with the MBA career department and the MBA alumni association to increase engagement between students and future employers.

John came to the MBA from St Louis, MO but has lived in all four time zones in the USA over the last 7 years. His experience is in the CPG industry, working in various supply chain and operations roles for Nestle and ConAgra Foods. Bringing that 7 years of CPG experience into the MBA program, John is pursuing a career in Marketing Brand Management.

John was happy to return to the East coast and Pennsylvania to attend the Penn State MBA program. The small class sizes and diverse student body are part of why he is excited and passionate about the Smeal MBA program.

Tho Tran, MBA Class of 2017Tho Tran, VP of Communications

Tho Tran is the Vice President of Communications for the MBA Marketing Association. In this role, she facilitates communication within the MBA community as well as externally with alumni and corporations. She works collaboratively with other Board members to organize networking events, marketing workshops, company visits and other activities.

Tho graduated from Foreign Trade University in Hanoi, Vietnam with a bachelor's degree in International Business and Economics. Prior to enrolling at Smeal, she worked for five years at Chodai, a leading Japanese consulting company in construction engineering. She was responsible for Marketing and Sales in Vietnam, and participated in projects in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea.

Tho chose Smeal because of its close-knit community and vast alumni network. She is a graduate assistant, and works on B2B Marketing projects for the Institute for the Study of Business Markets. She enjoys cooking, travelling and discovering new cultures.

Joel Perkins, MBA Class of 2017

Joel Perkins, VP of Finance

Joel Perkins serves as the VP of Finance for the MBA Marketing Association.  In this role, he manages the Association's bank account and handles monetary operations of the organization.  Joel is originally from Buffalo, NY and earned a bachelor's degree in Music from Louisiana State University.  Prior to joining Smeal, Joel spent six years working for the Boy Scouts of America as a non-profit executive in both Washington DC and Philadelphia. He currently works as a Graduate Assistant in the Marketing Department at Smeal and is also involved in Net Impact.  Outside of school, Joel enjoys attending concerts, bicycling, and skiing.