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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.


Photo of Prateek Mathur

Prateek Mathur, VP of Recruitment

Prateek is the Vice President of Recruiting for the MBA Marketing Association. In this role, Prateek hopes to integrate the Marketing Association’s resources and capabilities effectively to expand the initiatives of the association to further enhance the overall experience of its members, both academically and professionally. Also, he envisions to create an atmosphere of support to establish a common ground for sharing experiences, learnings and opportunities at Smeal. Additionally, he aims to strengthen the platform to help potential and incoming students gain more exposure to Smeal’s focus on Marketing from academic as well as networking and recruitment standpoint.

Prateek was born and raised in Oman, and graduated from NITK Surathkal with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2010. Prior to Smeal, he worked in the manufacturing sector in numerous capacities, for half a decade. At Wirtz, Prateek led numerous manufacturing footprint enhancement projects for the world's largest battery conglomerates in South-East Asia, Middle East, India and the USA. Later, Prateek led the establishment of the company’s sister concern in India and launched the entire manufacturing operations, developing and managing end-to-end domestic and global supply chain for the India operations.

Prateek chose Smeal because of its close-knit community and its emphasis on team-based learning. In his free time, Prateek offers admissions consulting services to prospective students to help them put their best foot forward for business school applications.


Franziska Schmid, MBA Class of 2017

Franziska Schmid, VP of Recruitment

Franziska Schmid serves as the Vice President of Recruiting. In this role, she is primarily responsible for reaching out to prospective students with a strong interest in Marketing.

Franziska is originally from Munich, Germany, and graduated from Dickinson State University with a Bachelor’s degree in International Business. Before coming to Smeal, Franziska gained four years of work experience in Brand Management at Triumph International, an intimate apparel company. She was responsible for several product lines in the German, Austrian, and Swiss markets.

Franziska chose Smeal because of the small class size, the family-like atmosphere and the extensive alumni network.