With graduation quickly approaching, senior marketing major Andrew Adams already has a foot in the door when it comes to his career after college.
Last April, Adams discovered an opportunity that would not only improve his marketing skills, but put him directly in line with other marketing moguls and entrepreneurs. A radio station on Long Island was up for sale last year, 104.7 WELJ, and Adams quickly jumped on the opportunity to buy and own the station.
“If I don’t take it, someone else will,” Adams said. “So I jumped on the opportunity.”
He knew since his freshman year of high school that marketing was the right field for him, and he is already in the thick of it. After taking part in a marketing competition three years in a row, which consisted of students creating marketing plans for specific subjects — a car, an application or a nonprofit — and a “Shark Tank” style pitch, Adams knew marketing made sense to him, especially the media side of marketing.
“Marketing is what sells the world,” Adams said. “You can’t buy anything without marketing, you can’t sell anything without marketing. Marketing is what drives the economy.”
Adams said many people have a common misconception that marketing is simply advertising, but it is much more complex than that. Often times, marketing professionals must come up with product design, product placement and deal with numbers and analytics.
“It keeps me on my feet, and it keeps me busy,” Adams said. “There’s so much creativity and so much new things happening in marketing there’s always so much going on. It’s very new and it’s very current.”
Balancing being a full-time student and a business owner takes up all of Adam’s time during the week and weekends. He said he doesn’t usually start his school work until 4 a.m. every night, and he is often doing work for the station while trying to pay attention in class. This might seem like an overwhelming amount of responsibility for the average student, but Adams does a superb job of keeping the two lives balanced.
Adams’ adviser at Plattsburgh State, Assistant Professor of Marketing Richard Gottschall, said it’s interesting being a professor and teaching students who actually are doing work in the business world already. However, Gottschall said he never got the sense that Adams was preoccupied or distracted.
“I was kind of not aware that he was an entrepreneur,” Gottschall said. “There’s a lot of myths about what an entrepreneur should look like and act like and be like, and they’re really just not true. Entrepreneurs really just come in all different varieties and personalities and ages and interests, and some fit the mold, but there is not a standard really.”
As a young entrepreneur, Adams must overcome the “men’s club” that is the marketing world currently. Adams said since purchasing the radio station, other people have been coming to him for advice now. He said it happened “pretty much overnight.”
Now more clients have been reaching out to Adams and challenging him to push himself harder. One client even requested to have an advertisement run on the side of a hot air balloon. Adams wasn’t sure how to accommodate the client at first but worked hard and eventually made it happen and “they were pretty excited about it.”
“It’s a lot of pressure,” Adams said. “I like the pressure. I like the challenge it provides.”
Adams puts about 60 hours a week into his business and “55 on a slow week.” He is constantly in contact with clients and other business people, whether it’s on the phone between classes or through email.
Assistant Professor of Marketing at PSUC Laurent Josien said Adams is a great problem-solver and is able to learn quickly and effectively.
“That’s where I thought Andrew was better than most,” Josien said. “His ability to see the problem, define the problem and come up with a solution.”
Problem-solving and crisis management are vital qualities of marketing professionals and Adams seems to already have a good understanding of both.
In five to 10 years, Adams ideally would like to see himself continuing to build his media property holdings and build his portfolio more to see where it will take him.
“He has a vision and he’s doing his best to achieve that vision,” Josien said. “For a lot of students, that’s where they need to spend a little more time right now.”
Email Laura Schmidt at firstname.lastname@example.org