Chris Wilkey: Why I Joined the AMA?
Chris Wilkey, Co-Vice President of Collegiate Relations, shares his story of why he joined the American Marketing Association and what he loves about it.
My story is one that still surprises me when I look back.
I was a freshman at Ball State University and I was asked if I would be interested in helping to revive the Ball State chapter of the AMA. I had never heard of the American Marketing Association and I did not even know what I wanted to major in the business school. I decided to take a chance and I said, “Sure!” I had no idea that this simple answer would change my life in the coming years.
During my junior year, I had the fantastic opportunity to serve as the Ball State AMA president and as the Indy AMA intern. This was my first internship experience and I feel in love with it. I found out that I really enjoyed the field of marketing and I now had some amazing connections across Indianapolis. I actually ended up landing a second internship with RE/MAX of Indiana at an AMA luncheon.
By my senior year of college, I had decided that I wanted to have a career in sales (or so I thought). I took a job out of college and ended up not enjoying it at all. I quickly realized that I enjoyed the marketing side of things way better than the sales side. I ended up partnering up with a close friend (and college roommate) to start our own digital marketing agency.
If I look back at my journey with the AMA, it is clear to see that it has had an extreme impact on my professional career. It has helped me find my passion, gain work experience, land internship positions, and even start a company. My wife says it best: “The AMA has opened up a ton of doors for you.”
Here is the interesting part:
I didn’t join the AMA for all of these things. I wasn’t looking for an internship when I helped to revive the Ball State chapter. I wasn’t looking for another internship once I finished my AMA internship. I wasn’t looking to start my own company.
I joined the AMA because I believed it was a good organization. I was looking for a way to expand my knowledge and connections. Everything else was just an added benefit that came from my membership. I always kept an open mind and always looked for new opportunities.
I wouldn’t trade my time with the AMA for anything. I love the organization and I hope I am able to give just as much to the organization as it has given to me.