International MBA Candidate: 'The People are Great. I Love the Campus'
Sanjeev Prabhu '24 MBA enjoys learning about consumer behavior and how to build an audience in his business classes. He's applying it to his work as a social media assistant for the University's graduate program in industrial/organizational psychology.
March 31, 2023
By Jackie Hennessey, Contributing Writer
When Sanjeev Prabhu '24 MBA was growing up in India, he made YouTube videos and created memes that were so spot on, he soon became known around his high school as "the king of memes," he says.
He liked how social media was a big blank canvas where he could test out ideas, and where he could be funny and endlessly creative, developing his craft and skills. He realized even then this was something he wanted to do with his life.
He earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Garden City University in Bangalore, India, and started his own lifestyle brand, VATIVE, focused on Gen-Z consumers. He designed T-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, and phone cases, handling all aspects of the business including website development and marketing.
He began to search for an MBA program in marketing and digital marketing with a focus on STEM. He discovered the University's MBA program – one of just two such programs in the state – that features "insights in consumer behavior, Big Data, and analytics applied to real-world marketing challenges across various industries," where he would develop a "portfolio of experiences through internships and real-world learning opportunities."
He also researched the University's MBA program alumni. "I saw that they had really good positions in great companies" and that sealed the deal. Last August, he moved 8,251 miles from his home in India to the United States and what he calls an "amazingly welcoming University community. The people are great. I love the campus."
'It has been a fantastic experience'
The program immediately lived up to his expectations. He got a job as a social media assistant for the University's Master of Arts program in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, enabling him to apply what he is learning in his marketing courses in real time.
"In my courses, I learn tactics on how to build an audience," he says, and has honed his skills in website design, search engine optimization, video production, and building a digital marketing campaign. In a Marketing & Customer Value course, Prabhu says professor Subroto Roy, Ph.D., taught him "how to understand the audience and their needs and how to properly optimize my content in order to gain more attention."
"Dr. Roy is an extraordinary professor," Prabhu adds. "He is very active and very engaging with all of his students. He makes sure that everyone in the class understands the concepts."
In his social media assistant job, Prabhu works directly with Amy Nicole Baker, Ph.D., the Industrial/Organizational Psychology master's program coordinator and professor of psychology and sociology.
"I'm responsible for managing the program's social media accounts, creating and scheduling content, engaging with followers and prospective students and alumni, monitoring social media analytics, and collaborating with the program's faculty and staff to promote the program's brand and values," he says. "Through this job, I'm getting hands-on experience working in the U.S. for the first time. It has been a fantastic experience, so far."
'Something I will love to do for the rest of my life'
He has enjoyed the deep dive into the field of industrial and organizational psychology, posting about faculty in the media, the career successes of alumni, the work of students in the program, and program events.
"I am doing a lot of market research to build our audience, which is people who are already working in the field and want to pursue their master's in industrial and organizational psychology," he says. "I'm reading lots of articles and watching a lot of videos on the field. It's so interesting."
Dr. Baker says his work has made quite an impact. "Sanjeev has been instrumental in getting our program on all the social media accounts," she says. "We simply didn't have a social media presence before he came on-board. He's been great at both developing content and tracking its impact across a variety of platforms. We really appreciate his work ethic and expertise and couldn't have achieved our enhanced social media profile without him."
As the semester moves on, Prabhu is researching internship opportunities and continuing his work as a social media assistant.
When he graduates in May 2024, he would like to work as a brand or marketing manager. Instagram would be a top choice. Wherever he lands, he says, he has found just the right field for himself. "I know this is something I will love to do for the rest of my life," he says.