Monday, April 27, 2015

Reach Out to the Next Generation | by Matt Ondrejko

On March 30, I had the pleasure of speaking to an International Marketing class at the University of Nebraska Omaha. I was invited to share my global marketing experiences and career path with a class of about 50 students.

It was exciting for me to provide some insight to these juniors and seniors as they are getting close to starting a career and putting their knowledge to work in the real world. I thought back to my own experiences in college and remembered how important it was to have access to and interaction with people who had real jobs, while learning about the paths they followed.

Matt Ondrejko speaking at the University of Nebraska Omaha.

I told the students about my personal journey and pursuit from a young age to find a job that would allow me to travel the world and experience different cultures and people. I explained that I was one of only a few people that I knew who walked into college knowing what degree I wanted and actually stuck with my plan through the whole course of my education.

Once I graduated though, I knew what I wanted to do and had a piece of paper that said I had skills, but I didn’t know what path to start down to get me there. This is where many of the students I met are today.

I feel it is very important to present options and clarity to students about what is out there in the real world. What does it mean to be in marketing, finance, sales or engineering?

The amazing thing about our diverse world is that we likely wear all these hats at some point in our positions or careers (regardless of the piece of paper you received from a university). By exposing these students to what international marketing means to me and to the different positions within the Valley marketing department, I am helping them understand how one company – our company – operates and drives business.

I encourage you all to connect with students you may know, or volunteer to help them understand the different paths that exist and open their eyes to different possibilities.

Matt Ondrejko

VP Global Marketing

The one word that can sum up Matt is "enthusiasm!" He likes to be on-the-go and have fun along the way. Matt loves music and the 1980s era. He is a child of the MTV generation and has a deep appreciation of all music genres (specifically, he is a huge Dave Matthews Band groupie). Matt has traveled to more than 70 countries around the world and enjoys learning about different cultures and people. He spent three years living with his family in Leuven, Belgium, trying to enjoy as many of the 700+ beers they brew there.