Derek Hudson, a senior marketing major from Omaha, Nebraska, transferred to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business his junior year and immediately got involved in the Department of Marketing. He found his niche as a peer mentor for Marketing (MRKT 341) and continued in the position for four semesters while finishing his undergraduate degree and taking graduate courses, which makes him the longest-standing student in the role.
Steve Welton, assistant professor of practice, and Rob Simon, associate professor of practice, noticed Hudson’s high-skill level as a student during their classes and asked him to become a peer mentor. Hudson’s efforts working with Lincoln Industries for a semester in Special Topics in Marketing (MRKT 490) with Welton and then Union Pacific the following semester with Simon, demonstrated his ability to apply marketing theories to real-life business situations and proved he could serve as a knowledgeable resource.
“Derek demonstrated great work-ethic, subject matter knowledge and leadership skills,” Welton said. “Typically students serve for two semesters but Derek has served twice as long. In this role, the more experience a student has the better, so he has been extremely valuable in working with the students, reviewing material for exams and helping them with the marketing simulation. Because of his experience, he also helps judge the student marketing projects.”
As a peer mentor, Hudson holds office hours three days a week for three hours. He assists students with homework questions and test preparation.
“It’s my favorite job I have had. I get a lot of satisfaction out of the teaching aspect and what being a mentor entails,” Hudson said. “The experience opened my eyes to perhaps becoming a professor in the future because now I know what it’s like to stand in front of students and present on these topics.”
Marketing 341 not only presented Hudson with a student job opportunity, but also introduced him to an internship. He enjoyed a presentation given by HUMANeX Ventures during the class and later approached the company at a career fair, leading to a summer internship in Lincoln, Nebraska.
During the internship, he served as the leader of a group of interns focused on retaining customers and improving customer relationships. Using presentation skills learned from business and marketing courses, Hudson excelled as a team leader.
“Almost all of my business classes at Nebraska included a speech or presentation, so speaking at my internship came easily to me,” Hudson said. “This internship made me realize so many of my marketing courses, particularly Marketing 490, seriously prepare students for the real world.”
Hudson will pursue his MBA at Nebraska in the fall and hopes to continue to work with his marketing professors. Long-term, he plans to first work in the marketing field and eventually start his own business.
“I ideally see myself as an entrepreneur. I want to learn the ropes of what other companies do for a few years and then start something of my own. I know Nebraska does a great job supporting entrepreneurs post-graduation with resources, knowledge and insight, so I know I can rely on the connections I made here in the future,” Hudson said.
To learn more about the Department of Marketing at Nebraska, visit: business.unl.edu/marketing