All Articles

Classroom to Careers: Brenton Marcum

Brenton Marcum

Class: Spring 2015, Communication Studies, Speech Communication, and Psychology with a Certificate in Leadership and Public Service

Job Title: Marketing Insights Assistant

Business: Two Rivers Marketing

Hometown: Clive, IA

A Cyclone Born Into a Hawkeye Family

Though his family is is full of Hawkeye fans, Brenton decided to join the Cyclone family. His experience at Iowa State “was both what I expected and what I could have never expected. I expected to meet other students, build relationships and get involved in my community. I could not have expected ISU would have had such an impact on me and to meet so many people that would change my life.”

Ingredients for Success: Hard Work and Positivity

While at Iowa State, Brenton worked hard to obtain leadership experience. He was the Marketing Chair for the Student Alumni Relations Council for Iowa State’s 101st Homecoming, the Vice President of Sigma Pi Fraternity, and the President of the Communication Studies Club.

When it came time to find a job, Brenton used Career Fairs and LAS Career Services resources. Brenton met many times with Taren Crow and said, “She was always accessible and a positive motivator and helped me in every way she could and I am grateful for that. Taren and Career Services taught me to be ready for the things that they do not teach you in the classroom about resumes, cover letters and interviews. ” If he could do it over, “I would have made internships a greater priority as opposed to summer jobs. In my interviews we talked about my classes, but it was of greater importance to leverage work experience along with the classes I took.”

Brenton began his career at Principal Financial Group, the week after graduation, and was there for a year and a half in the customer service department. During this experience, he realized that his dream career was to work in marketing. Brenton then began the search for marketing positions in the Des Moines area. He joined organizations to gain marketing experience (including acting as the Social Media Coordinator for Young Professionals Connection and an alumni board member as Secretary for Sigma Pi Fraternity), read marketing books every day, applied to jobs online, and used every available opportunity to network with marketing professionals. He found that “the most challenging thing was actually getting the interview. I applied for months to jobs, but it took a five-minute conversation with a stranger to have them pass along my resume to get an interview.”

The Payoff

After all of Brenton’s work, building marketing experience and developing his professional network, he found that “there was nothing more rewarding than receiving an offer letter in my email inbox.” Brenton accepted a position as a Marketing Insights Assistant for Two Rivers Marketing in Des Moines, IA. He described his first day by saying, “I knew I was around people with a great amount of marketing knowledge, and… it was a great feeling to work in a career I am truly passionate about. I wake up with a smile on my face to work in an industry that intrigues me.”

When reflecting on his time at Iowa State, Brenton noted that “This experience has allowed me to be grateful for my time at Iowa State, as I do believe it has helped make me the person I am today. This experience makes me feel gratitude. Pure gratitude. I am lucky to have gone to such a fantastic institution and will forever be a Cyclone.”