Sunita Dharani (BBA ’15) Uses Bauer Experience in Senior Marketing Role
As a senior account manager for marketing firm TEN35, Sunita Dharani (BBA ’15) is putting the skills she gained as a Bauer College student to use in the professional world.
Dharani earned a double major in marketing and psychology as a University of Houston undergraduate and participated in student organizations, including Bauer’s chapter of the American Marketing Association as well as Coog Radio and Coog News.
“I had an interest in psychology during high school and wanted to pursue a degree in it. After being accepted into UH, I became interested in business and wanted to expand my options career wise,” she said. “While I studied marketing, I found it useful to continue studying psychology to learn how humans think and interact. It is really important to understand that to effectively communicate with others.”
We recently sat down with Dharani to learn more about what she’s doing now.
Tell us about your time at UH.
I loved my time at UH. During the four years I was there, I got involved with a few different organizations. Being a commuter student, it was hard to get the full college experience, so these organizations really helped me feel a sense of belonging.
I joined the UH chapter of the American Marketing Association. I started as a member, then communications committee member, then director of communications and technology. In this role, I managed all email, website and social media for the organization. I then held the position of vice president during my senior year.
Because of my love for the music industry, I joined Coog Radio during my junior year as the first official blogger for the website. During that year, the web director mentored me and challenged us to create consistently shareable, timely and interesting content to the blog, aiming to increase web hits and social sharing. My senior year, I applied for the web director position and got it. We took an aggressive approach to recruiting and were able to create and retain a team of 40 consistent bloggers and photographers for the year, posting a minimum of three posts a day and more than doubled our web traffic.
Our blog caught the attention of the Director for Center if Student Media (Coog Radio, The Daily Cougar, Coog TV) and I was asked to interview to be a managing editor for the freshman and transfer magazine, Transitions. The director believed we could put together a strong team of writers who would be able to produce valuable content for incoming students. With our team, we developed helpful articles and interesting stories, and were able to come out with an awesome issue by the end of the semester.
Additionally, I interned with Moroch Entertainment as a publicity and promotions intern where I marketed movies through digital and experiential events via red carpet screenings, local events and through social campaigns.
What led you to Bauer College?
Bauer is one of the most prestigious colleges at UH. My uncle graduated from the entrepreneurship program and double majored in finance. My cousin completed an MBA from Bauer, and my dad is an entrepreneur and investor. Business is in my blood, and I grew up learning about Bauer and how awesome it really is.
Just entering into the Melcher Hall provides a different feeling than the rest of the University. The seasoned professors offer true guidance and experience that helped shaped me as a professional. The numerous professional workshops and endless opportunities set up Bauer students for success. It is definitely where awesome happens.
After you graduated, what did you do?
One of my roles as AMA’s vice president included screening and compiling job and internship opportunities for members from multiple resources such as sponsors, Rockwell Career Center and Cougar Pathway. I came across an internship opportunity that I was including in one of the bimonthly emails for an event management intern from Cougar Pathway. I had previous experience with event marketing and applied for this opportunity.
Once I applied, I was called in for an interview with the CEO of Etched Communication, the public relations arm of TEN35, a full-service marketing agency. We hit it off, and I began my term as an intern in March 2015 during my last semester at UH.
While working at Etched Communication and TEN35, I have developed and executed campaigns for Blue Moon, Houston Housing Authority, Hilton Worldwide and Autism Speaks, just to name a few. We won awards from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and PRNews for community relations and brand reputation/management.
I received a full-time position as an account coordinator after graduating magna cum laude in May 2015. I currently hold a senior account manager position and this month marks three years with the company.
How did Bauer help prepare you for your career?
Bauer provides so many resources to set up their students for success. The AMA chapter allowed the students to have the freedom to create and manage opportunities for the members. The Bauer staff provided leadership workshops and certifications that helped really evaluate our approach to be a great leader and set ourselves apart from others.
People underestimate the importance of writing a proper email. My experience with Bauer helped me shape my sponsor relation skills, working with professionals already in the workforce. Having the new Classroom and Business Building allowed space to host informational and helpful workshops and events.
The atmosphere at Bauer allows students to learn real-world skills that help with their careers. My experiences with working with others, managing a team, marketing events and the organization, as well as having mentors all around me, are the key elements that helped me prepare for my career.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years? 10 years?
In the next five years, I see myself obtaining an MBA. I have started studying for my GMAT and have gone to information sessions and connected with alumni to understand the application process and the expectations for the MBA itself. I believe that no one ever stops learning, especially if they want to succeed and go further in their career.
In the next 10 years, I see myself as a leader that is using what I have learned and gained from experiences to help the next generation. I will be old enough to have settled down financially, and want to use my time to shape and offer help to those who are finding their way career-wise and even in life.
Introduction by Jessica Navarro & interview by Amanda Sebesta