Tim Lake

Strategic Education Lead, Cisco Systems Inc.


BSBA in Marketing, University of Arizona, 2007

What do you feel the marketing department best prepared you for in your professional career?      

Innovation.  The ability to develop novel ideas supported by concrete supporting information presented in a meaningful way is a hallmark of any Eller Marketing course.  This is absolutely crucial in the workforce and a valuable differentiator for recent grads compared to more seasoned colleagues, competitors, etc.  Innovation is the key to moving forward.  Since those new to the workforce don’t have preconceived notions about existing processes they are positioned well to innovate.  Ensuring, of course, new ideas are well thought out and positioned at the appropriate time and place.

What experience(s) as a college student helped you pick the career path you are in? 

Getting Involved.  Without a doubt my time with the American Marketing Association was incredibly valuable.  Additional organizations such as Students Consulting for Non-Profit Organizations and FESO provided valuable leadership skills and  fun, yet challenging, opportunities to continue to improve the college.  Project based courses and assignments also provided a much more meaningful window into expectations of top employers.

Any words of advice for future Eller Marketing majors?   

Get involved.  Try new approaches.  Don’t wait for a recruiter to find you – identify your career goal and don’t be afraid to network.  Very few successful people are offended if a student would like to learn from them if you are sincere and mindful of their time.

Can you describe a positive experience that you may have had with the faculty of the Marketing department?  

There are many.  Working with committed and inspiring professors like Dr. Piscitello made courses meaningful and enjoyable.  Outstanding support of AMA by the department and Dr. Umashankar provided so many countless opportunities.  And perhaps one of the most exciting memories was shadowing a CEO in China through the Marketing Department's Thinking Forward conference.