Ella Parlor graduated from Chapman in 2011 with a degree in Communication and minors in Political Science and Gender Studies. Originally pre-med, Ella was recruited for a marketing internship that changed the trajectory of her career. Below she shares what she is doing now and how her communication degree helped her get to where she is now. You can connect with Ella on LinkedIn.

Ella Parlor ’11

Where do you work and what is your job title?
I am a Market Activation Manager at Pernod Ricard

What does your job entail?
I localize and oversee the implementation of the National Brand Activation strategy. I serve as a local marketing expert, adviser, and support to sales and distributor teams. I work to develop the general market and multicultural (Black, Asian, Hispanic, LatinX) consumer touchpoint strategies across Pernod Ricard USA’s portfolio. I also manage and reconcile local and HQ program budgets for the California Division.

How did you decide to pursue a career in marketing?
I was recruited for a Marketing internship while Pre-Med.

How has your communication degree benefited you in your career?
I have effectively learned how to network organically. I may not be the smartest or most experienced in the room, but I know how to build interpersonal relationships by keeping a keen eye on nonverbal cues and being comfortable speaking up or reaching out. These skills have afforded me insights into causal conversations to which others may not be privileged.

What courses or professors helped you the most in your career journey?
This is going to sound so silly, but Dr Waldeck and Dr Panella gave real-world advice in their studies on how to impress professionals: being presentable, always having your nails done, raising your hand to speak, standing up in a room if you feel uncomfortable. These little nonverbal forms of communication can have a big impact on your first impressions. These small details can make a world of difference in opening or closing opportunities.

What advice do you have for undergraduate students or recent graduates?
Get a job. Find an internship. Build a robust resume now and continue to build it later.
Save everything (class rosters, emails to professors, papers, assignments) – you have no idea when you may need them again.