After attending the University of British Columbia’s Student Awards night in 2020 and meeting scholarship recipient Diana Marinescu, we were inspired to learn more about the students who receive the bursaries awarded on behalf of Sales Marketing Executives International and to understand the positive impact our awards have on the lives of recipients.
Diana Marinescu was awarded the James B Warren Scholarship in 2019. This James B Warren Scholarship scholarship was created to honour Professor James B. Warren for his 25 years of supervising and teaching and ensuring the continued outstanding success of the SMEI-UBC Diploma Program in Marketing and Sales Management, as well as for his 25 years of service as a Director of the SMEI Association.
Diana, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce, Marketing at UBC is an ambitious, career-minded individual, and we have no doubt that she will achieve the level of success that she aspires to. Below in her own words, Diana describes the impact receiving the James B Warren Scholarship award has had on her life and her studies.
Diana Marinescu – Scholarship Recipient
When I received this award last year, I was overwhelmed with a surge of gratitude, relief and excitement. I remember thinking to myself: These eminent individual figures in the field of marketing chose me to receive this scholarship… yet another reason to pursue my ambitious goals. Of course, I realized the impact receiving the scholarship would have; fast forward a year later, I can truly attest to how much of an impact this support has had on my life.
At the time, I had just completed 2nd year of the BCom degree as well as my first Co-op term, with intentions to complete the rest of my work terms the following year. This, however, would delay my graduation by an entire academic year and gave rise to concern regarding my financial situation after the typical 4 years required to complete a degree. While I started working part-time right after beginning my studies at UBC, it was not nearly enough to save up sufficiently in order to be able to live on my own a couple years down the line. The scholarship went straight to my hefty tuition, which I was then able to reallocate some funds and feel more comfortable throughout the academic year. With that weight off my shoulders, I was able to focus on my personal and professional development with a more focus and intensity. I maintained a full course load while devoting myself to other commitments. Firstly, I continued working part-time at the UBC Vancouver School of Economics (VSE) as a Marketing and Communications Coordinator, where I had the opportunity to get a hands-on experience for a line of work right up my alley. I also served as the Marketing Coordinator for UBC’s largest entrepreneurship club, where I bridged the gap between our student body and the Vancouver start up scene with our events, speaker series and corporate connections.
As my third year came to a wrap, I decided to transition my part-time position into an eight-month co-op where I could work on high-level strategy, branding, digital marketing and help support the growing community of Bachelor of International Economics (BIE) students. Not missing a beat, I applied for the UBC Brand Management Mentorship Program (BMMP), and spent the summer rigorously learning, practising and applying the experience I was continuously gaining. I’ve started implementing insights I gained from BMMP, in addition to courses and previous work experiences, as I continue working full time until the end of this year. I hope to leave a legacy not only for my department and the students it serves but for the university as a whole.
Most recently, I was hired to work for a new startup marketing agency, New Media Group, I where manage accounts for clients; from creating ads and writing copy, to targeting and scaling, I truly feel like the “assistant” owner of the brands our team helps to grow. Not only do we help company owners establish themselves in the market, but we also help bring a wide range of useful and unique products to the customers that want them. Truly a win-win situation and the kind of work I aspire to be doing long-term; on a much greater scale, of course.
Reflecting back on the past year, I can see how the Sales and Marketing Executives of Vancouver James B. Warren Scholarship has drastically impacted my life. I can only imagine how being the recipient of such a notable scholarship will continue to impact my life; and given the career that I’m pursuing, touch the lives of thousands of people in the best way possible.
Sales and Marketing Executives International (SMEI) has a long history of giving back, dating back over seventy years. For SMEI, corporate social responsibility takes the form of pledges and contributions to scholarships that now total over $1.5m comprising the Dan Gardiner Research Endowment Fund, the Charles Weinberg Award, and the James B Warren Scholarship, as well as our Student Membership initiative, an initiative to enrol sales and marketing student members around the world free of charge.
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Diana for her contribution. We wish her all success in her future endeavours.