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Indiana University Bloomington

Center for Brand Leadership

Kelley Advantage

The Center for Brand Leadership is a close-knit group of top MBA students, faculty, alumni, and corporate partners who share a wealth of industry knowledge and contacts.

Love at First Sight

Katherine Zonino MBA'10

Katherine Zozino

“As the fall rolled around, it was fun to be walking down the aisle in Kroger and see the marketing material that I created over the summer.”

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For Katherine Zonino, it was love at first sight. Love for General Mills, that is.

That “first sight” came during Kelley Experience Weekend, when Anton Vincent, the vice president of marketing at General Mills and an IU alumnus, spoke. His charismatic leadership of the company became apparent during his visit and had an intense effect on Zonino’s career decisions. That day, she knew she was in the right field and had found her dream company.

“He spoke about his experiences at Kelley and at General Mills, and he had so much passion for both,” Zonino says. “I think that’s how you know you’re passionate about something—when you’re listening to a speaker and hanging on every word he says.”

Zonino says she became interested in working for General Mills for the same reason she joined the Kelley MBA program—the people. Prior to entering the Kelley Consumer Marketing Academy, she felt an important connection with the students and the professors. Similarly, she was drawn to General Mills because of its employees. “The recruiters I met loved their work and seemed like the type of people I wanted to be around on a day-to-day basis,” Zonino says.

Zonino capitalized on this passion when she landed an internship at General Mills, where she worked on the Betty Crocker brand. While there, she attended a photo shoot and a filming of a commercial, participated in taste tests, and designed a coupon. “As the fall rolled around, it was fun to be walking down the aisle in Kroger and see the marketing materials that I created over the summer,” she remembers with a smile.

The day General Mills offered Zonino a full-time position was one of her happiest. “There’s nothing like hearing out of your manager’s mouth, ‘we’d like to extend you a full-time offer,’” Zonino says. “It was great to know that all my work for the last year really paid off. I felt like the luckiest person in the world.”

Published April 11, 2011