More than a decade after graduating, Smeal Alumni Society Board President Marissa Presser says she wants to make the Penn State experience even better for today’s Smeal students.
“My involvement in Smeal student organizations played a pivotal role in my leadership development and identity as a Penn Stater and helped me establish my professional brand,” she says. “It also shaped my volunteerism as an alumna.”
Presser, who earned a degree in marketing in 2013, was first introduced to Smeal’s Alumni Society Board through her role on the Smeal Student Council. After receiving the Board Sponsorship Award as a senior, she was able to remain engaged as an ex-officio director for one year after graduation.
She says that year set the stage for expanding her involvement with the board while growing her career as a consultant with IBM.
“I was lucky to join a group of incredibly intelligent and generous people immediately after graduating. I learned very quickly that each person has a unique story, shares a joint passion for Penn State, and wants to make Smeal a better place,” she says. “I felt at home right away.”
As board president, Presser says she and her leadership team are focused on student and alumni engagement.
Among their goals: expand their partnership with Smeal student organizations, provide targeted engagement opportunities for recent graduates, and broaden their geographic reach to engage alumni across the globe. Presser also hopes to enrich the board’s partnerships with other Smeal alumni groups, Penn State alumni societies across the University, and other business schools in the Big Ten Network.
With an eye to the future, she says she’d like to enhance the board’s visibility, promote their services across the college, and develop a strong pipeline of future members.
Looking to her own future, Presser, who is now a senior consultant at IBM, is enrolled in Penn State’s online MBA program.
She quickly joined the Penn State Online MBA Ambassadors and the Penn State World Campus Student Advisory Board. She’s also president of Smeal Club Philly, a group committed to enriching the professional lives of Smeal alumni living in the greater Philadelphia area.
“I continue to have great Penn State Smeal experiences,” she says. “I want to pay it forward and hope other alumni will feel inspired to join me.”
— Anne Louise Cropp