San Diego Zoo officer gives marketing advice

by Alex Hall, Contributor

Chief Marketing Officer of the San Diego Zoo Ted Molter spoke to students about his experience in the field and gave some personal words of advice at the American Marketing Association’s meeting on Tuesday Oct. 4

“Recognize your capabilities and network like crazy because there has never been a better time or more tools available to make that possible,” Molter said. “Don’t be a nag, but make yourself relevant and wherever possible provide servant leadership. You can lead from whatever position you’re in.”

Molter spoke about working in the parking lot of Sea World when he was sixteen years old and how he eventually became the CMO of the San Diego Zoo thirty years later. He told students present that no matter the starting point, make sure to show employers their true intentions and that they care.

“Anywhere where you can help, get in and get noticed,” Molter said. “Show up, meet people and show you care.”

Molter’s lifelong love of animals and wildlife led him to his career at the San Diego Zoo.  His story resonated with AMA Multimedia Director Lexi Oplinger, who said she hopes to incorporate her love of art with business and marketing one day.

“I’ve learned from all these meetings and experiences to be really passionate in pursuing what you want to do,” Oplinger said. “If you’re passionate about your job, people will see that and it seems like you can succeed no matter what.”

As Director of Programming for AMA, sophomore business marketing major Allie Lundberg plans and runs all weekly meetings. She contacted Molter through LinkedIn and he responded willing to help SDSU marketing majors learn more about real world marketing strategies and tell his story.

“For each semester’s meetings we set goals and try to bring in six speakers from the marketing force and have workshops as well as case competitions,” Lundberg said. “We try to keep our meetings pretty diverse and interactive for our members.”

The association’s meetings are held weekly, allowing students to gain exposure to the field of marketing.

Lundberg planned the semester’s meetings so members can get as much out of the organization as possible.

“In our upcoming meetings this semester, we have a speaker coming from a global tech company called Informatica, another from a tech company called Qualcomm, a representative from AT&T to give a resume and LinkedIn workshop and a Google Analytics representative who will be speaking to us over video chat,” Lundberg said. “Getting to hear directly from people in the workforce is different than what we learn in class so members coming to these meetings can better relate the information back to their own lives.”

In addition to influential speakers attending many of their meetings this semester, the organization also has job and internship mixers, workshops and field trips planned for members to further gain exposure to the field of marketing.

“I liked hearing how Mr. Molter started from the bottom and worked his way to the top in an area he was passionate about,” Oplinger said. “The experiences through AMA have taught me the importance of being proud to be who you are and saying ‘this is who I am and this is what I want to do.’”