Helping youth through marketing and ministry
Landon Baird, BSBA
While many of his classmates are making plans to enter the corporate world or start working toward an advanced degree, Landon Baird has a different purpose for his degree in marketing: He’s helping youth explore their spirituality.
When the semester wraps up, the business major concentrating in marketing will take a position as assistant director of the youth ministry at St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Littleton, Colorado. The position allows him to return to the youth group where he was named the first peer leader of the year for the parish and reconnect with the community that played a role in his personal development. Although serving in a ministry may seem worlds away from the future of developing marketing strategies and advertising collateral usually associated with his major, the skills map directly onto his efforts to give back.
“[The youth group] meant a lot to me when I was younger,” said Baird. “I knew that I could still use what I’ve learned in marketing for branding and drawing people in.”
Baird returns to his hometown with plans to see it through the eyes of a young professional and reestablish himself in the area while making connections with the Cabrini youth – many of whom are only a few years younger than he is. He’s excited about the homecoming, but he’s also ready to start putting his degree to use.
“I plan to build a portfolio based off of it, because I can make stuff for retreat or events or whatever we end up doing,” he said. “There’s tons of stuff you can do. I’m actually really excited about it. There’s a lot of room for creativity and marketing as well.”
“A lot of them had real life experience … and they could bring it to class and tell stories.”
– Landon Baird
Growth Through Challenge
The marketing department imparted the skills to prepare Baird for success in the professional world, but his time at the College of Business built more just marketing prowess: Baird chalks up his experience in the College’s Education Abroad program as a key piece of the personal growth made while at Colorado State. Studying in Rome, he was faced with the realization that he had to learn to navigate a different culture on his own.
Those realizations hit harder when he began taking the initiative to organize trips for groups of American students. Faced with the logistics – and the responsibilities – of helping his group cope with problems with rail tickets and navigating a new city to locate lodgings, his experience was a bigger challenge than he expected.
“A lot of the beauty of it was how difficult it was,” he admits. “I was uncomfortable away from friends and family, in different time zones. I didn’t know the language, and there are a lot of things that caused me to become more independent and confident in what I can do … It made me a better person.”
“My marketing capstone … made me feel like I could actually do this thing. All the knowledge I’ve learned means something.”
– Landon Baird