Why authenticity matters

Joe Santini sits for a portrait.
Joe Santini, a College of Business marketing students, sits for a portrait.

Not many people can pull off listing pillow fort construction as a skill on their internship application, but meet Joe Santini.

Laughing, Joe recalled his parents reaction: “You’re crazy.”

But skillfully weaving together humor, professionalism and enthusiasm for the position, he landed a job at Mantooth Marketing Company.

Joe’s confidence in applying to the internship on his terms came from the foundational skills and real world experience he developed in the College of Business, and strategies he learned from the Career Management Center.

“Opportunities where you’re not being authentic aren’t going to be the ones you’ll get, or the ones you’ll want.”

“That’s just it,” wrote Mantooth in a blog post about its summer interns, citing Joe’s authenticity, enthusiasm, and off-the-wall antics as “just what our team needed and we were lucky to have him with us.”

The next step

One of the first things that drew Joe to CSU’s College of Business was the people.

“There’s just a sense of community here that I felt immediately and found immediately, that I did not feel at the other schools I applied for,” said Joe.

Joe and CSU classmates at Relay for Life
Joe Santini stands for a group photo with fellow Dean’s Student Leadership Council students after raising over $3,000 to fight cancer.

“We’re all willing to step in and support and help each other whenever possible.”

So when Joe began looking for internships where he could put his skills to the test, a strong company culture played a big part in his decision, and he found that in the smaller, grassroots marketing environment at Mantooth.

Joe’s responsibilities ranged from managing content creation for the company, promoting the Lagoon Summer Concert Series, and blogging about digital marketing trends.

“It felt like what I was doing was important, and it was being noticed and appreciated and that was very awesome.”

The natural curriculum progression in the College of Business, from learning broad concepts as an underclassman to practicum and capstone courses where students put their skills to the test working with real clients in the community, served as a “seamless transition” as Joe moved from the classroom into worklife.

Marketing aside, “If anything this internship taught me it’s adaptability,” Joe said. “I just feel really confident.”