Find the Right Fit, Make the Right Connections
Paul Klebon MBA'12
“Kelley and its alumni opened doors for me. They helped me understand what I wanted to do and provided the connections that made it possible.”
Talk to any prospective MBA for a few minutes about his or her reasons for pursuing the degree, and you’ll probably hear about getting a fantastic job. Well, consider this fantastic job—as associate insights manager at MillerCoors, Paul Klebon will work to answer questions like these:
- Why are more consumers choosing craft beers over mass-market brands?
- At what legal drinking age and for what reasons do consumers make the shift to higher-priced brews?
- What changes should MillerCoors make to its product line to keep its consumers loyal?
Finding Answers to Brand Popularity
“I’m getting paid to do something I love to do,” Klebon says. “I’ve always been curious about the beer industry—why people choose a certain brand of beer, why seemingly similar beers vary in popularity in particular regions of the country. Now, through focus groups and surveys, I’m going to find those answers, and it’s going to help our brands tell their stories more effectively.”
Klebon didn’t set out to be a marketing professional. After earning an undergraduate degree in history and economics at the University of Scranton, he started his marketing career when he was hired by a storage and transport equipment manufacturer to help analyze its sales.
Analytics of Marketing
“As an economics major, I was good at analytics. I discovered that marketing was a lot more analytical than I had imagined,” Klebon says. “I enjoyed the work and I got promoted quickly. But as I moved into more of a segment/product management role, my supervisor told me I really needed an MBA to move to the next level.”
He applied to Kelley planning to focus on brand management. “That’s what I thought marketing was, period,” he says. The summer before he started the program, however, he had the opportunity to apply for a marketing externship offered through a Kelley alum. “During the interview process, I spoke to the consumer insights manager there and really hit it off. After a few conversations, I realized that this was a better fit for me.”
That externship led to an internship offer at MillerCoors.
Marketing Insight Role Combines Interests
“I interned in a marketing insight role, and I absolutely loved it,” Klebon says. “You work hand-in-hand with the consumer, get to understand their behaviors and attitudes, and then translate that into actionable information that helps the brand better meet their needs and desires.”
Klebon sees the broad focus and wide reach of Kelley’s Consumer Marketing Academy as central to his success. “It helped me look for opportunities beyond brand management that were a better fit for my skills and interests. I felt like my Academy director, Jonlee Andrews, and my career coach, Ray Luther, took a personal interest in my career, and there was so much support from second-year students and alumni. When I had questions about particular companies, their culture, and the opportunities they offered for career advancement, there was always someone who was willing to help me.”