Alumni Success: Michael A. Wilson Jr., Marketing Operations Specialist for SHI International Corp.

Side angle shot of the Rowan welcome arch.

Michael A. Wilson Jr. graduated from Rowan University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. While a student, he was involved with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated – Nu Iota Chapter. Today, Michael works as a Marketing Operations Specialist for SHI International Corp. 

Why did Rowan stand out to you in your college search?

After I graduated high school, I was unsure of the path I wanted to take, so I went to Union County College. When I graduated from community college and got my associate degree, I needed to make a decision. My cousin went to Rowan University at the time and introduced me to many African American administrators, who all galvanized around me and made me feel extremely welcome. It felt like home as soon as I stepped foot on the campus.

Michael A. Wilson's headshot.

Why did you choose Rowan to study Public Relations?

My major at Union County College was Sports Management. Originally I intended on studying business at Rowan. However, I did not have the prerequisites to get into the business program. After weighing which majors would combine my assets with my transferred elective courses, Public Relations stuck out to me the most.

What lessons have you learned from being a part of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity community?

I feel that being a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated was probably if not the most rewarding and gratifying thing I have ever done at Rowan University. Just to be in a room full of like-minded men who come from different backgrounds, different majors, different views on life … it is very rewarding. These men were always challenging me academically, socially, emotionally, and today, they are still some of my best friends.

Michael and fellow fraternity members volunteering.
Michael (second in from the right) at a community service event with fellow Alpha Phi Alpha Incorporated members.

Did you have a favorite professor while studying at Rowan? Why do you think it has made such a lasting impression on you?

My favorite professor and/or educator has to be Ms. Esther Mummert. Honestly if it wasn’t for her, I would have probably switched majors. She encouraged me so much while she was my advisor. I would go to her office and talk to her for hours and just release all the pressure I was feeling as a college student.

Michael (left) graduating with fellow Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity Incorporated member.
Michael (left) and a fellow Alpha Phi Alpha Incorporated member on graduation day.

What have you learned by working as a Marketing Operations Specialist for SHI International Corp.? What were your initial visions for pursuing an undergrad in Public Relations and then a graduate degree in Data Marketing Communications?

I would say SHI has been my saving grace. I have been at this company since I have graduated college from Rowan.

At first I started off at inside sales with an entry level salary. From that point forward, various positions and various doors have opened up for me because of my work ethic. SHI also instilled in me that it is crucial to have a good work/life balance. I got into data marketing mainly because of the data-driven society we currently live in. We have smartphones, we have internet access, and everything around us is driven by data.

What is your role as a Marketing Operations Specialist for SHI International Corp?

For the marketing operations team, I am the marketing operations specialist. This means that I work with all units of our company — communications, graphic designers, public relations representatives, to name a few — to see what messages they are trying to get out and if the data behind it makes sense.

Michael with Joshua McGriff and Danny Glover.
Michael (right) with Joshua McGriff (left) and actor Danny Glover (middle), keynote speaker at Rowan’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. breakfast in 2013.

What is your life motto that keeps you seeking your maximum potential?

I watched the movie ‘Christopher Robin’ as an adult. In the movie, Winnie the Pooh said, ‘I get to where I am going by walking away from where I have been.’ I am aware that Christopher Robin was probably made for children; however, I internalize that quote so much and use it everyday. To me the quote means to take very purposeful steps, which will evidently manifest into greatness.

Michael at award ceremony for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated.
Michael at an awards ceremony for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated.

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Story by:
Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

Photos courtesy:
Michael A Wilson Jr.

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