Marianne Duong '06
CURRENT EMPLOYER: Starbucks Coffee Company
CURRENT POSITION: Vice President, International Public Affairs
- Why did you want to join the EWUAA Board? My time at Eastern was such a powerful, life-changing experience. It helped me build a strong foundation and understanding of my strengths and gave me the confidence to make a meaningful impact in my community. At Eastern, I had the opportunity to work as a graduate teaching assistant and I saw firsthand how my interactions and engagement with students made an impact on their time in the course. When students felt seen, heard and appreciated, they thrived. I also volunteered a few hours a month in the community, and even in that short period of time I learned that what I was doing was very meaningful to others. That experience made such an impact on me personally and sparked a passion for contributing in my community that I carry with me today. Through the EWUAA board, I’m fortunate I have the chance to support a new generation of students find their own passions, build a foundation for their future, and strengthen the Eastern community.
- How did Eastern prepare you for the work you do now? Before attending Eastern, I absolutely never thought of myself in a career like Public Relations, where I’d be front and center talking to key stakeholders, including the media. But during my first year, I learned more about the industry, the critical role PR people have within organizations, and the essential connection between PR and brand reputation. My classes at Eastern showed me the importance of an organization’s brand reputation, the role brands play in society, and how fragile reputation is for a company. I also discovered that when I paired my passion for community impact with my communications skill sets, I could help organizations do more and show more to elevate their brand reputation, in turn driving their business while at the same time making a positive impact on society. One of my most memorable projects at Eastern was when I developed a communications and marketing strategy to help sustainability-forward organizations attract angel investors. The proposal led to funding and support from key stakeholders and gave me the confidence to further explore a career in that field.
- Rosa’s cheesy bread or Eagle Punch? It depends on my mood at the time.
- What was your favorite part of your time at Eastern? Coming to Eastern, I knew I really enjoyed a fast-paced creative environment, liked meeting new people, and learning new things. Eastern was where I developed lifelong relationships: Friendships: through the people I met who I continue to talk to and see years later. Networks: meeting people who have helped me connect and engage with other Eagle alum or those across different industries to expand my professional relationships. Mentors: coming across professors and individuals who have guided me in my personal and professional journey to where I am today.
- What is your favorite thing about Eastern today? Since my time at Eastern, it’s been wonderful to know that university continues to be a student and community-centric environment for everyone. I’m always excited to see more diversity, innovation and growth on campus, and I’m excited to do my part to create a continuously positive experience for students academically and socially.