2014Nov 3

The Link Between Sport & Business – Mark Cecchetto

By Blog Contributor Alex Saunders

The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

 

Mark Cecchetto, a 1998 SPAD graduate and current Vice-President (Marketing Frozen Food/Pizza) at Nestlé Canada, stood amidst a group of eager and curious SPAD students. This was the second opportunity for many of the current SPAD students to hear from this successful alumnus, as Cecchetto had previously visited SPAD classes. In addition to providing invaluable insight into marketing for the members of the second year marketing class, the topic of the day’s second discussion focussed primarily on providing students with relatable and relevant professional advice stemming from lessons learned from Cecchetto’s professional journey.

 

Since graduating 16 years ago, Cecchetto has worked for Onyx Marketing Group Inc, and Weston Bakeries before joining the ranks at Nestlé Canada in 2004 as a Marketing Manager. This former SPAD student has been very successful, as demonstrated by his rise from a Marketing Manager to becoming Vice-President of Marketing for the Frozen Food/Pizza division.

 

While Cecchetto’s work experience and professional successes have been outside of the sport industry, the link between sport and business was a prevalent theme throughout the discussion. “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” was a tagline referred to often in the discussion as Cecchetto made the link between the competitive side of business and sport.  He pointed often to his disdain for losing and how in order to be a success in the business industry, one must have that same competitive edge that is present in the world of sport. In order to even receive the opportunity to be that competitive force in either the sport or business industry, Cecchetto made it clear that experience is crucial in gaining employment and may vary depending on what current SPAD students consider to be valuable experience.

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Cecchetto, pictured here, visits 2nd Year Sports Administration students in 2013.

Every single day is an experience. Don’t confuse my definition of ‘experience’ as just job experience. You have a million experiences. You have to make the most of them and get what you can from them.” Cecchetto further explained, “If you call somebody up and ask for 30 minutes of their time to pick their brain, you will be stunned by the number of people who say that they would love to help you out. Finding the confidence to do that is difficult. It is hard and you will get rejected but you will still be stunned by the amount of people who want to help you.

 

Cecchetto found success through his own initiative after graduating from SPAD. Faxing hundreds of resumés and applications to potential employers resulted in only a single positive response for Cecchetto. While he was slightly deterred, he received the job because of his experience and ability to perform the job effectively and efficiently. While fax machines may not be as relevant today, the lesson in the story still rings true. Today, Cecchetto is an incredibly successful example of what current and prospective SPAD students need to do in order to find similar success down the road. Taking advantage of each and every day to move forward and accumulate new experiences is infinitely valuable.

 

You’re surrounded by opportunity. You just don’t always know it.”

 

The SPAD students of today were given an invaluable opportunity to hear from someone who knows what it takes to be successful within the business industry while also being given the chance to have their own personal questions answered by someone with an abundance of relevant experience. On behalf of all SPAD students, we would like to send our thanks and appreciation to Mark Cecchetto for taking the time out of his busy schedule to speak to students who are in the same position he was in not too long ago.

 

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