The first time Jacqueline Slack visited her older brother at The University of Akron, she knew it was the place for her as well.
"Oh my goodness, I loved it," recalls Slack, a graduate of Howland High School in Warren. "The campus was beautiful and there was so much going on. John was in the Emerging Leaders program, and I thought, 'What an opportunity. I want to do that, too.'"
Opportunity is a word Slack uses often when she talks about her years here at UA, as she did at the March 20 Board of Trustees meeting when she gave a presentation about her Akron Experience.
Like her brother, she has been an honors student and an Emerging Leader. While he majored in chemical engineering, she chose international business. "I love travel and studying other cultures, and I thought it would be a good fit," says Slack.
But by her sophomore year, Slack was feeling a growing dissatisfaction with her choice. "Something was definitely missing for me," she recalls. "Finding that something was my defining moment here at the University."
That moment came during a marketing class taught by Dr. Greg Dumont, a visiting professor, as Slack found the right fit for her — one that made the most of her critical thinking and creative abilities.
"Marketing allows you to expand your horizons as you learn the how and why of consumers choosing the products that they do," says Slack, who quickly changed course to become a double major in marketing management and integrated marketing communications.
In addition to Dumont, Slack credits Drs. William Hauser, Deborah Owens, Federico de Gregorio and Brian Teeters, all in the Department of Marketing, with being mentors who have helped guide her as she prepared for her career.
An Honors Scholarship recipient through all four years at UA, Slack has been awarded several others as well. Most recently, she received a $2,000 scholarship from the Cleveland branch of the American Advertising Federation. She also was presented with the Jim Butler Collegiate Award winner for 2013 by Sales & Marketing Executives International.
Jacqueline Slack is pictured here with student trustees Ryan Thompson, left, and Alan Bowdler, and her father, Gerald Slack, at the March 20 Board of Trustees meeting.
Slack has been involved in many campus organizations, including University Ambassadors and the Residence Hall Program Board. She co-founded the American Marketing Association Akron Chapter, and, since August 2011, she has served as the executive director of finance for Undergraduate Student Government.
Her work on campus has included being a producer at WZIP-FM and serving as a student assistant in the Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing.
Slack also has made the most her internship opportunities.
Since September 2012, she has served as both a social media intern for LRMR Marketing: a firm founded by LeBron James, and as an online media intern at Babcox Media Inc. Both assignments gave her the opportunity to apply her classroom knowledge to create effective communication between businesses and consumers, and to play a pivotal role in the integration of social media strategies at both companies. During the summer of 2012, Slack had her first marketing internship — at the corporate headquarters of Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores in Hudson.
Slack's hard work has paid great dividends.
Both she and her brother are graduating this May. She is receiving a B.B.A. in Marketing Management and Integrated Marketing Communications, summa cum laude, while her brother has earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, magna cum laude. He's headed to Vanderbilt University in Nashville to begin work on a Ph.D.
Slack's next stop? Singapore.
Inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma, a business honorary, Slack has been invited to go to Singapore for a weeklong financial conference in mid-May as part of a delegation from Cleveland.
From there, Slack starts her business career at the Google offices in Ann Arbor, Mich., where she will work with clients as an associate account strategist.
"They are both just fantastic opportunities," says Slack. "The University of Akron has been wonderful, and I've had so many opportunities that I could never have imagined when I started here.
"My advice to any new freshman is — don't be afraid," says Slack. "Get involved. Get outside your comfort zone. Be as busy as you can be, and capitalize on the opportunities in your life."