Senior Spotlight: Kati Ballentine

Marketing senior Kati Ballentine

School of Business senior Kati Ballentine is graduating with a major in marketing. She was the first student to pursue the brand management and product development option within the marketing major, and Ballentine also earned a certificate in professional selling.

Tell us how you ended up at the KU School of Business pursuing your areas of study.

Senior year of high school in my English class, we were required to choose a non-fiction book to do a final presentation on. I chose Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink” and fell in love with the concept of split-second, unconscious decision making. From then on, I knew I had to study marketing to understand the concept of consumer perceptions more in depth.

As soon as I walked into Cap Fed, I knew I had to be at KU. KU felt like home before I had even started. After taking MKTG 101 with Doug Clopton, I was beyond hooked on marketing.

What programs or groups have you been involved during your time at the School of Business and at KU?

During my time at KU, I got myself into various organizations, as I wanted to try anything and everything that piqued my interest. My freshmen year I got involved with the Marching Jayhawks Color guard team, which I participated in through my junior year and served as captain. I also became a sister of Kappa Delta my freshmen year where I met more students like myself.

Come sophomore year, I joined Delta Sigma Pi, a business fraternity on campus where I had the opportunity to serve as the fundraising chair. And then COVID happened. Being pretty limited, I had a friend in Delta Sigma Pi reach out about an organization that was slowly getting off the ground called KU Blockchain Institute. I served as the executive of marketing for KUBI into my junior year. As a senior, I got deeper into my major classes and learned about the Professional Selling Program and took a leap of faith to join that as well. After various marketing events, I learned about the option in brand management and product development.

I have spent the past four years between so many different organizations, but I wouldn’t change anything. The professional experiences I have gained and friends made along the way truly made my college experience.

What is one of your favorite memories from the School of Business?

Being a student at the business school also means taking classes that don’t necessarily seem appealing such as accounting, which for me was a fairly hard class. I spent so many late nights at Cap Fed at the second floor study tables working with friends from my classes, bringing take out dinner and studying through the night. While it was at times painful to go to my 9 a.m. classes the next day, I made some of my best friends in those tough classes, and we pushed each other to succeed.

Has anyone at the b-school been especially influential during your time here? In what way?

Going into my senior year I took my final marketing classes; this is where I finally got to experience the classes that meant the most to me. Going into MKTG 435: Marketing Strategy, I blindly selected Sanjay Mishra as my professor. On the first day, one of his intro slides was going over how many students did not like his class, but some really did — I was horrified.

As we got into the curriculum of the class, there were not too many individual assignments, but the ones we did have were lengthy. I found every assignment we completed to not just be busy work, but important assignments that challenged my thoughts and perceptions on my degree itself. Sanjay taught me how to truly break down values within data and thoughtfully apply that information to my papers in a concise manner. This was a pivotal point in my marketing degree where I felt that I was really utilizing every aspect I had learned during my college career.

There were many times where I would sit in Sanjay’s office talking through different ideas I had that I didn’t even mention in papers, but just discussed for fun. This solidified that marketing was the space for me — I was constantly excited to poke holes in new ideas and different concepts.

What are your plans for the future?

After my graduation this weekend, I have accepted an internship with AbelsonTaylor, a healthcare advertising agency located in Chicago! I will be working with the engagement strategy team where I will get to apply facets of my marketing degree that I found the most interesting with brand engagement. Through classes such as business writing, brand management, and marketing strategy, I was able to pull away various concepts to use for my post-collegiate career.

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Stories highlighting School of Business students graduating as part of the Class of 2022

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KU School of Business

KU School of Business

Stories about the students, alumni, faculty and staff of the University of Kansas School of Business.

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