Students listen to one of the many marketing expert guest speakers at the first Ryerson Marketing Conference. (Leena Latafat / Ryersonian Staff)

Students listen to one of the many guest speakers at a Ryerson marketing conference. (courtesy Jayesh Mistry)

It started with an ambitious idea to engage, inspire and excite the world.

Ryerson University’s first marketing conference took place Feb. 7 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre, after a group of students envisioned the idea of a full-day marketing event.

Students from the Ryerson Marketing Association hosted the event, which featured a panel of marketing experts including the marketing manager at Coffee Culture, Azim Akthar, and PayPal’s head of marketing, Kerry Reynolds, among others.

“It began from a simple thought,” said Sulmaan Azmat, vice-president of the RMA . “We (RMA) had Arlene Dickinson come in to speak last year. So we thought, how do we top that? How do we create more value for our degree? How do we create more exposure for Ryerson students and marketing students? We felt that this conference was the best way to do that.”

Azmat added that coming into the program, he had fears about succeeding in the field of marketing. This conference, he said, brought students closer to landing the jobs they always wanted.

Jasmitaa Chhabra, president of the RMA said, “There were a lot of soon-to-be graduates in the audience. And there were a lot of questions like, ‘Where do I go? What do I do with my degree?’ I feel like a lot of the speakers answered a lot of these questions and tied a lot of loose ends.”

Chhabra said she hopes this conference will become an annual event.

“This isn’t something we wanted to do once,” she said. “We wanted to do it well the first time and make it even better the next time around.”

Leena graduated from the Ryerson School of Journalism in 2014.