Motivated marketer

Pictured is Elma Celebic standing outside on a downtown sidewalkElma Celebic, B.B.A.'21 

For Elma Celebic, B.B.A.’21, there has been no greater reward than graduating from WMU. As a first-generation student and immigrant, she has never forgotten what it took for her family to arrive to the U.S., and how valuable a college education can be. 

“Both of my parents are war refugees from Bosnia,” she says. “Knowing everything they went through to get to this country and the hardships they faced was a huge motivator for me to graduate. Coming to Western has been an unforgettable experience.” 

Celebic, who was living in Port Huron with her family prior to college, didn’t think twice about pursuing her degree at Western. “I chose WMU because I knew it was a great school and that I would find a job if I earned my education here,” she says. 

Although she started as a political science major, she soon realized that the field might not be the right career fit. She found herself drawn to the marketing program in the Haworth College of Business, and decided to switch gears. “I have always been interested in the marketing industry, and I knew that WMU Haworth had a great department,” she says. “During my junior year, I began to focus on digital marketing, which was very helpful when it came time to graduate and find a job.”

A caring community

Elma Celebic sitting on steps wearing graduation cap and gown

As a student, Celebic immediately began to forge her path in the digital marketing and eCommerce major, with each new experience adding to her success. Importantly, she felt cared about by her instructors and staff in the college, who encouraged her every step of the way. 

“Mary Nielsen taught me how to speak to clients in a professional setting, and Dr. Scott Cowley helped me transition into a new field through his digital marketing classes. The entire marketing department faculty and staff, from Dr. Joann Atkin, to Jessica Pelkey and Lisa Youtzy, helped me thrive and prepare for the business world.” 

One of those internships included a position on the Search and Media Planning team at Razorfish, a global media company. “During my time as an intern, I was able to apply what I was learning at Western on the job, while acquiring new skills,” she says. “I became very interested in paid search, and toward the end of my internship I was offered a full-time position as a search coordinator for our Samsung account! I have been in this role for a little over a month and can already say I love what I’m doing and love the company I work for.”

Celebic’s connections to her mentors and peers helped her build confidence, and she became more comfortable interacting with industry professionals. She was able to land internships in sales, marketing and supply chain, where she gained solid career competencies. “I was able to sharpen skills in digital platforms, content development and social media, and learn how the entire business process works,” she says. 

Making the most out of college

Celebic looks forward to a flourishing career with Razorfish. She plans to relocate to the company’s New York office in the near future, and to continue building the life and career that she and her parents envisioned. Her advice to current students: Believe in yourself, get involved and get to know your network. “Attend as many school events as you can, go to your professors’ office hours and grow your skills in internships,” she says. “Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun! College is about making new connections and becoming a better person, so make sure to make your four years memorable.”