Peter Van Veen
I have been teaching Introduction to Marketing, Introduction to Market Research, Introduction to Management and Marketing Not For Profit Organizations at Columbia since 2007. I also own and manage a successful sales promotion company VV² Promotions. My company works with local, national, and international clients, helping them enhance the power of their corporate names and brands via innovative and creative use of imprinted merchandise.
My First Real Job
My first “real-world” job out of undergraduate school was Sales Representative for Procter and Gamble – Packaged Soap and Detergent Division. My goal was to eventually enter marketing management in the consumer products arena. Procter and Gamble’s training began with a sales stint in the field. This training phase helped me recognize and fully appreciate that retail stores are the action arena where purchasing decisions actually take place; ignore the details of packaging, location and placement and even a great product will fail to achieve success.
- Introduced Shedd’s Spread (1078) creating a new margarine subcategory. Brand continues to maintain # 1 market share
- Managed the New Products/New Venture Group for Kraft. Key new product introduced: Soft Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese
- Successful startup of sales promotion company
What Drives Your Professional Career
Factors that have helped drive my professional career: willing to take risks, expect the unexpected, proactive works better than reactive, understand that information is critical, don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
Advice To Students:
Tap into the knowledge and expertise of faculty, seek out industry internship opportunities and connections, create yourself as a brand and then develop a plan to successfully market yourself to potential employers.