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Alum Spotlight Marvin Aylor- NASCAR

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Buckle your seatbelts because VT Marketing alum, Marvin Aylor, is about to take you for a wild ride! Fueled by his childhood love for cars, Marvin came to Virginia Tech as a first generation college student determined to pursue a career in the sports marketing industry. After his graduation in 2010, he continued working towards his dream by earning a spot in NASCAR’s Diversity Internship Program. From here, Marvin transitioned to a full time job with NASCAR and is now their Director of Partnership Marketing. Still a Hokie at heart, Marvin spends much of his free time mentoring VT students through his position on the VT Marketing Advisory Board. He also enjoys spending time with his friends and family, going out to bars and restaurants, watching sports, and DJing on occasion.

We sat down with Marvin to learn more about his career journey and insights. Read on to see what we found out!

1. How would you describe your time as a VT student? 

My time at Tech was very enriching.  In particular, I think that having access to a network of professionals that I could rely on and seek mentorship from, was really helpful for me. Outside of learning in the classroom, I gained so much, both personally and professionally, by involving myself in the Virginia Tech community-- I worked with the VT Literacy Corps where I tutored elementary school students, and I also helped out with Special Olympics. Volunteer work has always been an important aspect of my life, and I’m so glad I’ve been able to take that passion with me after graduation through my role in the Marketing Advisory Board. 

I think one of the most important lessons I learned at Tech is that:

“it’s not just about the experience you gain, but the people you meet.”

2. What does your career path look like and what does your role today involve?

After graduation, I started out in the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program, which provides opportunities for students with different backgrounds to learn more about the sports marketing industry.

“Being biracial, I’ve always had a unique perspective and interests compared to my friends.  Working at NASCAR has been a great experience that I’ve been able to share with friends and family that have become big fans since my involvement, but otherwise may not have been exposed to the sport.”

From there, I pursued a full time job with NASCAR, making my way to my current position as Director of Partnership Marketing. In this role, I get to work with NASCAR’s official partners and help them manage their portfolios of involvement. My time at NASCAR has been very rewarding in that it has allowed me to work with the communities around our race tracks. Whether it is helping underserved communities or highlighting the work of frontline workers and veterans, the experience has been truly special for me.  

When I think about where my future looks like in ten years, I see myself still wanting to grow and learn more in the sports marketing industry. The progression of moving forward is an objective I have in my life and career.

3. Can you tell us a little bit about your current involvement with VT Marketing?

In the fall of 2019, I joined the Marketing Advisory Board (MAB), which is a group of VT Marketing alumni who are dedicated to helping students pursue their goals and aspirations. I love being a member of the MAB because I get to share my insights from real world experience with students and hopefully, help them find a career they love as much as I love mine. 

“Virginia Tech and the Marketing department have a great alumni network encompassing different industries and companies that can allow you to find mentors for your career.”

4. If you could go back in time to when you were in college, what would tell yourself?

Since I was a first generation college student, I went through the college experience with no prior expectations. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to go outside of my comfort zone more by joining new clubs and organizations. 

“You should find any and every opportunity in Blacksburg to help you grow.”

5. What are your views on the future of marketing and where would you like to see the VT marketing department go?

With the evolving technology and world, there are always going to be elements that are out of our control. We will need to adjust to target audiences in order to communicate with them for the changing times. From the marketing perspective, being flexible and staying on our toes for social campaigns is important. Finding ways to incorporate those campaigns into the classroom will also allow students to gain a very beneficial understanding of these campaign impacts. 

6. If you could switch lives with one person for a day who would it be?

I'm a very musical person. I worked as a DJ part time while at Tech, and I’m a big 80’s music fan, so I think I would choose Prince. He was so talented and produced so much incredible music-- he pretty much packed the successful careers of three superstars into one person. I think it would be really fascinating to understand the inner workings of his mind-- to see his process of translating an idea into timeless music.