Alumni Spotlight: Thomas Clyde
Thomas Clyde is a 2009 graduate from the Pennsylvania State University, majoring in History and minoring in Sociology. Thomas’s current role is a Digital Marketing Manager for the J.M. Smucker Company in the Cleveland, Ohio area, where he works on marketing strategies for key brands like JIF, Smuckers, Uncrustables, and Crisco.
Thomas says he chose to attend Penn State because of its meteorology program; growing up, he was always interested in the weather and how it affects daily life. It wasn’t until college, though, that he realized he wanted to pursue a track in the College of Liberal Arts with a plan of becoming a teacher after finishing his undergraduate education. His first job at a local TV station introduced him to marketing and advertising, and it was then that he found his passion. He credits his strengths for technology and efficiency, and passion for learning, in helping him learn about the world of marketing quickly. Today, Thomas’s goal is to guide consumers down a path of purchase – he aims to have brand recognition continue to the point of purchase by looking at the way consumers interact with products.
Of the six Penn State values, Thomas’s favorite is Community. He tries to stay involved with his local community as much as possible, and has even organized events at work to give back to the community. In terms of his Penn State community, Thomas is a LionLink mentor, giving advice to current students looking to enter the marketing field. The first word Thomas thinks of in reference to Penn State is prestige; he raved that Penn State is a great institution with a great reputation, and he is confident when meeting a fellow Penn Stater that they received the best education possible.
Thomas says he owes everything to Penn State; “A lot of who I am today was cultivated by experiences at Penn State.” He credits his advisor Emily for helping him throughout his undergraduate degree. He says he reached out to her several times a semester to talk about careers and guiding through tough decisions. He felt comfortable enough with her to reach out to her even after graduation, and says he owes a lot of thanks and gratitude to her. In a more personal than academic aspect, Tom says his favorite place on campus is the Lion Shrine, as he had a lot of memorable experiences there, including meeting his wife! One of his favorite college memories is running into Joe and Sue Paterno on the Pattee Mall near the end of the semester.
The greatest thing Thomas learned from his time at Penn State is patience and learning to “roll with the punches.” He loved everything about his Penn State experience and learned many different life skills. He sometimes thinks about what might have happened if he pursued meteorology, but he knows that no matter what would have happened, his Penn State experience played a big part in landing him where he is today. When Thomas thinks back to the first day of his freshman year of college, he remembers being excited and scared, and unsure of where his journey would take him; it’s as if he was shapeless in the hands of fate. His biggest advice to college students: be patient and enjoy the experience. He urges to not get overwhelmed by the experience or expectations; bur rather enjoy your time in Happy Valley. Tom also advises to not get hung up on living the life you thought you would live, and to be open to things you didn’t think about before. He says, “you need to be patient and be open to more things; everything happens for a reason.”
QUOTE: “Everything happens for a reason”