Associated Students, Inc. Board Chair and Co-director Nicholas Jakel approaches life the same way he does his work: With passion, focus and drive. He has been extremely involved on campus from the beginning of his college career.
When Jakel got to Cal State Fullerton, he knew he was going to be a business major. He heard good things about the business program, but after he enrolled, he didn’t find any enjoyment in accounting, economics or finance.
“Once I started taking some marketing classes I realized that the business program has a lot more data-driven marketing, and that’s where the industry is going. So I think that’s great,” Jakel said. “I do enjoy the creative side a lot, so I considered becoming a graphic design minor but realized that wasn’t offered by Cal State Fullerton.”
He decided to major in business marketing and minor in advertising and will be graduating in spring 2018. In fall 2013, he joined the student-run CSUF chapter of American Marketing Association (AMA) and fell in love with it. After becoming vice president of AMA last year, the chapter was recognized in the top 10 out of 400 other schools.
In AMA, Jakel helps solve business marketing problems for small to medium-sized businesses and nonprofit organizations, the latter of which he finds especially rewarding.
“It’s really great to see our contribution and our ideas helping them raise funds and get more followers on social media for their cause,” Jakel said.
He is currently the executive director of AMA and is ASI board chair for the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics.
In 2014, he was a part of the ASI Spring Concert committee that helped bring rapper Waka Flocka Flame as a headliner. He’s also worked with the Community Engagement Commission.
ASI has taken up a big portion of Jakel’s time, but last spring, his internship was about to end, and he had an important decision to make: To apply for more internships and not challenge himself, or take a big leap and run for the leadership role of ASI board chair.
Jakel decided to run and was elected on June 1, 2017.
“I basically just wanted a really cohesive experience as a director, and I like to get the most value wherever I spend my time and being the chair would’ve allowed me to do that,” Jakel said.
As board chair, Jakel’s duties include facilitating ASI Board of Director meetings each week, serving as a liaison between the university’s administration and students, holding staff and student leaders accountable in their roles and inviting individuals from around the campus to answer student questions.
Jesse Rodriguez, a fourth-year political science and American studies double major, is vice chair secretary for the ASI Board of Directors. Rodriguez admires the way Jakel works because he knows how to prioritize effectively, specifically regarding Milo Yiannopoulos’ Halloween appearance.
“I noticed Nick was levelheaded. He had conversations with the rest of the student leaders and directors about the whole situation. It was a time where he was very understanding,” Rodriguez said.
Shahrukh Tailor, a fourth-year business administration major has worked closely with Jakel in AMA and is president of the CSUF chapter of the organization. He met him on his first day on campus while Jakel was tabling on behalf of AMA and got him excited about joining the club.
“He’s really, really motivated, but at the same time, he really wants to get things done differently than other people,” Tailor said.
Jakel has a passion for leading teams and helping people develop, so he is considering a management role or a position within the Division of Student Affairs. Another idea on his radar is to attend graduate school for his master’s of business administration in the next couple of years.
Looking back at his five years at CSUF, Jakel credits a lot of his memorable experiences to being actively involved on campus.
“If I hadn’t gotten involved with anything, I think I would have probably not enjoyed my time as much,” Jakel said. “If you have more reason to come to school than just classes, you’ll have a better experience and a better time at Cal State Fullerton.”