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Sidd Ekkad, Product Planner at Belk

Being part of the MMA program has not only given Sidd Ekkad a greater understanding of modern marketing practices and the marketing applications of cutting-edge technologies – it also helped him determine his career path and connected him to his current role at Belk.

Get to know Sidd

Program: Master of Management, Marketing Analytics (MMA)
Start date: August 2023
Anticipated graduation date:
May 2025
Current location: Charlotte, NC

Life before Jenkins

Work experience: 3 years
Industries: Construction, higher education
Roles: Marketing coordinator, digital content creator internships
Field: Marketing
Undergraduate education: NC State, B.S. in Marketing

Career goals

Ekkad’s dream is to run marketing campaigns in the retail or film industry, so he chose to get an MMA degree to give him the analytics skills needed to accelerate his career. “This degree will help me understand the new data analytics of the marketing world, which I can leverage into a greater understanding of successful marketing campaigns.”

Why Jenkins?

Having completed his undergraduate education at NC State’s Poole College of Management, Ekkad’s decision to get a master’s degree in the Jenkins Graduate Programs was an easy one. “NC State has always provided me with great opportunities to build upon my education and determine my life path, and the MMA program was such a great and accessible opportunity to springboard my career and learn new skills about marketing,” Ekkad explains.

Daily life

As a full-time working professional, Ekkad balances his coursework with his responsibilities as a product planner – a job he recently accepted with Belk as part of a retail development program that he found through a career fair at NC State. “I am currently still onboarding, but it has been a lot of fun learning about the company, especially because the retail industry fascinates me,” Ekkad says. “I keep my deadlines in mind and adjust my schedule on a weekly basis in order to complete my coursework on time throughout the week – but overall, work and school feel very balanced.” 

What makes it great

One thing Ekkad appreciates most about the MMA program is the relevance of the curriculum to current marketing practices. “The course catalog feels refined and focused on what is most important for marketing coordinators to understand,” he says. “The courses also provoke a lot of interesting discussions regarding the current state of technology in the marketing world. I find myself really invested in discussions about industry practices related to consumer behavior, data analytics and artificial intelligence. These discussions keep me up to speed on important updates in my line of work.”

Career impact 

In addition to connecting Ekkad to his current position at Belk, he says the MMA program has given him the connections and tools needed to accelerate his career. “The MMA program has given me the right resources to plan my career path and get connected with growth opportunities, such as the IBM-NC State Pathfinder Mentorship Program. The coursework has also expanded my knowledge, and I was able to apply that during my interviews.”

Final thoughts

Ekkad recommends the MMA program to marketing undergraduates who hope to expand their understanding of the state of the industry, as well as working professionals who want to expand their skill set with data analytics, artificial intelligence and other modern technologies. For future students, he also has a few words of advice. “Take initiative and do your best to connect with peers, teachers and advisors. They can provide you with a lot of insight to advance your career in the long run.” 

Get in touch

Connect with Sidd on LinkedIn or at

To learn more about the Master of Management, Marketing Analytics (MMA) program at NC State’s Poole College of Management, click here.