Jeff Zelaya

Thank you Florida International University

Jeff Zelaya Public Speaker FIU Marketing

Presenting Keynote for the FIU Sales Club

This past week I got the opportunity to do what I do best and am so very passionate about: teaching college students about business. FIU recently hosted me as a guest lecturer and I  spoke at 5 events in 3 days (my throat was quite hoarse after that)!! The topics that I taught are the ones that I love oh so much: Social Media, Marketing & Sales.

Saturday, October 26th was the “Unauthorized Marketing” lecture series at the Ocean Bank Auditorium in the FIU College of Business.

In this three hour lecture I covered the following topics:

  • Must have marketing skills for the new business graduate
  • Social Media’s future (very engaging discussion, seems to be a lot of mixed opinions and concerns, especially about privacy)
  • The importance of online reviews & marketing automation plus why we need to consider influencers (I was really interested in the discussion that sparked about the juxtaposition of Yelp! & Google)
  • and a whole lot more

What topics did you enjoy hearing about or discussing the most?

Share them with me in the comments area below. I welcome and thank you for your feedback.

Here’s a quick rundown of  the rest of my FIU Speaking Tour: 

On Monday, October 28th I visited Professor Rauseo’s B2B Selling Class to give a special sales lecture, that included discussion about choosing a career in sales, sales negotiations, lead nurturing and relationship building using tools like social media and inbound marketing.

On Tuesday, October 28th I visited Professor Rauseo’s Personal Selling Class and conducted a hands on training exercise that was focused on sales call preparation and best practices along with prospecting and lead qualifying techniques.

That afternoon I also visited Professor Maria M. Garcia’s Social Media Marketing class. I shared my Broward Outreach Volunteer non-profit marketing case study with the class and discussed the topics of Content Marketing and Event Marketing. (On a personal note I am elated to hear that FIU finally has a Social Media Class!!)

Lastly I did the Keynote Presentation for the FIU Sales Club and moderating their panel which consisted of Sales Executives from Ashley Furniture, ADP and Pepsi. I was very happy to hear that this was one the #1 most attended events of the year and the best reviewed!!

FIU Sales Students

So you might asking yourself Jeff why did you do all these speaking events?

Here’s my answer:

“It is my duty to pay it forward”

Those to whom much is given, much is expected, therefore I make it my mission to help college students succeed at business and life. I know how much education changed my future and I want the same for the  next generation of students. If I can help touch a couple of lives and inspire students to become the best at marketing, sales and business then my work and sacrifice is all worth it! 

As you know I am results driven and glad to report the following:

  1. The “Unauthorized Marketing” event generated $668 towards a scholarship fund to help two students represent FIU at the American Marketing International Collegiate Sales Competition that takes place April 10, 2014 in New Orleans
  2. Over 15 applications were submitted for the FIU Sales and CRM Certificate Program
  3. Recruited new FIU Sales Club Members
  4. Tons of positive comments and reviews
  5. A future visit is currently being discussed
  6. #FIUSOCIAL local trending topic

(Winning 1st place at the AMA International Collegiate Sales Competition helped to build my confidence and launch my career.  My goal is to help our college students financially so that we can help support them in getting to New Orleans.

If you couldn’t make the event but would still like to donate (any amount is appreciated) to the cause click here.

Special thanks to Nancy Rauseo, Jose Nunez and Daniel Torrens for inviting me to speak to the FIU Sales Club. They are one of the fastest growing organizations at the FIU College of Business and have helped in growing the Sales & CRM Certificate at FIU by 300%. The FIU Sales Club will be competing in multiple upcoming events and has already made a name for itself with alum snagging job offers from companies like Eli Lilly, Pepsi, Proctor & Gamble, ADP & of course Vocus.

Special Thanks are also in order to Tim (Dugan) Birrittella, Guy Monticello, Pierina Pineda, Kimberly Taylor, Maria M. Garcia and all the AMA and FIU Sales Club members that helped to make this event a HUGE SUCESS! See you all at the top.


Instagram Cake - Unauthorized Marketing - FIU Social Media

Pierina’s sister makes an Instagram cake for the event #NoFilter

AMA onesie

The AMA gets my son the cutest onesie ever! Big thank you!!!




  Some of my favorite moments!





What were yours?

and of course a BIG THANK YOU TO:

Amaray Rodriguez
Andrea Peralta
Armando Cardozo
Ashley Treichel
Barbara Ward
Linda Ward
Brandi Mercado
Byron Vega
Carolina Roldan
Catalina Torres
Chris Gutierrez
Claire Robert
Dania Collado
Daniela Rivas
Daniela Rodriguez
Diego Delgado
Diomyre Aquino
Felipe Gutierrez
Glorimar Abreu
Gregory Rigaud
Hayley Miller
Javier Morales
Javier Sotomayor
Jessica Ulacia
Jose Izquierdo
Joseph Obeid
Karla Pappaterra
Katharina Pajic
Kevin Kleinman
Kristine Monforte
Laura Dettman
Manuel Pozas
Maria Haggen
Melissa Cortina
Michael Cimino
Miles Charlton
Morris Feierabend
Olivia Mor
Ricardo Arana
Robyn Weiniger
Saidelis Mejia
Sandra Lainez
Sarah Chang
Virna Roa
Joaquin Cuadra
Alfred Navarro
Laura Jimenez
Tim Hoyt
Alejandro Fernandez
Manuel Pozas
Felipe Gutierrez
Byron Vega
Isabel Peralta
Angela Gers
Cindy Galdos
Nicolas Patino
Camila Londano
Andrea Mendoza
Marcela Restrepo
Roldon Torres-Moure
Randy Mercado
Joelle Ayala
Mateo Elorza
Javier Herrero
Tatiana Castellanos
Raquel Sanchez
Diana Hoyt
Kim Taylor
Juan D’Arce
Johanna Vasquez

Thank you to all the donors!

We appreciate your gift and know that it will help in giving 2 students the opportunity of a lifetime.

(If you would like to make a donation click here)

Press Release


AMA Saves Lives

As you may already know I am an American Marketing Association member and an alum of the AMA at FIU. Check out this letter from Christian Ricks below about an AMAzing life saving campaign that he’s working on with the rest of AMA FIU and AMA Collegiate National.

The American Marketing Association at Florida International University is a top 5 Chapter in the nation. They give students the opportunity to work on skills you wouldn’t otherwise get in the classroom such as professional development, internships and improving on basic skills such as resume building, interview skills and networking. A huge initiative that our chapter is working on is AMA Saves Lives. It is our collegiate associations way of being able to give back to a cause worth fighting for. AMA Saves Lives is about creating and spreading awareness about the need for organ donation.

AMA Saves Lives works side by side with Donate Life America a non profit organization. Donate Life’s mission is to drive individuals, organizations and communities to increase the number of designated organ, eye and tissue donors who save and heal lives. 90% of Americans support organ donation, yet only 30% know the steps it takes to become one. So it is our job to inform them that with this decision they can save up to 8 lives and it takes nothing from them.

With over 100,000 men, women and children waiting in hospitals for transplants, how can people not see the need for awareness. So we created a creative campaign called Unleash Your Inner Super Hero which shows how students can become super hero’s by making the decision to become organ donors. The AMA gives awards to the chapter who place top 5 in categories such as best event, most donors, most videos and best video. This Fall semester was a huge success for our FIU chapter and we are very proud of the work we have done.

We created over 60 videos, had 4 events, registered over 160 students and created an AMAzing best video. The video you see is staring two of our AMA Executive Board members Angela Gers and Andy Rubio. The video shows how the decision to become an organ donor can make a full circle and come back to change others lives for the better.

We truly feel like we are changing the communities opinion on organ donation and helping them register. We will continue our Super Hero campaign next semester and hope to grow on our success from Fall. If you would like to register to become an organ donor, you can go to It only takes 2 minutes and you can definitely make a difference.

Thank You,

Christian A. Ricks
Director of AMA Saves Lives
American Marketing Association
Florida International University


The AMA Northwestern Mutual Sales Competition Champion!

My flight was scheduled for 4pm on Thursday, it was then pushed back to Friday at 10am then pushed back once again to Friday at 10:55pm and if that wasn’t bad enough the 10:55pm flight was delayed and didn’t leave Miami International Airport till 1:30am on Saturday. Tired, exhausted and hungry we arrived at New Orleans at 3:30 am and still had to drive to our hotel (30 minutes away) and then go grab a bite to eat. Long story short we didn’t go to sleep till 4:30am and try sleeping when you have to be back up at 8am.

But even the sleepless night and the excessive delays didn’t prevent us from walking away victorious.

The AMA Northwestern Mutual Sales Competition began at 9am sharp – so we woke up put on our game faces…

The competition was fierce out of 50 students by 12pm only 5 were left. But it wasn’t over — at 12:15pm we begun the final round and had to do our presentation in front of a large audience and in front of a panel of five judges that will scrutinize your words, tone and body movement. After each contestants went the judges would furiously scribble down their notes and whisper among each other. After we all went the butterflies in the stomach were still not over..they wouldn’t announce the winners till that evening at 6:30pm.

ama northwestern mutual sales competition jeff zelaya

Jeff Zelaya wins 1st place at the American Marketing Association Sales Competition

6:30pm finally crawled along and it was show time. As they got ready to announce the winners, my heart starting beating super fast – I felt like it would give up at any moment and then it came 5th place – Jonathan Santana – my team mate snagged up 5th and I immediately got worried but still held on to hope. 4th Place…..3rd Place and so I knew I was in the top 2 since they had yet to call my name and then 2nd place was announced and my team went nuts.

You would have thought they were screaming for the 2nd place winner but 2nd place was won by someone else so they knew that the only name left unannounced was JEFF ZELAYA and so they called it and up to the stage I ran to take pictures with the big $500 check and claim my…

FIRST PLACE victory for the American Marketing Association Northwestern Mutual Sales Competition. 

An incredible moment and a very happy moment in my life. All the hard work had paid off. But the celebrations weren’t the award ceremony winded down there was still one more big award left unannounced and it was for the AMA’s Top Chapter of the Year AKA the Platinum Award…which FIU WON!!! The crowd once again went wild – everyone wanted to congratulate us and take pictures with us and so the trip that almost never happened concluded in the best finish possible. It was meant to be! Thank you for everyone that made this experience possible. Thank you to our ‘ama’zing AMA family and especially to our Advisors Tim Birrittella and Nancy Rauseo. Love you guys!!

Check our my very prophetic words in this video below…”FIU AMA will be number one!” Whatever you believe you will achieve!

Florida International University EPI Graduation – Keynote Address – Jeff Zelaya

The Skills Employers Want

This information comes from a study of employers called Workplace Basics—The Skills
Employers Want.

The study was conducted jointly by the U.S. Department of
Labor and the American Association of Counseling and Development.
It turns out that most of the skills employers want are either adaptive or transferable
skills. Of course, specific job-related skills remain important, but basic
skills form an essential foundation for success on the job.

Here are the top skills employers identified:
1. Learning to learn
2. Basic academic skills in reading, writing, and computation
3. Good communication skills, including listening and speaking
4. Creative thinking and problem solving
5. Self-esteem, motivation, and goal setting
6. Personal and career development skills
7. Interpersonal/negotiation skills and teamwork
8. Organizational effectiveness and leadership

What is most interesting is that most of these skills are not formally taught in
school. Yet these so-called soft skills are those that employers value most. Of
course, job-related skills are also important (an accountant still needs to know
accounting skills), but the adaptive and transferable skills are the ones that
allow you to succeed in any job.

Source:  “Next Day Job Interview” By: Mike Farr