Kim Buckner Land, South Carolina - Beta Delta, Instructor of Marketing, Johnson College of Business and Economics at University of South Carolina Upstate, was honored with the Distinguished Young Alumna Award, one of the highest honors that the Darla Moore School of Business bestows.
As an award recipient, Kim joins an esteemed group of individuals who are industry leaders, accomplished individuals and true pillars of society.
The Moore School has presented the Distinguished Alumni awards since 1985, and added the awards for Distinguished Young Alumni and Distinguished Service in 1995. The awards are presented to alumni of the Moore School with outstanding achievements in business, academia, government, or not-for-profit organizations, and/or outstanding service to the business school.
Kim is an accomplished marketing professional with a unique skill set and proven track record in leading people and organizations through process change, branding initiatives, new product launches, research projects and successful multi-media sales efforts. She has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of South Carolina Honors College. While at Carolina, she was a leader on campus, serving as President of the Beta Delta Chapter of Delta Zeta, and was awarded the USC Outstanding Senior Award.
"Delta Zeta had a tremendous impact on my growth as a leader," Kim said. "In the Beta Delta Chapter, I served first on the Executive Board, then, as President of the chapter, I worked closely with my College Chapter Director, Melissa Baber Harvey, South Carolina - Beta Delta, to guide the chapter. Melissa was a wonderful mentor, allowing me room to work independently and stepping in with guidance and words of wisdom when needed. She enabled me to get my first true experience as the 'manager' of a group -- from finances to socials to discipline. There are many things I learned through these experiences that I was able to use in my professional career in directing and leading teams."
Kim completed her MBA at the Darla Moore School of Business with a 4.0 GPA. For 15 years, she served as marketing director for a group of New York Times newspapers in the North and South Carolina markets, including her home paper, the Spartanburg Herald-Journal.
"Although I worked for a newspaper, I didn't do any reporting, but I want to emphasize how important writing is in any capacity," Kim says. "I think one of the most fundamental skills college students should work to hone is communication. In my work with the New York Times Company, and now as a Professor of Marketing, I find that students as a whole have not been taught writing skills. Writing is critically important in the business world as it is often the first impression you make on someone -- a potential customer, business partner or employer.
"Professional communication, both written and verbal, have been pushed aside for other skill sets in our schools. The effects of this are tremendous as we begin to graduate a group of students who grew up in the 'right now' communication age -- replete with short messages, no concern for grammar or spelling, very informal. I would encourage all college students to take a course (or two or three!) in communication or writing. It is critical to success in the business world!"
Kim is lending that advice to students as she is now a full-time instructor at the Johnson College of Business and Economics at USC Upstate.
For those students considering careers in marketing, Kim advises, "Engage in your business curriculum, but also take courses from the communications discipline -- creative writing, design, etc. We find that our marketing majors are tremendous in the business side of things, but often haven't had the exposure to strategic thinking and creativity that most entry-level marketing jobs require. Being able to not only create strategy, but actually design an ad or flyer in Adobe InDesign or produce a professional presentation will place them a step above the rest of the graduates!"
Kim is dedicated to serving the community where she was born and raised. She has volunteered her time with numerous non-profit boards over the years, including the Junior League of Spartanburg, Goodfellows and Healthy Smiles of Spartanburg. Land is currently the Board Chair for SAFE Homes/Rape Crisis Coalition as well as serving on the boards for the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium, Oakbrook Preparatory School and Quality Counts – Spartanburg County First Steps. She also chairs a United Way Investment Council committee to allocate donor dollars within the education classification.
Kim has been recognized for her professional accomplishments over the years, being named a Direct Marketing News “40 Under 40” recipient in 2014 and a Presstime Magazine “20 Under 40” recipient in 2006. She has also received many South Carolina Press Association awards over the years, as well as numerous awards for board service.
When she’s not planning lectures or working on marketing concepts, Kim spends time with her daughter, Kelsey, and husband, Jason, and hopes to someday continue her world travels. She has visited 19 countries and counts Russia, Norway and Monaco among her favorites.
Thank you to the University of South Carolina Upstate and the Darla Moore School of Business for some of the information for this story.