Led by Faith to Marketing
PROVO, Utah – Aug 30, 2022 – Standing in the heart of Curitiba, Brazil, as a 20-year-old missionary, Preston Haight had no idea what his next step in life would be. Approaching the end of his mission, he was only certain about two things: he loved baseball, and he had a job waiting for him at the surf shop where he had worked before his mission. From that uncertainty, Haight recalls specific people entering his life who divinely guided him to a passion he eventually became certain about—the marketing program at the BYU Marriott School of Business.
Haight, a native of Redlands, California, spent most of his young life immersed in sports, growing especially fond of baseball. He and his two brothers grew up with many priorities, but religion wasn’t one. All three boys were born and raised in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but none of them regularly attended church on Sunday. However, when Haight’s older brother, Hayden, decided to serve a mission, Haight found his own thoughts and priorities changing.
As Haight saw Hayden grow and develop on his mission, he was inspired by his brother’s example to make the Savior more central in his own life. Before long, Haight received his own mission call to Brazil. As he became fully immersed in Brazilian culture and helping others learn about the gospel, Haight began to understand that Heavenly Father had more in store for him than just baseball and surfboards.
“Near the end of my mission, I remember my companion asking me what I wanted to do with my life,” Haight says. “I had no idea. He helped me recognize my talent with people and the possibility of combining that with business, something I took an interest in pursuing one day.”
After returning home, Haight and his younger brother, Carter, decided to apply to BYU. Thinking back on their acceptance, Haight chuckles and says, “Seeing two once-inactive kids accepted to BYU became a pretty cool experience.”
With the advice of his companion on his mind, he decided to study marketing, an area that combined both his love for people with his interest in business. That decision was reinforced one day while he was working at the surf shop, earning money before heading to Provo.
Into the shop walked BYU Marriott professor, Mike Bond. Bond was taking a summer trip with his family to Newport Beach and stopped at the shop. Once Haight learned Bond was a BYU Marriott marketing professor, he asked for advice on applying to the marketing program. From that point on, Haight considered Bond a mentor.
“He taught me that true success isn’t in the logistical side of marketing or digital media but rather in coming to know and love people,” says Haight. “He said, ‘When you listen to others and express that love, you’re not only going to gain success in marketing but in your life as well.’”
Once Haight was accepted into the marketing program, Bond and other professors helped him discover not only the opportunities he could pursue in marketing but also the ability to combine that with his love of sports. Haight began working in BYU Athletics where he became familiar with audience engagement, announcements, and sponsors. This led him to sports marketing and an eventual marketing operations internship at 2K Games, a video game company.
From Haight’s time in Brazil to his senior year in the marketing program, divine intervention has guided him to find a passion and program he loves—aided by the support of friends, professors, and mentors. “Developing a personal relationship with professors is rare. Yet at BYU Marriott, I’ve done just that,” Haight explains. “I feel their love and desire for each of their students’ success, including mine. Because of them, I’ve received incredible opportunities with my time in the marketing program and see how those experiences are leading me down a road to success.”
Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Sophia Shafkalis