Temple University American Marketing Association

Student Professional Organizations (SPOs) are an excellent way for students to build their networks (personal and professional) and to gain valuable skills that will prepare them for their future careers. And many students at Temple University earn exciting internships and their first post-graduation jobs through active involvement in one of the many Fox School of Business SPOs.

Alana Vicale, the president of the College Council (the four-person board that oversees all Fox SPOs), has landed two internships through her involvement with Gamma Iota Sigma. A senior majoring in risk management and minoring in finance, Vicale worked last summer in New York City for a brokerage firm; this summer she was in Cincinnati as a risk solutions intern with Great American Insurance Group.  

“If I wasn’t involved in SPOs, I wouldn’t have had these opportunities,” says Vicale. “One of the best things about all the Fox SPOs is they give you great access to people from the real work world. A lot of what you learn in the classroom is very technical and textbook based, and SPOs give you a chance to meet people from the industry. SPOs are a great way to meet new people and build your network.”

To help you make a decision on which of the Fox SPOs to join this semester, we asked Vicale to provide some info about five of them. Learn more about the others on the Fox School website.

1. American Marketing Association (AMA)

“A lot of what AMA does is real, actual marketing case competitions, which are great; they went to Wall Street Journal this year for a case competition where 84 people from Temple participated. They were also semi-finalists for Mary Kay and placed first for Proctor & Gamble case competitions. This allows students to interact with CMOs and VPs of marketing from big firms, who often come for speaker events, too.”

Learn more at the Temple American Marketing Association website.

2. Association for Information Systems (AIS)

“AIS has about 42 chapters internationally. This year they placed second in the National Data Analytics Challenge in Dallas, and the president just told me that, of all the chapters, Temple AIS won the most awards at their national competition. My favorite thing about AIS is how much community service they do; their members volunteered 600 times this past year. They work with Red Cross, the Children’s Hospital, Philabundance, and others. And AIS always has high-level guest speakers come talk to students.”

Learn more at the Temple Association for Information Systems website.

3. Beta Alpha Psi (BAP)

“Beta Alpha Psi has over 300 chapters internationally and is very unique. It’s for honors students and you can only apply after you’ve taken at least one 3000 level course and maintained a GPO above 3.0. It represents accounting, finance, and informational systems, so it’s really diverse with students from all three majors. Last semester they had the CEO of the Phillies, the CEO of Saxby’s, and a CAO from Vanguard as guest speakers. They have a great career fair and networking events, too. BAP provides great experiences and opportunities for students.”

Learn more at the Temple Beta Alpha Psi website.

Alana Vicale, College Council president

4. Gamma Iota Sigma (GIS)

“GIS, with 624 members, is the largest SPO at Temple and includes risk management, healthcare management, and actuarial science majors. It’s massive; we’re also the biggest chapter worldwide. We have a strong, leading speaker series with very high-level executives in the insurance industry. GIS has opened up a lot of doors for me personally. We really encourage professional development and for members to attend the networking events, etiquette workshops, mock interviews, professional portraits, etc. GIS provides a lot of great resources.”

Learn more at the Temple Gamma Iota Sigma website.

5. Professional Sales Organization (PSO)

“I’m always impressed with PSO. All these organizations are student-run, but PSO is truly, truly student-run. They regularly place in the top five in international and national sales competitions. This year they placed second out of 140 competitors in the speed sell division at the International Collegiate Sales Competition. And they recently had a big case competition with judges from Comcast and AFLAC, and Temple placed first, second, and third. Our students came out on top!”

Learn more at the Temple Professional Sales Organization website.

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The Fox School of BusinessCenter for Student Professional Development (CSPD) has a commencement tradition. Toward the end of every semester, graduating students, when they secure a post-graduation job, ring a bell and publicly announce who their soon-to-be employer is and what their new position will be.

It’s a great way to declare, “I did it! And this is what I’m doing next!”

Temple University’s commencement, which will include hundreds of undergraduate students receiving BBA’s from the Fox School, is this week. So we asked several members of the Class of 2018 to share with us their new jobs and some inspiring stories about their time at Fox and Temple.

 

 

Kasey Brown, BBA ’18

Major: Management Information Systems
SPO: Association for Information Systems
New Job: Summer staff missionary, Catholic Youth Expeditions

New Uplifting Experiences: “First and foremost, I’m excited to grow in my Catholic faith. Temple gave me a beautiful opportunity to discover this faith, and I feel so blessed to work for an organization that allows me to grow and discover even more. Secondly, I have always had a special place in my heart for high school students and young adults. I remember what a difficult time of life it can be, and I look forward to being with them and help them in any way I can. In addition, working with Catholic Youth Expeditions means getting to learn more about how to serve the poor and how to love others—and there’s nothing more important to me.”

Helping Others: “Temple and Fox gave me the opportunity to hone my skills—not only in business, but also in communication, time management, leadership, crisis management, critical thinking, and teamwork. More importantly, Temple and Fox helped me discover the reason why I wanted to do business: to serve others. I know that in whatever job I do, it’ll never be just a job. It will be an opportunity to use my skills to help others and give back all I’ve been given here.”

 

William Clark, BBA ’18

Major: Finance
New Job: Financial analyst, Revint Solutions

Perfect Launching Pad: “As I progressed through my lower-level BBA core classes, I realized I had a passion for analyzing underlying financial data. I have been a math and science guy as early as the second grade, so pursuing a career centered around financial analysis seemed like a natural fit. A financial analyst position is the perfect launching pad for a long, successful career in corporate finance.”

Love at First Sight: “I fell in love with Fox from the moment I attended my first course. I had the privilege of being taught by some of the best professors in academia, within a modern building full of the latest finance-based technology. The Capital Markets Room was one of my favorite places at Fox, as I was able to hone my skills in Bloomberg, FactSet, and VBA programming, among other things. I was able to attain valuable knowledge that allowed me to separate myself from the crowd.”

 

Alexa Ann Gerenza, BBA ’18

Major: Marketing
SPO: American Marketing Association
New Job: Group ticket sales associate and service coordinator, New York Yankees

A Lifelong Fan’s Dream Job: “I’ve been a Yankees fan my entire life and to now have a job that always seemed so unrealistic it’s still hard to believe. Moving to NYC and having my office at the stadium and my work schedule based around game days, is less typical, yet so very exciting. This is an entirely new lifestyle than one I expected to have post-grad, but I’m beyond excited for the journey ahead.”

Finding Confidence (and Forever Friends!): “The American Marketing Association has given me my forever friends and motivated me to work harder in everything I do. It has given me more opportunities than I ever imagined, including two trips to the AMA International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans, leading Temple’s chapter as vice president to success as a top five chapter, touring the Facebook office in NYC, and competing in an eBay sponsored case competition. Without the lessons learned and the experiences gained, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to send the initial LinkedIn connection to the Yankees and jump on the first phone call, which ultimately led to the position.”

 

Kyshon Johnson, BBA ’18

Major: International Business
New Job: Business Leadership program/Global sales associate, LinkedIn

Linking Up with LinkedIn: “LinkedIn is my dream company. I was able to tour the San Francisco office in 2016 and made a promise to myself I’d work there. I felt the company and culture aligned perfectly with my passions and life purpose. Initially, I applied for a summer internship and was rejected. I used that experience as motivation and an opportunity to improve my professionalism. I interned at Comcast and gained industry experience before applying for my full-time role. I am confident LinkedIn and the Business Leadership program will groom and mold me into a successful business woman.

The Fox School Network: “I am thankful for the resources and support that Fox and Temple have provided during my undergraduate experience. Fox has a strong alumni network filled with professionals throughout the world. I utilized the alumni network to connect with Owls within the technology industry. I was able to meet with individuals that work at Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn. They were all enthusiastic to assist me in landing a role at their companies. This professional foundation allowed me to explore career options and connect with amazing individuals.  

 

Katherine Taraschi, BBA ’18

Major: Marketing
New Job: Owner, O bag (King of Prussia Mall)

An Italian Vacation Inspires a Career: “O bag is an Italian company that creates interchangeable bags and accessories that customers can build in the store. It’s a store my friends and I were completely obsessed with when we visited Italy last spring. We visited six different locations all over Italy and one in Budapest. O bag King of Prussia will be located on the first floor of the Plaza between Lord and Taylor and Nordstrom.”

Benefits of a Real-World Curriculum: “I love that the professors at Fox all have real-world experience. Hearing different situations that they’ve encountered embedded in course topics gave a different perspective to the lessons—and definitely helped prepare me for my new position as a business owner.”

 

Lindsey Thompson, BBA ’18

Major: Human Resource Management
SPO: Net Impact; Society for Human Resource Management
New Job: Compensation analyst, Day & Zimmermann

A Passion for Philly… and Data: “I’m so excited to continue to live in my favorite city (Philadelphia), work with coworkers I have formed connections with during my internship at Day & Zimmermann, and to dive into the details of data in a field I’m passionate about.”

Involvement Pays Off: “The professors in Fox’s HR department, as well as other schools throughout the university, are some of the kindest and most knowledgeable people I’ve met. I can’t thank them enough for passing on their extensive industry knowledge, their warm and understanding natures, for making me think, and for serving as mentors. My leadership position with Net Impact and my role as a Teaching Assistant taught me the value of detail orientation, time management, effective communication, and remaining open-minded. I would suggest to any undergrad to get involved outside of class, because it has really added to my experience here at Temple!”

 

Ian Usher, BBA ’18

Major: Management Information System
SPO: Association for Information Systems
New Job: Media-Tech associate, NBC Universal

Becoming a Tech Leader: “I’m incredibly excited to start working for NBC Universal. While working for NBCU last summer, I discovered the company has a wonderful culture where I feel engaged and valued, even as a young employee. During that time, I became good friends with other interns, and it will be wonderful to continue to grow those relationships. The Media-Tech Associate program is a very demanding program, but it’s designed to give us the skills necessary to become future technology leaders.”

A Professional Journey Began at Fox: “Throughout my career at Fox, I was pushed to think logically, clearly, and critically to solve many real business problems. I was fortunate to work on projects with real companies, from startups like PoundCake to major organizations like CHOP. Completing these projects and learning how to interact with professionals helped me excel during my internship and prepared me for the workplace more effectively than if my classes were purely lecture-based. I was a poor writer before coming to Temple, and Fox classes like Business Communications have helped me improve my writing skills dramatically. That’s been critical thus far in my professional journey.”

Learn more about the Center for Student Professional Development.

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Business consulting—a $250 billion industry in 2017—is growing thanks to hot sectors like cybersecurity, healthcare, and information technology. The demand for trained consultants is greater than ever and there are numerous students at the Fox School of Business eager to pursue careers in the rising industry.

The Temple University Management Consulting Program (TUMCP)’s Temple Consulting Club recently partnered with the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI)’s Women’s Entrepreneurial Association to host a panel discussion with the theme of “Women in Consulting.” More than 150 people attended the event where four professional women consultants—Liz Bywater, of Bywater Consulting Group; Anwesha Dutta, of PricewaterhouseCoopers; Michele Juliana, of RSM; and Jennifer Morelli, of Grant Thornton—discussed the state and bright future of the profession.

“Consulting has a special glamour to it,” says executive principal of Victrix Global Araceli Guenther, who also works with TUMCP, teaches consulting and International Business courses at the Fox School, and moderated the discussion. “People are attracted to consulting because you’re working on very high-level projects and with very interesting companies and people.”

Some of the big questions students had for the panelists regarded work-life balance and the personal sacrifices required to thrive in the industry. Guenther, a 15-year veteran of the consulting industry who has worked for major clients like GlaxoSmithKline, knows first-hand that the consulting lifestyle can be a grueling one.

“The stress level is high and there’s normally lots of travel,” Guenther says. “You’re usually on a plane Sunday afternoon and you’re back home Friday evening. People glamourize it from the outside, but what they don’t realize is that, even when I was somewhere beautiful like Verona, Italy, we were working from morning to night and it was a year-long project. It’s not a profession for everyone and it’s definitely more of a challenge for women.”

Many students at the Fox School are excited to face the challenges and embrace the opportunities of a career in consulting. For instance, Nhi Nguyen, a sophomore MIS major and international student from Vietnam. Nguyen, who as the vice president of the Temple Consulting Club helped organize the event, has studied abroad in Japan, where she worked for the Japan Market Expansion Competition. She can’t wait to keep traveling and hopes to do so while pursuing a consulting career in the technology industry.

“I love traveling, working with a team, and working on interesting projects,” says Nguyen. “I like unexpected challenges and I like to solve problems. When you work in consulting, you get to work across industries and with different teams. And you get to travel everywhere! The workload is really heavy and you are on the road constantly, but that’s what I want to do.”

Panelist Liz Bywater had a professional background in clinical psychology before launching her own consulting firm, Bywater Consulting Group, in 2003. She has since worked with clients such as Nike, Johnson & Johnson, and Bristol-Myers Squibb, and focuses on working with CEOs and top executives. Launching her own company allowed her to avoid some of the work-life pitfalls that worry students, but also to pursue the specific type of work that inspired her the most.

“I’ve always loved being my own boss,” says Bywater. “I love being able to create my own calendar and to take on the type of work that’s most exciting to me and most beneficial to my clients. And I have flexibility and the endless potential to evolve my business.”

With more than a decade of experience in the industry, Bywater has good advice for students considering careers in consulting.

“Students should be thinking about what type of consulting is most interesting to them and what they want their lives to look like from a holistic perspective,” she says. “They can work with a large firm, which means very long hours, travel, and demanding work. Or some may want to carve their own path and create their own firm, where there will be more flexibility, but also more risk. Students should be clear on what their strengths are, and on what they really want to do with their lives and careers in the short and long-term.”

“Also,” she continues, “students shouldn’t allow the focus on skill set to get in the way of what truly makes a successful consultant, which is being able to have positive, value-added relationships, to listen and communicate well, and to be reliable, trustworthy, and creative.”

Based on the success of this event, TUMPC and the Temple Consulting Club are planning a similar event next spring.

Learn more about the Fox School’s Department of Strategic Management.

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Updated Aug. 16, 2018: Suchetha Subramaniam, BBA ’18,  is currently part of the Sales & Marketing Future Leader Program at GSK.

Grab your books—it’s time to go back to school!

Whether you’re an incoming freshman or a senior, the beginning of a semester is the perfect opportunity to make big plans and set challenging goals. It’s an excellent moment to try new things—so with this in mind, we asked rising senior Suchetha Subramaniam to offer a few tips that will help business students succeed.

Subramaniam is a double major in International Business and Spanish. She’s also the president of the College Council—the organization that oversees nearly 30 student professional organizations (SPOs) at the Fox School—and she recently completed her fourth internship in a financial advisory program with Merrill Lynch. Subramaniam’s long-term career goal, she says, is to “work in the financial advisory space, with an international nonprofit specializing in business development in Latin or South America.”

From risk-taking to strategic networking, here are some of the secrets that have helped Subramaniam find success during her time at Fox.

5. Join Student Professional Organizations

“Joining an SPO is the best way to get into the business world as a student,” says Subramaniam. “They’re a great way to network yourself and to network your abilities, to learn about possible career paths, and to speak to professors. I’ve had a lot of opportunities to interact with many top performing students and these relationships will help me in the future. I got some of the best work experience I never would’ve gotten otherwise through SPOs.”

4. Take Professional Risks

“When I came to Temple, I knew Fox was a highly-esteemed school and I knew that the discipline of business is broad enough that I’d find my niche in due time. I had no background in finance, but all of a sudden I decided to apply for a financial advising internship with Merrill Lynch. It was very challenging for me, but I realized finance is a field I can truly see myself working in. I never would’ve discovered this passion if I hadn’t taken a risk and been willing to try something new.”

3. Talk to Your Professors

“Professors all have office hours and you should take advantage of that. Professors are incredibly intelligent and experienced, and they are great people who want you to succeed. All you have to do is make an effort and show them you’re a curious, functioning person with feelings and they’ll reciprocate. One of my professors even put me in touch with someone in her personal circle and this helped me get an interview I otherwise wouldn’t have had. Talking to professors can open up so many new opportunities. It pays off. And they’re such nice, knowledgeable people, so why wouldn’t you want to get to know them?”

Suchetha Subramaniam meets Colin Powell.

2. Go to Events You Normally Wouldn’t Attend

“Last year, Fox played a part in bringing Colin Powell to campus. I had no intention of going; I saw the flyer, I saw the invite, but didn’t think much of it. But I was pushed by some faculty to go because it was a once in a lifetime experience. I was able to speak to Powell individually, and I got a picture taken with him. He’s one of the most influential people in our recent political history, so that was really cool. His speech was on leadership and inclusion, and it was incredible. He was so inspiring and there were so many things I took away from it that I can apply to my future and to different leadership roles.”

1. Network, Network, Network

“On day one at Fox, they had us go to a networking event with faculty, the deans, and other students—they literally threw us right in the deep end. We’ve all heard it a million times: ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.’ That’s so true in every facet of life and your professional career. At Fox and Temple, we have all these interesting people around us who are doing and will go on to do great things; we’re all on the same trajectory, but working in different fields. I see networking like a plant, where you’re the main branch and each person you know branches off into a different one. But once you make a connection, you have access to their network as well, and this opens up new paths for you.”

Learn more about the Fox School’s International Business program.
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Rory Phalon
Rory Phalon

Entrepreneurship, a pillar at Temple University, continues to flourish campus-wide.

Adding to that robust culture, a recently forged student professional organization is helping to strengthen Temple’s ties to entrepreneurship. The Temple University Venture Club (TUVC) is the latest extension of entrepreneurial support offered to students, and offers students opportunities to learn about entrepreneurial finance and venture investing.

In starting the entrepreneurship-focused organization, Fox School of Business senior Rourke Phalon set out to create a space that is for fellow business-minded individuals, whether or not they are business majors.

“The most rewarding part about guiding student entrepreneurs is helping them tap into opportunities that no one had made available to me as an underclassman,” said Phalon, an International Business major from Watertown, Conn. “I had been an active member of student professional organizations dedicated to institutional finance and entrepreneurship, but there was this interesting world which blended both that needed more attention brought to it. I helped form the club to fill that gap.”

While entrepreneurial thinking is mainly associated within the Fox School, TUVC hopes to foster growth and innovation among all Temple students. According to Zachary Scheffer, the Venture Club’s vice president, the organization seeks to help students who may not know where to begin when launching a business or venture.

“We encourage all backgrounds to join our organization because if you have an entrepreneur’s mindset, you may need information regarding funding one day,” said Scheffer. “We currently have a few members from outside of Fox that find great value in the opportunities and information TUVC provides.”

For Phalon, serving as president of a new organization with more than 20 members is no easy feat. But, he said, seeing students grow and take advantage of new opportunities through other startups has made the journey worth it.

“The overall mission of the Venture Club is to create a culture around entrepreneurial finance at Temple,” he said. “We accomplish that goal by hosting an entrepreneurship speaker series, and by making students aware of networking, volunteer, and work opportunities in the entrepreneurship space.”

Venture Club is the latest edition to Temple’s entrepreneurship-rich landscape. Temple University Entrepreneurship Academy (TUEA), launched in Fall 2016, already has begun expanding the university’s widespread entrepreneurial culture by incorporating entrepreneurship education into coursework delivered by faculty members throughout all of Temple’s 17 schools and colleges.

TUEA is an extension of Temple’s renowned Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute, which uses applied, hands-on learning and access to entrepreneurs and mentors to proactively promote entrepreneurial spirit for students from all disciplines.

While the Temple Venture Club is still young, the organization’s corporate relations officer Courtney Mangano envisions a bright future for TUVC.

“I hope the Venture Club continues to act as a platform for anyone looking to gain experience on how to successfully become involved in the startup and venture capital community, get an internship, and network with our influential guest speakers,” said Mangano.

Photo of Cristo Rey eventAt Temple University’s Fox School of Business, students know that networking is crucial to professional success. That’s why they are helping local high school students perfect their personal elevator pitches.

Students from Temple’s chapter of the American Marketing Association (Temple AMA) are collaborating this semester with Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School, a private high school located in North Philadelphia, to work with its students on professional development.

In January, the Fox School hosted juniors and seniors from Cristo Rey to share tips on personal and professional presentation skills and communication skills in a formal environment. Temple AMA members plan on visiting Cristo Rey’s North Philadelphia campus in May 2017, when its members plan to speak to the student body at large.

The initial activity was part of “Project: Career,” a networking initiative between the Fox School and Cristo Rey. Cristo Rey combines academic curriculum with professional work experience. Each student, in grades 9 through 12, works a real job for real wages five days each month. This affords Cristo Rey’s students the professional development opportunities they will need at the next level, and substantially reduces their tuition at the school.

Cristo Rey’s ideals align well with those of Temple AMA, said Mina Kwong, the student organization’s Director of Social Impact.

“Our mission is to transform students’ lives,” said Kwong, 20. “We provide students with opportunities to enhance their marketing skills, knowledge and personal networks. We want to do that through community service and social impact.”

At the Project: Career event, Cristo Rey’s students received mentorship from Fox School marketing majors on their college experiences, and their academic careers within the program.

“Our students really enjoyed the event,” said Joanna Wusinich, Director of the Work-Study Program at Cristo Rey. “They saw it as an opportunity to get their feet wet and get comfortable networking. All of our students have four years worth of internship experience under their belts, so I think they took a lot of pride in being able to talk about their work history.”

Photo of Cristo Rey eventWusinich said she first learned about Temple AMA two years ago, and the two groups have been working together ever since. The goal for each, she said, is to foster growth through collaboration.

“We wanted to bring Cristo Rey’s students to our business setting and open up their eyes,” Kwong said. “That’s something that is valuable for them, in learning about us. It’s a learning opportunity for us, as well. It’s so eye-opening to see that their students have lots of internship experience. It’s really inspiring.”

Cristo Rey’s graduating seniors in the class of 2016 achieved a 100-percent college acceptance rate, which according to Wusinich demonstrates the school’s biggest impact in the determination of its students.

“The confidence of our seniors—I know that is directly related to the willingness of Temple’s students to coach them and prep them for the event,” said Wusinich. “The Temple American Marketing Association has really stood out for its professionalism and level of maturity, and serves as a strong example and as role models for our students.”

Temple AMA only recently established the Social Impact Committee headed by Kwong. She said its involvement with Cristo Rey is just the beginning of what could be achieved by the organization and in its future collaborations. The group is actively looking for more opportunities through which it can have a positive impact in Philadelphia.

“We’re very grateful for the partnership with Temple AMA,” said Wusinich. “It’s been a pleasure working with them and we’re looking forward to growing and building this relationship with them.”

OWLympiad_1The Fox School of Business will welcome nearly 250 juniors from Philadelphia-area high schools to Temple University for the 7th annual OWLympiad math competition, to be held May 9 at the Howard Gittis Student Center.

Free to attend, OWLympiad offers cash prizes for 11th-graders who are exploring career possibilities in the actuarial science field. Actuaries leverage high-level numerical skills to assume positions in insurance, consulting, investment banking, government organizations, and more.

“This event creates awareness that actuarial science is an appealing career path for someone who loves math, and it’s a great way for local math-minded students to connect with one another,” said OWLympiad coordinator Dr. Krupa Viswanathan, an Associate Professor and Director of the Fox School’s Actuarial Science program.

OWLympiad will challenge teams of four students to demonstrate their knowledge in a range of math-related subjects, including algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. The competition, which begins at 9 a.m., will consist of a multiple-choice exam, a “24” math cardgame competition, and a Quizzo-style lightning round. The team that accrues the most points will be awarded $400. All participating students will receive a customized T-shirt, lunch, and other items provided by the event’s sponsors.

OWLympiad_2The Fox School’s Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management department, as well as the Sigma Chapter of international professional fraternity Gamma Iota Sigma, will host the competition. Travelers Insurance Company and the Casualty Actuarial Society are the event’s sponsors.

Temple University offers one of the most-distinguished Actuarial Science programs in North America, and has been recognized by the Society of Actuaries as a Center of Actuarial Excellence (CAE) – one of only 30 institutions to receive this honor. The Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management department has offered engagement opportunities for local high school students for the past 15 years, including OWLympiad.

Email Timothy Ellis (timothy.ellis@temple.edu) or Viswanathan (krupa@temple.edu) for more information about OWLympiad.

Alexander Brannan, Lily Tran, Abbey Harris, Rachel BakerHow sweet it is.

Marketing majors from Temple University’s student chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) won the parent organization’s annual Collegiate Case Competition by delivering a marketing strategy for a product from event sponsor The Hershey Company.

The Temple AMA team took top honors ahead of the University of Pennsylvania, Texas State University, and Ferris State University, among other tough competitors. The team of marketing students from the Fox School of Business assembled a thorough, research-driven marketing plan for Hershey’s Ice Breakers Cool Blast Chews, emerging from a field of 91 college chapters to claim first place in the prestigious competition for the first time. The $3,000 top prize will be allotted toward defraying costs related to next year’s case competition, the team said.

“This puts our chapter on the map,” said junior Lily Tran. “Now, other chapters across the country and internationally will look to us as a prime example of what it takes to win.”

The Temple AMA all-junior presentation team comprised Tran, Abbey Harris, Rachel Baker, and Alexander Brannan. The written case team included seniors Taylor Sauder, Rachel Zydyk, and Jennifer McGill. Temple AMA was one of 10 national finalists invited to deliver a presentation at the AMA International Collegiate Conference, held March 17-20 in New Orleans.

The final presentation culminated more than seven months of original research, situation analysis, conducting focus groups and surveys, and marketing recommendations by the Temple AMA team. The group had submitted its written case to AMA in December and, one month later, learned that it had been selected as one of the 10 finalists. From there, they delivered a number of “dry-run presentations,” said Dr. Craig Atwater, Assistant Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at Temple’s Fox School of Business, and one of Temple AMA’s three faculty advisors.

Photo of the American Marketing Association (AMA) Collegiate Case Competition award.“Our team took tips from the faculty members and PhD students to whom they made their practice presentations and fine-tuned the presentation until it was perfectly polished,” Atwater said. “Their focus groups and taste tests also helped our students determine that the product’s positioning was ambiguous. It’s not a gum, as it dissolves within 15 seconds, and yet it’s not a mint. It’s instead classified within a subcategory, as a power-mint. Our students found that for millennials, who enjoy trying new things, this product is cool and fun, but they found that it also required an explanation.”

Those elements proved critical to the Temple AMA team’s presentation, which the group delivered before a trio of high-ranking executives from Hershey. Then, the marketing students waited until all other names had been announced before celebrating their victory.

“While awaiting the results, I remember counting the spots and losing count because my heart started to pound,” said Harris. “TU-AMA is improving in reputation thanks to our incredible faculty advisors – Dr. Craig Atwater, Professor Jim Thompson, and Dr. Drew Allmond – our talented Fox School professors, and the support of the Marketing department.”

Added Baker: “I believe our success is a direct tribute to Temple University’s dedicated faculty, who over the past three years have consistently encouraged innovation in team settings, fostered perseverance, taught us how to think strategically, and have pushed us to reach our potential.”

AIS October 2015

The Association for Information Systems (AIS) has recognized its affiliated student chapter at Temple University’s Fox School of Business with the Distinguished Chapter Award, naming it one of the top-four student chapters in the country.

In addition to the recognition, Temple AIS will receive $250 to further its aspirations as a student organization. AIS will recognize Temple’s chapter at the 2015 International Conference on Information Systems Dec. 13-16, in Fort Worth, Texas, and again at the AIS Student Chapter Leadership Conference April 1-3, 2016, in Bloomington, Ill.

Temple AIS has repeatedly received distinction as an elite national chapter in each year of its existence. In 2013, it was designated as AIS Chapter of the Year.

“Temple AIS is not only excelling within the Temple University community, but also on a national level,” said Dr. Munir Mandviwalla, Chair of the Fox School’s Management Information Systems department. “Earning recognition as a Distinguished Chapter demonstrates the sterling reputation of Temple AIS, and I could not be more proud of their achievements, both past and present.”

The Distinguished Chapter Award highlights a chapter’s excellence in the areas of emphasis: professional development, membership, careers in information systems, community service, fundraising, and communications.

“This recognition is a testament to our national reputation, and a result of the hard work from previous officer teams,” said Temple AIS President Eric Koeck, a senior studying Management Information Systems at the Fox School. “We look forward to continuing this tradition as we work toward earning the Chapter of the Year award.”

The award recognizes the “best of the best” from 70 different chapters across the country. Temple’s chapter joins those from the University of Alabama and the University of Montana as chapters that are improving the professional networks of students engaged in the Information Systems degree program, the association said in a statement.

“AIS takes immense pride in recognizing the distinguished scholars who make up our community, and ultimately, contribute to the success of the field,” said AIS Vice President of Student Chapters James Parrish.

Founded in 1994 as a professional organization, AIS first launched student chapters in 2008. Each year, the association awards one chapter the honor of Chapter of the Year, and three others as Distinguished Chapters.

Assistant Professor of Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management Michael McCloskey speaks to area high school students on the significance of financial literacy.
Assistant Professor of Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management Michael McCloskey speaks to area high school students on the significance of financial literacy.

It’s not what you make. It’s what you save.

That’s what Michael McCloskey said, as he asked for a student volunteer to share details of his personal finances.

At that moment, a hand shot into the air. The area high school student divulged to McCloskey how much money he earns each month by working his part-time job, and also how much he spends. Then McCloskey asked the student if he owns a car. The student replied yes, but added that his parents manage its related expenses.

“Well, that’s going to change one day,” said McCloskey, Assistant Professor of Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management at the Fox School of Business, “and it’s important that everyone in this room is prepared for that day.

The Fox School hosted more than 70 high school students from the Philadelphia region April 29 for a first annual Financial Literacy seminar, offering a variety of guest speakers on topics ranging from early investing, credit, and financial aid for college.

Fox School’s Sigma Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma, a risk and insurance fraternity, organized the four-hour event, to demonstrate the importance of managing one’s personal finances to prevent common financial pitfalls and to encourage better decision-making in regard to money. Reducing student debt is one of six commitments made by Temple University President Neil Theobald, who recently implemented the Fly In 4 program.

The event opened with McCloskey’s discussion on investing for the future. McCloskey, who teaches a general education course on the subject, explained the difference between good credit and bad credit, introduced the students to terms like insolvency and net worth, and encouraged them to jot down their monthly expenditures as a way of tracking their spending.

The students also learned about college admissions and financial aid application procedures from David Kaiser, Director of Undergraduate Enrollment at the Fox School, and Celeste D. Roberts, Temple’s Assistant Bursar of Financial Literacy. Following a lunch break, the students met with Fox senior Francesca Waddington, Sigma’s Vice President of Community Affairs, for a discussion focusing on the college experience.

“Four years ago, I was extremely confused with applying for financial aid and student loans, and had little understanding of what impact this would have on me when I graduated,” said Waddington, who organized the event with the help of Vice Dean Debbie Campbell, Director of Undergraduate Enrollment David Kaiser and Sigma Director of Community Affairs Sean Johnson.

“I think it’s crucial to educate students who plan to attend college on exactly what the financial burden is and, more importantly, how to lessen this burden. I think understanding how to become financially literate is vital to success, which was our inspiration for starting an event like this.”

The Financial Literacy seminar served as just one of many initiatives organized by the Sigma Chapter. In April, Sigma presented a check for $11,200 to its charity of choice, Brave Hearts for Strong Minds. The organization, based in the Philadelphia area, collects educations funds for children who have lost an income-earning parent.

For more information on the Sigma Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma, visit its website.

SPO Madness 1

The pizza boxes stacked onto a waist-high countertop stood taller than Pauline DeAndrade, President of Temple University’s chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA).

One by one, as fellow members trickled in to NABA’s April 22 assembly meeting, the mound of pizzas shrunk in size.

A catered assembly meeting was NABA’s reward for winning the inaugural Fox SPO Madness. A Twitter-based bracket competition, Fox SPO Madness pitted 16 student-professional organizations (SPOs) at Temple’s Fox School of Business against one another, with the winner earning a pizza party for its members, sponsored by Vanguard, a parter of the Fox School’s Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD).

NABA defeated Temple’s chapter of the American Marketing Association (TU-AMA) in the final round.

“When we surpassed 200 votes in the championship round, I think that was when I started thinking we might win,” said DeAndrade, a graduating senior and a summer intern with Deloitte’s auditing practice in Philadelphia. “Our support system showed during the duration of the contest, which made it a lot of fun.”

SPO Madness 2

For a two-week span, from late March to early April, Fox SPO Madness galvanized SPOs into action. The contest ran simultaneously to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, ending April 6, the same day as the basketball tournament’s championship game.

Of Fox School’s 24 SPOs, 16 maintain Twitter accounts. Each SPO was chosen randomly to populate spots in a 16-entry bracket. Once daily at 9 a.m., beginning March 17, the Fox School’s Twitter account (@foxschool) unveiled that day’s matchup to be voted upon. In each matchup, the retweet and favorite functions served as votes for respective SPOs and, at 3 p.m., a winner was declared.

To ensure the largest number of votes each time, NABA employed social media platforms, emails to its listserv members, and regular appeals to coworkers, family and friends.

“We tapped into our alumni, too, and we do so regularly,” said senior Harold Rosemund, NABA’s Social Media Coordinator. “For example, if one of our members knows they can do better in a particular course, we reach out to our alums and say, ‘Is anyone available to mentor a student, or consult with them on a project?’ Beyond the scope of the contest, our alumni base is always so supportive.”

“And I think this (contest) shows just how strong the SPOs are at Fox.”

Not to mention how hungry they are.