At 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.”
Wusinich 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.”
Marketing students from Temple University’s Fox School of Business hosted a panel of professionals from prominent national brands for a consumer insights-focused speaker series.
The students, from Temple’s chapter of the American Marketing Association, welcomed:
- Naomi Grewal, PhD, Head of Consumer Insights, Facebook
- Andy Smith, Director of Consumer Insights, The Hershey Company
- Lana Busignani, Executive Vice President of Marketing Effectiveness, North America, Nielsen
The speakers addressed nearly 100 undergraduate- and graduate-level marketing students Oct. 7 in Alter Hall’s MBA Commons. A number of marketing and consumer insights professionals also attended in-person and remotely via WebEx.
“TU-AMA strives to provide students with professional development and networking opportunities,” said Temple AMA President Alex Brannan, a senior Marketing major. “The Consumer Insights panel aligned perfectly with that mission, as research is the foundation of marketing.”
Grewal shared how access to data, some of which are posted online to the company’s insights blog Facebook IQ, can shape Facebook’s understanding of its users’ demographics and interests. She mentioned a trend called “sharenting,” with parents exponentially more likely to post updates, photos, and videos.
Smith discussed the affect of culture on consumers, mentioning which products in The Hershey Company’s product line have worked – and which didn’t – in specific countries. Consumers are most attracted to “simple, familiar and safe” products, said Smith, who also shared insights about what eating habits say about an individual.
Busignani focused on Neilsen’s use of more-precise, first-party data to understand its targets and their behaviors in order to deliver relevant messaging. This is a contrast, she said, to the generalized approach of push marketing from the 1980s and 1990s. “We’re right at the beginning,” she said, “of a new journey in this digital age.”
Jim Thompson, a faculty advisor to the Temple AMA Chapter commented that this session was a testament to the growing influence of Fox’s Marketing and Supply Chain Management (MSCM) programs: “Very few universities could attract senior consumer insights executives from such high profile companies.”
Temple AMA Vice President Lily Tran, a senior Marketing major, said the organization first contacted the panelists during the Spring 2016 semester, using connections through Fox School’s MSCM department and Temple University’s Center for Neural Decision Making.
“We were happy to learn that each of our guest speakers was supportive of our initiative to highlight the importance of consumer insights and marketing research,” Tran said. “Naomi, our speaker from Facebook, even commented on how the consumer insights community is a close-knit, and the MSCM program will help provide access to this wide and diverse network, when recruiting top-level speakers for future events.”
How 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.
“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.”