On August 18, the American Marketing Association [AMA] held a reception in Chicago to celebrate its 75th anniversary. Founded in 1937 at the University of Illinois, the AMA is global network of over 30,000 members.
As a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign marketing grad, I was on the guest list. Isn't the 75th anniversary cake lovely?
To explore the AMA's anniversary videos, visit Marketing Like Never Before.
The AMA's anniversary reception took place at the Chicago Marriott during a conference for marketing educators from around the world. While I didn't get to mingle with many of them, I did talk to a few exhibitors to find out what's new.
What's Hot in Marketing Education?
In two words: simulation games. Several exhibitors showed me how students can test out running virtual companies. When students enter the workforce, they'll have an edge over other candidates as they deliver added value to their new employer for years to come.
As the mother of a high school senior who plans to major in marketing and PR next fall, I can see how this interaction with technology, information and team competition would be exciting and challenging. Four companies walked me through their programs: Marketplace Live, Cesim, Stratx Simulations and iibd SABRE Business Simulation.
Although we didn't use online games to learn when I studied marketing at Illinois, we engaged in role plays that mirrored real life situations.
To this day, I remember how uncomfortable I felt when it was time for me to choose who to eliminate on my fictional team. As a manager a few years later, I knew how important it was to the company to screen for top talent and quickly replace under performers.
In my senior year, one of the projects I enjoyed the most was designing an integrated marketing campaign for a small business in campus town.
We didn't call it "integrated marketing" back then, though.
In the classroom we learned how to balance multiple marketing formats for small businesses. My business, an optometrist, got a marketing plan that included advertising, direct mail, public relations and in store campaigns. This experience helped me land a job as a fashion eyewear sales representative a few months later.
My marketing degree is one of the best investments I've ever made.
Thanks to the University of Illinois and the AMA for the invitation to celebrate a significant anniversary!
Your Turn: Tell us about how your college classes prepared you for success in the working world.