By Kathryn Todd
Over spring break, students from the UMSL Marketing Club traveled to New Orleans to attend the American Marketing Association Collegiate Conference. The AMA is one of the worlds largest marketing associations with over 30,000 members and over 350 affiliated college chapters. This organization works to provide networking opportunities, education, and training to its members. Students became involved with the AMA when they competed in its Collegiate Case Competition. 14 students worked together to create a marketing campaign for Glaceau Vitamin Water and competed with colleges from across the nation. This was the team’s first year competing and they received an honorable mention for their case. Students created a crowdfunding page and reached out to alumni to raise $5,780 towards their trip. Receiving generous donations from the UMSL College of Business Administration, UMSL Digital Marketing Program, and numerous other generous donors helped the students attend this conference.
Upon arriving to the conference, students viewed other chapters’ exhibits to see what they had accomplished in the last year and socialized at a T-Shirt exchange. Music welcomed students to the opening Kickoff and Keynote where they heard from the Executive Vice President and CMO of the Miami Heat, the very successful Michael McCullough. Students spent the weekend hearing from top marketing executives such as: Jeff Schmitz and Rachel Lewis the Senior Director and Senior Associate Brand Manager of the Hershey Company, Daryl Weber, The Global Director Creative Strategy and Planning of the Coca-Cola Company, and many more. A second keynote address was given by the hilarious and inspiring Jia Jiang (link: fearbuster.com) on why rejection is awesome. Students had many opportunities to attend career fairs, hear interview and resume tips, and learn how to strengthen their chapters. Students also took advantage in opportunities such as the Marketing Strategy Competition and the AMA Collegiate Role-Playing and Personal Selling Certificate.
While in New Orleans, students got to experience the historical city. They enjoyed wonderful seafood at Landry’s, beignets from Café Du Monde, live blues music, and the beautiful scenery of New Orleans.
Thank you to all who donated towards sending these students to the conference. Students had an amazing weekend and hope to use this knowledge to better themselves and their AMA collegiate chapter. They look forward to competing in the case competition next year and becoming more involved with the AMA.