Tag: marketing (page 1 of 3)

Marketing Case Challenge

For those of you just getting to know the MBA experience along with classes, recruiting, networking, and “networking with classmates” (i.e.: having some fun…), case challenges are a (sometimes overlooked) piece of the puzzle.

Case challenges are sponsored by companies and are generally real-world questions that the companies are actually working on.

There are basically case challenges for everything: finance, marketing, global, and operations are just a small portion of them. Usually, they’re overnight competitions where interested parties self-select teams of 4 people to compete against either their classmates or against other schools (depending on the competition). They usually have cash prizes for the top three places, and they generally give out swag for other stuff (best speaker, best deck, etc.). Judges are representatives from different companies, so they’re great networking opportunities as well.

This year, rather than an overnight challenge, the marketing case challenge was a week long. Teams received the case on October 21, submitted their completed presentations by October 28, and presented on October 30. The competition was sponsored by Walmart and focused around how Walmart could use Pinterest to target millennials. For someone with a consulting background who worked in healthcare, public sector, and cable, this was a pretty big change.

Here’s the team vigorously (sort of) finishing the deck to get it submitted before the deadline:


Little did we know… they had an extra surprise in store for us during the competition… A TORNADO WARNING! Here’s a small group of us after we made it to safety:


Hook ‘Em, pre-presentation style:


A picture of the ultimate victors:


And finally, the second place team celebrating:


Personally, it was great to get to go through this. I learned a lot about marketing through the conference, and I honestly came in not knowing what I would gain from the challenge. After going through, it was awesome getting to work with people outside of my typical study team, get some marketing experience, and work on building my speaking-skills. Plus, the case was really interesting and relevant for anyone who has an interest in marketing.

There’s also a marketing conference that goes along with the case challenge each year which, this year, focused on “whole-brained marketing” (i.e.: How good marketers today own a combination of creativity and analytics skill-sets). The two keynote speeches were from Peter Horst, CMO, Hershey, and Kip Knight, President, H&R Block US Retail Operations, but the entire panel of speakers was awesome

Full details on the conference here or,
Check out the Storify feed. Hook ’em!

McCombs’ Favorite Classes: Strategic Marketing with Professor Mackie

The only way to really learn about business is to understand the real-world applications of concepts or to go out and actually apply these concepts in a real-world setting. The Texas MBA program provides you with ample opportunities to enjoy the benefits of both these learning methods. Firstly, there are a plethora of experiential opportunities that McCombs offers like the MBA+ projects and the Fellows programs. But even apart from these programs, classes often become a really great way to learn about practical applications and even put your learning to test. It is precisely for this reason that I have particularly enjoyed my Strategic Marketing class with Professor Kate Mackie.

The Strategic Marketing class, as the name suggests, covers various aspects of marketing strategy both at the product level such as the 4P’s (Product, Price, Place and Promotion), and at the company level such as resource allocation. What is interesting is that we actually strive to apply these concepts in a simulation, where we compete against each other to maximize shareholder value, much like what a lot of us aim to do as future C-suite executives. The competitive element of the class adds an element of fun and often has us frantically checking the results early on Friday morning, which is supposed to be our day off!

Another reason I find this course unique is that it does not look at things solely from a large resource-rich organization’s perspective. It takes into account possible resource limitations that firms may have to deal with and forces you to make decisions keeping these limitations in mind! Moreover, as readings for the class we read articles not only from business journals but also from business weeklies such as Bloomberg Businessweek, which I think is a great way to keep the conversation current. A shout out to Professor Mackie for making this course rigorous yet fun!

On one hand, this class has shattered certain beliefs I had in a previous life when I worked in a marketing role in the healthcare industry. For example, how it is actually better for a smaller company to compete in a more niche market where it can dominate rather than chase a large market. On the other hand, it has taught me useful tools as I prepare for my internship in the consumer packaged goods industry. Such as how important a clear positioning statement can be when developing a promotional campaign with a creative team.

All I can say is that, the Strategic Marketing has left me with a more sound understanding of the strategic decision making process that extends well beyond the realms of Marketing. When I was applying to McCombs, I reached out to a lot of students and Professor Mackie’s name came up when I asked about their favorite class. Now I know precisely why!

McCombs Super Week Recap: A Head Start on Summer Internship Recruiting

Marketing and Finance are the largest employment functions for Texas MBA students, and over 35% of these jobs are in the Consulting or Technology industries. For the class of 2015, over 40% of our students pursued these functions. In order to respond to the high volume of recruiting interest from employers and students, the Texas MBA Career Management team has created an annual event: “Super Week.”

This year, Super Week was held on campus January 12-16 2015. For students, it provides a focused opportunity to conduct first round interviews with top employers for summer internship positions. For employers, it grants a streamlined and competitive process for accessing McCombs talent.

As working professional MBAs are fully employed, only Full-Time MBAs interview for summer internships. About 30-50% of working professional MBAs do elect to seek employment other than their current, and many of those participate in both fall and spring on-campus recruiting for 2nd year MBAs.

We’ve asked participating employers to reflect on their Super Week experiences. Here is what they said:

Why recruit Texas MBAs?

“We recruit at McCombs because of a history of long-term success here.”
-Associate, Barclays

“Candidates at UT fit the bill academically and technically but also socially and personally.”
-Associate, Citi

“We recruit here because McCombs consistently provides great candidates who are well prepared. You deliver year after year in terms of candidates.”
-Recruiter, Simmons and Co.

“Our firm has a focus on oil and gas. McCombs has one of the best concentrations of people interested in energy/oil and gas, which makes it a perfect place for us to recruit.”
-HR Manager, North & South America, Schlumberger Business Consulting

On January 12th & 13th, 20 investment banks or financial firms conducted more than 200 interviews with 43 unique students. Wednesday through Friday, saw 11 management consulting firms conducting around 200 interviews with 76 unique students.  On January 20, the Ford Career Center reopened for the spring recruiting season to include all other recruiting industries as well as a few additional banks and consulting firms.

For all involved, this event is the culmination of an intense recruiting process after months of networking and preparation. Many thanks to the MBA Students, Student Leadership, Alumni, MBA Program Office Management and Staff, Corporate and Foundation Relations, and the Recruitment Services Team for pulling together to make this happen and provide a competitive, aggressive yet “level playing field” recruiting environment. This high degree of collaboration led to McCombs being tied for 11th in the nation for business schools with the highest percentage of MBA job offers in 2014.

Hook ‘Em!

Student Organizations and the McCombs 2014 Marketing Conference

One of the best parts of being a new McCombs student is embracing the opportunity to join student organizations so that you can connect with other first- and second-year MBAs who are as passionate about specific career paths as you are.

Just prior to Thanksgiving, I had the opportunity to attend the 2014 McCombs Marketing Conference. Centered on the theme, “Hacking Growth,” this outstanding two-day event resulted from the combined efforts of the Center for Consumer Insight and Marketing Solutions (CCIMS), the CCIMS Marketing Fellows, and the Graduate Marketing Network (GMN). As a proud member of the Marketing Fellows and GMN, I was thrilled to participate in the conference sessions and to learn from the various session speakers. The conference featured multiple sessions with marketing professionals as well as a case challenge for first-year MBAs.

Here is a recap of my favorite components of the two-day conference:

Networking with fellow students and corporate sponsors. We were fortunate to have an outstanding roster of companies supporting this event. The generosity of Nielsen, HEB, Deloitte, Dell, Frito-Lay, AT&T, nFUSION, Southwest Airlines, Walmart, and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group made the conference possible, and we students had the opportunity to interact with attending representatives from each of these companies. For many of the case challenge participants, the networking reception and dinner table seating arrangements also afforded great opportunities to establish rapport with judges from the corporate sponsor companies.

Rebecca Messina_copyListening to Thursday night’s keynote dinner with speaker Rebecca Messina, Senior VP of Marketing and Innovation with Coca-Cola’s Ventures and Emerging Brands. Ms. Messina delivered a fascinating overview of how a large company like Coca-Cola can stay agile in an ever-evolving and increasingly digital marketing world. She talked extensively about the emotional impact that effective marketing campaigns can create when companies strive to develop brand love among their consumers. She also emphasized the “free salesforce” phenomenon that has arisen from consumer fan-generated digital content on the internet. Rebecca’s passion for marketing as a tool create brand love reminded me why I love being a marketer and why I love seeing the creative, innovative ways that companies are engaging their customers through social media and other digital platforms.

Jeff Raider_copy

Learning from Friday morning’s keynote breakfast with Jeff Raider, Co-Founder of Warby Parker and Harry’s Shaving Company. It’s not often that you get to learn from wildly successful entrepreneurs as they discuss the provenance of their products and businesses, but that is exactly what happened during this conference session with Mr. Raider. His engaging presentation afforded attendees an insider’s look at how Warby Parker and Harry’s Shaving Company both originated in the co-founders’ identification of unmet customer needs. It was incredibly inspiring to hear Jeff describe how he and his business school classmates developed the business model for Warby Parker, and how he then built on the knowledge gained from that experience to launch his next venture, Harry’s. As an added bonus, I walked away from that session with a great Christmas present idea for my dad, two brothers, and two brothers-in-law: Harry’s Shaving Company gift sets!

Though I was not able to participate in the case challenge due to a travel obligation (family wedding), I can’t end this post without giving a shout-out to all of the participants. They powered through Thursday night’s conference sessions and then stayed up till 8 a.m. the following morning working on a re-branding strategy for the Take 5 candy bar. Pictured below are my friends and fellow first-years Jordan, Kara, Jennifer and Glenda, who ended the conference by enjoying the sweet taste of victory and taking first in the case challenge–24 hours after the conference kicked off. Congrats to all of you!


We are already getting excited for the 2015 Marketing Conference and hope our Texas Talks readers will be there to participate!

McCombs Marketing Is A Top-Ranked Program

McCombs Marketing Professor Raji SrinivasanBy Professor Raji Srinivasan, Department of Marketing

Taking two years out of your life to return to school is not trivial. And the McCombs faculty is here to help.

McCombs’ marketing faculty is truly interested in assisting you with getting the kinds of experiences that you’re seeking while in business school. We have a well-crafted program designed to help you get the most out of your MBA education.

The Texas MBA Program prepares students to succeed in fast-paced marketing environments and in careers spanning consulting, consumer packaged goods, retailing, and high technology. We do that by combining a rigorous theoretical and analytical foundation in the classroom with many challenging opportunities for hands-on application and learning. Examples of these Continue reading

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