I’m finally coming up for air after midterms… I’m happy to say that I survived them. I could go on and on about them, but I’d rather talk about something a little less stressful and a lot more fun.
Two Friday’s ago I had the opportunity to participate in the CCIMS / Marketing Fellows “Brand Camp.” The day went from 11:00am to 5:00pm and was filled with all things marketing. (Finally! A subject that I understand!) Let me first explain a few things.
What is CCIMS? It is the Center for Customer Insight & Marketing Solutions, and its mission is “focused on identifying and facilitating work in areas deemed most important to the marketing profession.” It is also where you can find Marketing Fellows, which is a select group of MBA’s (i.e. you have to apply & be chosen) that “provide the opportunity to develop marketing acumen and management skills through a combination of focused curriculum and consulting projects, serving to elevate the caliber of marketing students produced at McCombs and the reputation of the Marketing Department overall.” I should mention, we are already in the application process for Marketing Fellows! Organizations don’t waste any time at Texas!
Back to Friday. I’ll be honest – spending 6 hours at Brand Camp seemed daunting in the face of all the studying to be done. However, I was ready for some marketing! The morning started with a panel of MBA grads representing Tostitos (Frito Lay), Deloitte, and AT&T. They discussed their various marketing roles and offered insight into their positions. I found the panel very insightful and learned quite a bit more about brand management and marketing consulting. Next we had a networking luncheon to talk with our classmates and the 2nd Year Fellows. Then Ben Bentzin, who will be my marketing professor in a few weeks, gave a presentation about the importance of marketing. My favorite part was his explanation of University of Texas as a brand. (DeLoss Dodds is one smart athletic director, by the way. But I’ll save that for class.) Have I mentioned how excited I am for a marketing class, by the way?
Last, we broke into teams and were tasked to create a marketing campaign for a really, er, odd product. I won’t spoil the details in case Fellows decides to use this idea again, but I will say that it was SO MUCH FUN! After an hour of preparation, my team pitched our marketing plan to the earlier panel participants and other Fellows. I loved it – the pitch, the strategy, the teamwork… THIS is why I came back to business school! We didn’t win, but it didn’t matter. I felt energized and excited – even in the face of a weekend of studying.
In light of my business school FOMO, I know that deep down I will always be most passionate about the marketing and strategy of a company, whether it’s my own company or someone else’s. I’m thankful there are so many resources at McCombs to help me on this path.
I’ll end with this advice… Even when faced with more work than you think you can handle, don’t skip out on opportunities like this. They are worth it!