Two University of Wisconsin-Platteville business students placed first in the annual American Marketing Association regional conference, hosted by UW-Whitewater on Oct. 4. Alex Lund, a senior majoring in business administration with a minor in product development and design and entrepreneurship, and Grace Faulkner, a sophomore majoring in business administration with an emphasis in marketing, were first in their category, out of 20 teams. Over 400 students from 11 states and three countries competed in the conference.
Lund and Faulkner participated in the design competition of the conference, sponsored by Sherwin Williams. Each team was required to design a social media post for the company to advertise a new training program. The post was geared towards generation Z on Instagram as part of a marketing campaign.
The regional conference hosted other competitions which involved mock interviews and sales pitches where students practiced and developed their ability to market themselves and products.
“When they were listing off third and second place, I thought there was no way we were going to win,” said Lund. “But then we won first place. It felt shocking to say that we have valuable skills but until we put those skills to use, they won’t be known.”
“UW-Platteville students tend to perform at a high level at AMA conferences because they are hands-on and execute on the fundamentals of marketing,” said George Krueger, UW-Platteville associate professor of marketing and advisor of the UW-Platteville AMA chapter. “The contests are judged by business managers who do this type of work on a daily basis. Hands-on experience and execution of fundamentals are hallmarks of our business program.”
The team worked to grab the attention of their readers. Criteria for the post included using the logo/brand of the company and the company’s colors.
“We created our ad to be more influential for the target market. It was a learning experience, but it was a lot of fun knowing that people recognized [our hard work],” said Faulkner.
The design competition was not the only event available. Students were able to attend a career fair where they were introduced to different businesses in the marketing area. Guest speakers from GMR Marketing and the chief marketing officer of the Milwaukee Bucks, Dustin Godsey, spoke at seminars during the conference as well.
Participants learned about the ever-changing marketing world; slang, keywords and other topics were discussed to highlight the need to keep up with trends, which was a large focus of the conference.
“Students gain a broader perspective of marketing and success at AMA conferences,” said Krueger. “They hear from industry leaders on relevant marketing strategies. It is an eye-opening experience for students.”