The Shippensburg University chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) attended a three-day conference April 10–13 at which it networked with other schools and tested sales and marketing skills against other students.
Around 1,300 students from 190 different colleges and universities from schools throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico attended the conference.
The American Marketing Association is an organization that connects marketing professionals across the U.S. It has 250 collegiate chapters, and hosts the conference annually.
“[The conference] gave these students the opportunity to learn, network, and apply the skills they have learned throughout their time at Shippensburg University,” said Tyler Geib, marketing major and vice president of membership at SU’s AMA chapter.
The students arrived in the city around 10 a.m. on Thursday and proceeded to the Sheraton Hotel in the heart of downtown New Orleans where the event was held.
An AMA council representative introduced the event and students spent the rest of the day participating in interactive events. The events included networking sessions featuring a T-shirt exchange and a “Parade of Chapters” where a student from each AMA location spoke briefly. The first day ended with the keynote speaker, Dave Delaney, discussing the importance of building personal networks early to help students find jobs.
The second day of the conference featured speakers from many well-known companies across the country. These included Coca-Cola, Facebook, Hershey Co., Converse Digital and Wix.com. The speakers discussed topics like finding the invisible jobs, whether brands can become icons, the Hershey way of marketing, what it really takes to get a job, and many others.
“I took a lot of great information from the speakers. The Hershey Company and Coca-Cola were the best ones,” said Bree Wallen, who attended the event as professional chairperson of AMA. “We had a really great time and I am glad that the Student Senate and the College of Business allowed us to attend.”
Geib and another student, Ryan Sexton, participated in a marketing strategy competition. They were given 20 minutes to formulate a strategy for a product and then present it to a panel of judges. Two students from the University of Pennsylvania walked away with the win, however.
Friday night concluded with the competition ceremony for the “Take 5 Competition,” which Shippensburg entered last semester. The grand prize was awarded to Texas State University (TSU).
TSU then showed its winning case presentation on Saturday and shared how it put the presentation together. Afterward, five Shippensburg students participated in an activity called, “Role-Playing and Relationship Selling Certificate,” which the AMA offered for the first time this year.
On Sunday, students had the opportunity to check out the French Quarter Festival, a free annual event that celebrates native New Orleans music and cuisine. Food vendors lined the streets, offering Po’ boys and other Creole dishes. Artists showcased their work in booths, and local musicians performed on the numerous stages provided.
“It was a nice way to end my career with the opportunity to go down to New Orleans and represent the school,” said Geib, who graduates this May. “It gave students the opportunity to network and add to skills that they’ve learned here.”