Students in MKTG 342 Marketing Research are working with the Erie-Times News on a marketing research project. The consumer audit manager of the Erie Times-News, Amanda, approached the course instructor, Dr. Pelin Bicen, associate marketing professor, to propose a rebranding research project involving the publication’s magazine Showcase.
Showcase is a supplement to the Erie-Times News every Thursday and focuses on the upcoming week’s social events. Amanda stated that Showcase had its last major revision five years ago, and given that demographics and psychographic needs of its target market may have changed, it may be time to renovate its content, design, and format.
Thirty students in nine teams are working on understanding the precursors behind how to keep Showcase relevant with the changing needs and preferences of millennials. Bicen believes this project is a great opportunity for students to a get hands-on experience with a marketing research component.
Students will have four steps to approach the problem, which include literature review, in-depth qualitative study, online survey methodology, and advanced statistical analysis. Students will present the results to the Erie-Times News executives at the end of the semester and will provide them with several recommendations based on the findings from the study. The project aims to provide students will real-life experience and focuses on how marketing research results lead to performance outcomes. Based on the implications from this study, there will be a follow-up marketing research project within the spring MKTG 342 research course, too
This is an exciting time in the Marketing major! We’re pleased to welcome Dr. Sean Yim to the faculty. He is joining us from the doctoral program at Washington State University. Dr. Yim will be teaching MKTG 445: Global Marketing and MKTG 485: Business-to-Business Marketing this semester. The revision of our curriculum in the Marketing major is now working its way through the Penn State curricular review process. With significant changes due to new technology and data analytics, we believe that a revised curriculum that reflects these changes will strengthen our Marketing program and enhance job opportunities for our graduates. Speaking of our graduates, we now have graduates working across the United States and abroad in such as California, Arizona, Massachusetts, Indiana, North Carolina, and even Vietnam and China. We believe our success as faculty is based on the success of our graduates. It’s very exciting for us to watch our graduates on their business journey! Let’s hear from you!
Danielle Bryson is a 2014 graduate with a bachelor of science in Marketing and minors in both Management and English. “Just a month after graduation, I was offered a position at Reynolds and Reynolds as a Naked Lime in Houston, Texas,” Bryon explains. “After eight weeks in training I become a Naked Lim marketing analyst.” Her job includes speaking to clients, organizing their digital marketing efforts, and offering business growth and customer retention strategies. “I was nominated for Rookie of the Year 2015 and I was one of only ten associates in the entire company nominated for the award,” Bryson said. The winner will be announced next month.
“My advice to students who are graduating or who just graduated would be to think outside the box in terms of careers and companies,” she reflects. “Don’t limit yourself to what you what you know; use connections from high school, college, part-time jobs, and whomever else you can find.” Bryson also advises students to prepare for interviewing process. “The initial interview is the make-it-or-break-it moment. Interview skills are not something you can have too much of.”
Jessica Golombeck, a December 2014 graduate who earned a bachelor’s degree in Marketing with a minor in Project and Supply Chain Management, managed to graduate from Penn State Behrend in three and a half years. She also earned a SAP certifications. Golombeck now working as an assistant media buyer. “I am responsible for placing ads in magazines, billboards, television, digital landscapes and many other outlets,” she says.
Her advice to students is to let their dreams run wild but be prepared for the many roadblocks along the way. “After I graduated, one of my favorite professors, Dr. Mary Beth Pinto told me that the beauty about a career path is that it’s very dynamic,”Golombeck reflects. “My last piece of advice would be to not compare your life to that of others,” she says. “Your friends might be offered their dream internships and jobs while you’re wondering when it’s your turns,” she said. However, she does offer some anticipated encouragement. “I’m living proof that your time will come with the right amount of hard work and persistence.”
Holly Bourquin, a 2013 alumnus, has a bachelor’s degree in Marketing with a minor in Communications. Bourquin was active on the basketball team for all four years during her time and Behrend at holds a spot on the top ten leading scorers for the women’s basketball program. “I have been working for a commercial real estate company in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, for the past two years” she says. Her job duties include building loan portfolios, finding and buying property for tenants, and attending real estate conferences. Bourquin advises students, especially those close to graduation, not to limit their career avenues. “I would never have imagined working in real estate while I was in school but now I couldn’t imagine doing anything else,” she says. “I absolutely love my job and the opportunities it has given me.”
Dan, Mollo, a 2007 alumnus, majored in Marketing and minored in Management while at Penn State Behrend. He works as a distributor sales consultant at Curtze Food Service in Erie. His client base, along with the relationships, have grown largely since he started in the position in 2008. “Food sales is very competitive and customers are always looking for that deal. It is crucial to provide customers with product knowledge and a fair price, but more than anything, the level of service and the relationship that you establish is far superior,” Mollo says. “It is not uncommon to find me working with chefs or owners behind the line cooking up some products!” Mollo explains that customers can be lost just as easily as they can be established. Commitment and determination, he says, set him apart from others in the industry.
“Success does not come suddenly. You have to work at it, but when you begin to taste it, it makes you want more and gives you the drive to carry on,” Mollo states. “Persistence is crucial. You may hear nine no's before you hear one yes.” Mollo defines organization as being another necessary tool for success as well. “I oversee on a weekly basis about forty accounts and continue to look for more.”
Ashley Micsky graduated in December 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and certificates in Social Media and Consumer Psychology. “I am currently employed as an internet marketing account coordinator for Straight North, an internet marketing agency that helps businesses generate online sales leads and deliver ecommerce revenue.” Micsky says. “In my current position, my focus is improving search engine optimization for key clients.” Micsky feels strongly that the coursework and handson application that she received through the Black School of Business prepared her for her current role.
“As a recent graduate, I understand how frustrating a job search can be.” Micsky says. “The best advice I can give to new graduates is to be patient because getting your first job doesn’t happen overnight.”
Micsky advises students to take the time to build their professional network and treat their job search as a full-time job.
“Not every application, phone call, or interview will go your way, but you must remain positive, as the right opportunity will present itself,” she states. She also recommends incorporating a thorough research component when looking into prospective companies and the positions they’re seeking. Joining social media networks like LinkedIn can help students learn about the people working for such companies and establish a personal connection before the interview occurs.
“You can also utilize the Penn State alumni base for research as you can easily make connections anywhere across the nation,” Micsky insists.
Dr. Phylis Mansfield has been a part of the Penn State Behrend family for fifteen years. She has researched a plethora of topics during her years at Behrend which have included consumer complaint behavior, marketing ethics, and sustainability. Her most memorable moment at Penn State was on her very first day. She recalls walking through Penn State and coming to the realization that she was going to be working for Penn State Behrend, a worldrenowned university. She remarks that Penn State is an incredible university and that she is very thankful for the opportunity to work here. Her advice to students is to learn from every position and from every job. “Never be afraid to follow what you love,” she said.
Dr. Sean Yim earned his Ph. D. from Washington State University in 2015. Having a passion and hunger for marketing, his curiosity has led him to Penn State Behrend where he is currently teaching Global Marketing and Business to Business Marketing. Yim says that his biggest role model is his father because even though he is a retired doctor he still volunteers his time and gives back to the community. Yim believes that students need to be ready for their jobs sooner rather than later so he engages his them by providing opportunities to experience the work in their prospective career fields. Penn State Behrend welcomes Dr. Yim and we hope you will help make him feel welcome too.
Wegmans Day, an outreach endeavor sponsored by the Black School of Business, was held September 22 to help students explore part-time positions, internships, and career opportunities through Wegmans. Wegmans is a privately help supermarket chain and is listed in Fortune’s Top 100 Best Companies. “We’ve discovered that a majority of graduates from Penn State have many of the skills that we look for at Wegmans,” said Nichole Lehr, the company’s central recruiter. “We found that we love investing time with Penn State Behrend and educating the students about Wegmans,” she said. Lehr started working at Wegmans around the age of sixteen. She received a scholarship from the company and took advantage of a management internship that they offered as well. “I was accepted into a multi-year advanced program for undergraduate students. In forty weeks I learned the ins and outs of the company which basically taught me how to become a manager during the summer,” Lehr said. Wegmans offered her a management position which she accepted. Lehr reports that she is now in her sixteenth year at Wegmans.
Biljana Vidakovic, a coffee team leader within the company, started working at Wegmans as a cashier his freshman year of college. “My part-time position turned into a full-time coordinator on the front end and I got the position right after I graduated.” He said. “Honestly, I fell in love with the company and what I was doing.”
Joe Mucci, an alum of Penn State Behrend who majored in Biology, says he worked at Wegmans part-time before applying for an internship which he was awarded. “I was able to learn more about the store and I was given the opportunity to travel to Jamestown for the internship during the summer,” he said. “I graduated from Behrend during the summer of 2013 and was given a full-time management position as pizza team leader.” Mucci finds satisfaction in balancing a multi-faceted workload. “It’s like running your own business. You deal with sales, people, and the financial side of it as well,” he says.
Lehr, Vidakovic, and Mucci agree that finding your personal passion is what makes your career meaningful. “Pursue what you love. If you do what you love you are going to do a great job and you’re never going to regret it,” Mucci says. Lehr advises students to be ready to actively follow their career paths with enthusiasm and perseverance. You’re not just going to stumble into your career, you have to chase it. Don’t be afraid to sit in the drivers seat and just go for it,” she said.
Are you looking to make some extra cash? Do you take really good notes in class? Well, look no further! There may be the perfect website for you! Andrew Lang, and MBA student at Penn State Behrend, is the creator of a new website where students have the ability to buy and sell notes online. Lang is working with the Marketing Club to create a strategic marketing plan for this platform. “OmegaNotes.com is an e-commerce site in which users can buy and see unpublished date in the form of college notes,” Lang explains. “One of your peers can purchase your notes after previewing the first pages.”
Lang says he was inspired to create the website while studying one night for an example and realized he was missing a set of notes. “I immediately wondered if there was a website in which I could buy the missing notes,” he says. Creating the website did come with some challenges such as staying ahead of the curve and anticipating what might come next. “During the initial development talks with the web developers, we spent over three hours discussing just how the search mechanism would work,” Lang describes. “Building platforms like this is much more complex than I had imagined.”
Facing the hidden challenging and accomplishing his goal of creating a collaborative website has brought Lang a sense of pride. “The fact that I have taken an idea to market brings me great joy,” Lang says. “I hope that this will take off and be a platform for learning in academic institutions around the world”
When asked why he chose Penn State Behrend as a launching site for OmegaNotes.com, Lang said he thinks the combination of great faculty and students makes Penn State Behrend a great test market. Lang encourages students to share their comments with him once OmegaNotes.com is introduced in order for him to tailor the platform and improve the website’s overall effectiveness.” The beta version is expected to roll out in mid-November.
The Marketing club meets every third Tuesday of the month at 4:00 p.m. Stay tuned for more information regarding upcoming events