Students ‘Make the Connection’ during AMA regional conference
Aurora University students know from experience that marketing is more than just selling and advertising. It’s also about developing and implementing plans for successful outcomes. Members of the American Marketing Association (AMA) AU collegiate chapter demonstrated that on campus today while hosting the ‘Making the Connection’ regional collegiate conference.
Plans for the conference started last spring semester. Those preparations resulted in more than 100 students from 14 colleges and universities coming to Aurora University to learn about different aspects of marketing. Twelve professors, 14 exhibitors and 24 marketing professionals shared information with students about their companies and trends in the industry.
The president of the AU AMA chapter, senior finance and business administration major Marisela Soto, explained the goals that she and her peers had for the conference. “We wanted to give students the opportunity to network with different companies, which is why we scheduled two career connection sessions. Hopefully through networking, the students will be able to gain internships or jobs from these initial meetings. The other goal was to provide students with insight about what the marketing world is really about. That’s why we invited presenters representing the sports, financial, direct marketing and direct mail industries.”
Each presenter covered three topics: What changes are in your industry? How have you adjusted to the changes? How can students better prepare for these changes? The conference included four breakout sessions that each included six 40-minute presentations.
Soto explained that the conference provided an opportunity for AU students to network and learn from peers who attend other schools. “We talk about what we do in AMA, from participating in different competitions to attending conferences,” she said. “We also exchange ideas for planning chapter events and how to fulfill requirements of the national association, such as writing our annual reports.”
For Soto, the AU AMA chapter has widened her perspective about marketing. “AMA taught me that marketing encompasses a lot of areas, such as the use of social media, technology and math analytics. These areas drove me to pursue a marketing minor.”
Brian Vander Schee, Associate Professor of Marketing, and two of his colleagues advised the AMA students in the planning of the conference. “We’re really fortunate to have amazing students who are committed to excellence and learning,” he said. “It takes a lot of time and effort to put on an event like this—and student leadership, which fortunately, we have here at AU. I’m impressed with the skills the students demonstrated while putting the conference together. I believe our AMA collegiate chapter is one which other schools try to emulate.”