Sunday, October 30, 2011

Academy Week 1

The Consumer Marketing Academy

By Meghan Ackerson
First-Year MBA

Last week, we suspended classes to join our Academies and focus on professional development.  It was an intense experience that immersed us in our respective careers and exposed us to top companies in our fields.  As a member of the Consumer Marketing Academy, I hopped on a bus with 50 of my classmates to tour the Midwest: five companies in five cities in five days.

We participated in presentations on exciting trends, tools and growth areas in brand management.  Procter & Gamble gave us insight into the impact of e-commerce and social media on its portfolio of brands.  At ConAgra, we participated in an interactive project, which tasked us with developing a new product, marketing plan and retail sales pitch.  And at Scotts Miracle-Gro, where the goal is to deliver 50% of growth through innovation, we got to see how a disruptive new technology was conceived, developed and brought to market.

True to the Kelley way, we made some time for fun throughout the week.  Sushi in Chicago…Karaoke in Cincinnati.  It was a bonding experience that I won’t soon forget.

What impressed me above all this week was the power of the Kelley network.  The alumni at each of the companies we visited committed time and energy to give us a truly unique look at the current state of brand management.  It’s fascinating to see how the craft has changed over the last decade and how companies are adapting.  I’m inspired and excited by the challenges ahead.

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