Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Academy Week Preview: Consumer Marketing Academy

Academy Week begins October 20. This intensive week immerses our first-year MBA students in the fundamentals of their focus industries, through alumni panels and group sessions, visits to leading companies in the field, and professional development enhancing activities. This week, our second-year MBA students will revisit last year's Academy Week, to give you an idea of what to expect.

Today Sulay Alvarenga, MBA'15, shares Academy Week highlights as a student in the Consumer Marketing Academy. These students work closely with our corporate partners and smaller companies to develop marketing acumen and build brands.

Which companies did you visit during Academy Week? 

Kraft Oscar Mayer, Eli Lilly and Company, ConAgra Foods, MillerCoors, Whirlpool, Scott’s Miracle-Gro, Abbott Nutrition, and Procter & Gamble.

Which was your favorite company? Why? 

My favorite company from our trip had to be MillerCoors. I enjoyed hearing about how the alcoholic beverage category has evolved over the years and where MillerCoors envisions the category shifting in the future. I especially liked the presentation from the innovation team on how they identified white space in the flavored malt beverage category to successfully bring Red’s Apple Ale to market. Some of the key points they considered were functional versus emotional benefits to the consumer and the particular brand voice the product should embody. The process outlined by the innovation team definitely represented the ideal type of work I want to do in the future.

How did Academy Week enhance your career? 

Academy Week came at a critical point in my internship search. I was conflicted about whether to pursue an internship at a consumer goods company that had a more general management focus versus one that was more brand marketing focused. The corporate visits and presentations on brand strategy development not only allowed me to identify brand marketing as a better fit for my internship, but also allowed me to recognize the type of culture I wanted in a company post-MBA.  

What was the most fun part about Academy Week? 

Aside from the beer tasting at MillerCoors, I really enjoyed getting to know all of my fellow Consumer Marketing Academy members on the big coach bus and spending time with them outside of Bloomington.


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