Marketing Education: How Academic and Business Partnerships Elevate Student Learning
SC: Action Learning Labs are a win-win for both parties. Students find that these assignments are an excellent learning experience. Participating companies not only praise the high level at which our students deliver, but also give us repeat projects. Participating companies also see such student engagement as a major part of their own recruitment strategy.
Do you have recommendations on how employers—and marketing professionals in particular—can take to expand their role in your school's education efforts?
SC: I do recommend that companies submitting student projects scope the assignments appropriately, given that students work on these projects along with other coursework. Generally, each student is able to devote up to four hours per week for eight to 12 weeks. Company representatives also need to devote time themselves. These projects are not shallow, but rather in-depth analyses. In order to formulate useful recommendations, students need to be supported by weekly company conference calls. In the event of startups, connecting with the CEO is extremely vital, while larger organizations may rely on mid-level executives—sponsored by a top management professional—as the students' liaison.
Marie Adolphe is vice president of program development for New York-based Marketing EDGE, formerly known as the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation. She can be reached at madolphe@marketingEDGE.org.