Seventeen marketing students dressed in business black fill a Whittemore Center lounge with nervous energy. The students, all seniors in professor Jonathan Gutman's integrated marketing communications class, are putting the final touches on a presentation for executives from Time magazine.
"Can everyone make sure their name tag is on the right side, not the left?" one student reminds his peers. They've learned in this class that success in marketing is built on attention to detail.
Last summer, Gutman got a call from EdVenture Partners, a firm that matches businesses with colleges and universities that have students who want to do internships. They had a new client, Time magazine. Would Professor Gutman's marketing class be interested? "Learning by doing is the best way to learn," Gutman says,"so this was a great opportunity."
As the executives file in, including Time's college marketing director, the students greet and mingle like seasoned professionals. It's clear that their hard work has paid off. Their transitions are seamless, their voices are steady, they seem almost . . . well, slick.
To gain insight into the college market, Time provided the students with a $2,500 budget. They formed a marketing agency named "Utopia" and divided themselves into departments. Research discovered that a surprising 54 percent of students surveyed already subscribe to three magazines. The campaign development department set a goal of acquiring 800 to 1,200 subscriptions at an event to be held in the MUB. Public relations worked on press releases, Internet publicity, the use of local media and direct mail. Finance was happy to report that by relying on student discounts and the good will of local merchants, the campaign so far had cost them only half of the amount they had budgeted.
The smooth presentation impressed the executives. "Superb job," said Roseann Hartfield, Time college marketing director. "Very thorough, precise and professional," added Sonia Arruda, EdVenture Partners account manager.
UNH is one of five schools in the Northeast participating in Time's internship program. The group that does the best job will win scholarship money for their school. Even if they don't win, Gutman's students say they've gained a lot. "In the beginning, we really butted heads," says Jason Perry, a member of the reports department. The students learned to handle criticism, he adds, and to get the job done as a group.Return to UNH Magazine Campus Currents