Feb 212005
Authors: Clarke Reader

Some business students are involved with a class project in which the goal is to do marketing for Chevrolet Cobalt.

The project includes market research, public relations and advertising campaigns and a presentation.

"In the marketing department we have a history of doing programs like this for six years," said Ken Manning, associate professor of marketing, who is the class advisor. "We've worked with organizations like GM (General Motors), Honda and Wells Fargo."

Twenty-four students are in the class, but many more applied.

"The application process was students submitted application forms, a letter of application and a resume. A panel of professors, based on materials submitted, made a decision on which students to invite to the class," Manning said. "It's the sort of class you have to cap, because it gets too difficult to coordinate with a large number."

Once the students entered the program, the work for the campaign began.

"We broke down into departments," said Patrick Riley, a junior marketing major. "There's campaigning coordinator, ads and sales, public relations, published reports, market research and team coordinator."

So far, the students have already started to do research for what kind of campaign they would like to produce.

"We've been on campus and done research," said Brooke Firchow, a senior marketing major. "We're trying to find out where students stand, so we can set up a campaign to inform people on the Cobalt and what it has to offer."

Manning has worked on programs like this before, and knows what needs to be done to have a successful promotion.

"My main philosophy is to provide an advisory role and let the students make the decisions. They organize the teams and ultimately satisfy the client," Manning said. "I make sure they set their expectations high because the client's expectations are high."

The central goal of the class is to give students a good experience and teach them something they can use later on.

"My main goal is for students to have a high quality learning experience. They will have an opportunity to bring what they've learned from other classes into this," Manning said.

The students in the class feel the same way.

"You take classes and learn things you'll need in the real world, but wonder if you can remember and apply them; so this class forces you to apply them," Riley said. "I hope to find something through it I can apply to and a career out of."

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