A team of Penn State McKeesport business students captured third place in the Pittsburgh American Marketing Association contest held recently. The contest, an annual event open to area college students, matches teams of marketing students with non-profits in the area who wish to develop a marketing initiative. The students become the marketing consultant for the non-profit as they establish a plan and its implementation.
A team of five Penn State McKeesport students advised by Dr. A. K. Singh, Assistant Professor of Marketing, worked with the Auberle Education Center (AEC) located in Homestead during a six-week period in Spring, 2006 . The team, after consultation with Auberle, defined a project and determined desired outcomes. Student members of the Penn State McKeesport team were Nicole Wolff (team leader), Rebecca Hardy, Russell Fazio, and Dominic Tonzo,Jr. The PSUMK team included all seniors in the campus four-year business program.
Penn State McKeesport has taken part in the annual AMA collegiate competition since 2002 and has placed in the top 3 during three of the four years the campus has participated. This year 11 colleges from the Greater Pittsburgh area competed.
Working directly with Kathy Bey, a staff member of Auberle, students worked on a non-traditional marketing project that was deemed important to the facility. The team's mission was to design a career awareness program that would help the agency's students do effective career planning. Penn State McKeesport team members worked to develop a program that would increase awareness of individual options upon graduation. Information on college programs was collected and organized. Team members also engaged in the planning and implementation of a Career Day at the facility. Students enrolled in the PSUMK Advertising and Promotion Marketing course were able to apply the theories and lessons of the course to the project.
Team members had to deliver their marketing proposal to AEC staff and Mary Kate Bartley, Vice President of Collegiate Relations for AMA Pittsburgh, during a presentation at Penn State McKeesport in late April. As part of the presentation the students delivered a 45-minute PowerPoint presentation. The students also developed a report on the project, a brochure outlining the various options available to Auberle students after graduation and a PowerPoint presentation that AEC could use to recruit local employers who might hire AEC graduates or who might be interested in taking part in the facility's career day.
Penn State McKeesport was the only Penn State campus in the region to take part in the AMA competition. The third place win earned the students a stipend of $100. The American Marketing Association is considered the pre-eminent worldwide professional disciplinary association of academics and practitioners. The organization's goal is to support the professional growth of its members and to foster an understanding of marketing at the local level while facilitating networking and the exchange of marketing information and ideas among marketing professionals, academics and students.