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FAU marketing students throw successful Toyota event


FAU marketing students throw successful Toyota event

From Boca News:

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FAU marketing students get taste of real world

August 8th, 2008

By Lauren Becker
Staff Intern

When classes resumed in January, 15 Florida Atlantic University (FAU) marketing students began an internship. Four months later, the class produced a full-scale promotional event for Toyota Scion of Delray. This internship has been held every spring semester for the past few years, said Professor Robert Ciraldo, an instructor of marketing at FAU who instructs the class.

Until two years ago, Ed Morse sponsored the program; since then, Professor Ciraldo said he has taken it upon himself to find sponsors and continue the internship class. Ciraldo’s job is to select the students, teach the class about event marketing, and “prevent train wrecks,” he said. Once his part was finished, the class took over and formed and managed a pseudo-company dubbed Synergy Marketing Group.

Michaelle Serrano, a student in the class, said that the class elected a CEO and split up into four departments: events, promotions, research, and finance. The dealership provided a budget, and the class worked within that budget to put on a promotional event at the end of the semester.

Serrano said the objective was to showcase new Scion cars to reach a target audience of FAU students between the ages of 18-25. The students were to provide information about the new cars as well as the dealership in Delray, she said. This internship was graded as if it were a regular class taken for course credit, so any mistakes would be reflected in the students’ GPA’s, said Ciraldo. The stakes were high—the students were working both for a grade and for Toyota. There was little room for error.

With the pressure on, the class worked hard all semester, which resulted in a very successful event held on the 6th of April on FAU’s campus, said Ciraldo. Serrano and her class expected 1200 students to attend; instead, over 2000 students came to learn about the cars and enjoy the event. There was a live DJ, donated food from Outback Steakhouse and prizes donated from several local restaurants and retailers, said Serrano. The biggest prize awarded was a Tom Tom GPS, she said.

Ciraldo praised the event as a “significant success.” While the class was mainly hands-on, there was also a final exam and a grade to be given. The class learned a great deal from this experience and became well versed in event marketing, he said,

Through preliminary research and post-event surveys, Serrano said the class was able to show an improvement in the general opinion of Scion cars. Toyota was “more than thrilled,” said Ciraldo.

This program has given students the opportunity to see what it would be like to work in the real world of business marketing, Ciraldo said. Students have gone on to use this experience to bolster personal resumes, and many have gotten jobs as a result, he said, including one student interning with Toyota.

Good work. It's things like this that elevate the reputation of our College of Business (and the university itself of course)

Things like this happen all the time at FAU. For instance, I have friends in various science departments who will be mentioned in articles published in peer-reviewed journals. That's awesome but it would be even more awesome if FAU would release a press statement saying that such-and-such student will be published this month in a respected field journal. I hope the FAU Marketing committee can get these stories out in the Google News circulation so people can see them. I almost never see the stuff on Google and it's unfortunate :(

P.S. I don't respond to guest posts. All guests are encouraged to register with the site.
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