In this week’s guest post, First Year student Patrice Yao discusses FOMO, Marketing Club and the Darden Brand Challenge:
As a first year student at Darden, there are tons of opportunities to get involved both in and out of the classroom. A commonly heard term “FOMO” (Fear Of Missing Out) applies to everything – First Year students don’t want to miss out on Darden Cup events, Section socials, or opportunities to network with company representatives.
Recruiting starts almost immediately after Term 1 exams, and students have the opportunity to attend company briefings and invite-only company dinners. One great way to get to know companies better is to participate in company sponsored challenges and case competitions.
This year, the Marketing Club sponsored Darden’s annual Brand Challenge Competition. Teams of 4-5 students worked together with companies to survey the Darden community on consumer preferences for certain products. My team worked with General Mills to understand Darden students’ preferences between ‘Traditional’ versus ‘Supreme’ Betty Crocker brownies. We partnered with General Mills’ representatives to develop a survey, design our booth, and present recommendations.
Patricia Yao (second from left), pictured with the Betty Crocker team at the Darden Brand Challenge
This year’s Brand Challenge included 18 teams working with various companies including: Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, The World Wildlife Fund, Campbell’s, Ford, Best Buy and more. Over 130 Darden community members attended the event to sample products and provide their opinions. Awards were given out to teams for “Best Booth” and “Best Spirit.” Teams flexed their creative skills, including visual displays to draw in their audience. For example, the Darden “moms” gave out samples of toaster strudel, just like how we might remember them at home!
Darden Brand Challenge – Pillsbury Team
Darden Brand Challenge – Microsoft Team
It was a great opportunity to work with companies on a larger scale and interact with recruiters in forums other than interviews and company briefings. It was a ton of fun to put together, and a great way to practice our classroom marketing techniques in the real world. And of course, nothing beats baking 14 trays of brownies and building a brownie sundae bar for hungry business school students!
Patrice Yao, Class of 2014
Patrice grew up in Chicago and has been working in Washington, DC for the past several years as a management consultant. Prior to Darden, she received a Masters in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In her spare time, you can find Patrice planning parties, cooking for large groups, and hosting big potlucks – all within the confines of her one-bedroom apartment.