**(With thanks to Dilbert)
Guest post by Jay Adoue, Darden Class of 2012:
The Marketing Club is constantly looking for opportunities to provide our members more exposure to a broad array of companies. Fortunately, a broad array of companies already looks to Darden to find strong, well-rounded marketers with an enterprise perspective.
It may seem counterintuitive, but one of the best things about Darden from a marketing perspective is that our curriculum is focused on general management. This means that in addition to learning the ins and outs of marketing (4P’s, anyone?) in our core First Year classes and elective Second Year classes, we are simultaneously learning the impact that marketing decisions have on other areas of the business. Likewise, when we are examining cases in non-marketing classes, we are encouraged to think about how a financial decision or an operations decision might affect how we market a given product. It is this kind of 360-degree business education that makes Darden students extremely well-prepared for real-world marketing challenges.
To complement the academics, the Marketing Club puts on a variety of events to support students interested in marketing career paths. This past September, we partnered with GE to hold our first annual case competition. Twenty teams composed of five First Year MBAs competed to develop a recommendation around an actual GE business challenge. Instead of immediately pairing off with friends, students leveraged the diversity of their classmates to create collaborative teams that broadened their Darden network and developed extraordinarily creative recommendations. The winners qualified to compete in a regional competition sponsored with GE that will be held right here at Darden.
But GE isn’t the only company that comes to Darden to find smart marketers. Every year, we host great events like our annual Marketing Forum (in its 10th year), which took place in early October. This year the Forum theme was “Digital Age Marketing in an Experience Economy” — and the event brought Johnson & Johnson, General Mills, Target, Amazon and many others to the Darden Grounds. If that isn’t enough, over 12 companies will participate in our Brand Challenge competition, in which students discuss real-life business problems with actual brand managers and make recommendations based on research conducted at the community event.
And of course, every fall Professor Paul Farris hosts a BBQ at his house for Marketing Club members and marketing faculty. In addition to seeing Professor Robert Spekman’s legendary grill skills, it is a great opportunity to chat informally with the entire Darden marketing community.
In short, marketers have it good at Darden. If I haven’t sold you on all that we have to offer, come to Charlottesville and we’ll discuss why Air New Zealand might be one of the most fun marketers in the air today over First Coffee (seriously… take a look at their in flight safety video).
Jay Adoue is Second Year student at the Darden School of Business and the President of the Marketing Club. Spending his summer in Atlanta in a marketing role at Delta Air Lines, he enjoyed excessive seersucker, an addiction to Coke Zero that’s “under control,” and a trip to the original Chick-fil-A (which serves burgers… what?!?!). He can be reached at email@example.com.