FSU Marketing Club Shows That They Can Compete in Today’s Business World

Apr 17, 2019 12:10 PM

Competing against universities with names like Yale and Syracuse, Frostburg State University’s Marketing Club proved that they have the ideas and the skills to compete in today’s business world.

Frostburg’s Marketing Club won First Runner-Up and Crowd Favorite at the One Day Immersion conference in New York City last fall. The conference, hosted by Pace University, HBO and the Discovery Channel, among others, included a multimedia competition in which students pitched their ideas to a jury of media executives and online viewers.

The FSU team pitched an idea that would serve students like them, a mobile app that would help them find and swap textbooks safely.

“Our idea for the book swap app was about creating a safe hub where you can go in and search by your location to see who might have books that you need. Then you can save on shipping and just go pick it up at a designated safe place,” said Haley Coleman, president of the FSU’s Marketing Club.

“We can see it being more than just books, so that it would eventually include forums, conversation boards for clubs and organizations and a place to rate professors. It could even include multiple campuses,” explained Ben McClanahan, Marketing Club vice president.

Preparing for the competition involved several weeks of business planning and included marketing research, competition, defining the target market and creating a budget. It even involved determining what the app would look like.

“Every Thursday we’d be brain crunching at our meeting, but we also did a lot of out-of-meeting-work to get it done,” explained McClanahan. “It was a real-world example of what we’re getting into after we graduate.”

Once they determined the scope of the project, the Marketing Club created and submitted a video about two weeks prior to the conference. That landed them a spot in the finals. At the conference, the students pitched their idea on stage in front of the jury and a Facebook Live feed.

“Pace University, Syracuse – that was our competition; it was a daunting line up, but it was really cool,” said Coleman about the tough competition they faced. “We got crowd favorite for the online voting and first runner up from the judges.”

The prize included a cash prize, which was put back into the club coffers, and a 30-minute consultation with top media executive, Craig Parks, vice president of Programming for Comcast Media.

The Marketing Club is open to all students regardless of major. Coleman and McClanahan agreed that the diversity of the students in the club added to the success of the project.

“You get people from all different majors, so you get all different ideas for things,” said Coleman. Added McClanahan, “I was really proud of the group, everyone putting their minds together and everybody had a cool little piece of the puzzle.”

As part of the club, students attend a working conference every year.

“This conference wasn’t just passive attendance,” said advisor Dr. Lily Ye on why she chose the One-Day Immersion conference for the club. “It included the competition, which motivated students and built confidence. It showed them that they can compete with bigger schools that have more resources. It showed them that we can be just as creative as big schools, so embracing what we have and making the most of it.”

“We couldn’t pass this up,” said Coleman, “Even if we didn’t win anything, we knew it would be a good experience and something to get everyone involved in.”