Marketing majors at Seton Hall have been putting their practice to work at an early-start in their classes.
Kristina Volta, a senior marketing and finance major, said she became interested in marketing after watching a video that dove into the psychology behind people’s purchases in her high school economics class. “I wanted to understand the psychological and creative ways people are convinced into thinking they need to buy something completely unnecessary, like $500 shoes,” Volta said.
Volta said that the course load for marketing majors is not overwhelming. She enjoys the projects because they involve hands-on experiences and cover interesting material.
One of the biggest things that Volta said she has noticed about the marketing program is how public speaking is incorporated in all of her classes. Although she does not necessarily see herself going into the sales side of the industry, she said she appreciates the Stillman School’s focus on honing that speaking skill in each of its students.
“When it comes down to it, you have to be able to sell yourself because if you can’t do that then there’s no way you’re are going to be able to sell somebody else’s product,” she said.
Volta said she sees herself in a position working for a company that tries to strengthen their brand with each product they produce. Volta said she is inspired by companies like Disney that consistently work to make sure their products, movies and resort experiences all align with their brands and enhance the company’s message.
Adjunct professor Nancy Barlow is someone who Volta said broadened her eyes to the different avenues of branding. “She’s very active and engaged with her students,” Volta said. “She really understands the realm that we’re trying to break into and I find her to be a great resource.”
Barlow started teaching at SHU this semester. Several students said that they enjoy the proactive teaching method she uses in her course called “Building and Maintaining Strong Brands.”
“Many people mistakenly believe branding is the same as advertising,” Barlow said. “[Branding] is much broader and embodies everything from product performance to customer experience.”
Barlow said she recognizes the importance of putting concepts into practice and does this by approaching the course with a workshop format. She said the class focuses on learning key branding concepts and semester-long projects where teams develop a business plan. “My goal is to nurture independent thinking that is grounded in core concepts,” she said.
Students are evaluated by the “strength of their arguments” and “application of concepts” while being encouraged to break away from traditional approaches to pursue individual methods. “As in the business world, they are seeking my investment in ideas and they have to sell me,” Barlow said.
Volta said her marketing research and qualitative research classes both stood out to her the most during her SHU career, as they both gave her “real-world experience.”
“It’s rewarding for students to see their recommendations put into practice,” said instructor Adam Warner, who teaches the two courses. Warner said he believes the more hands-on experience, the better.
“It’s a ‘win-win’ for the students who get to see their invested time pay off and for their clients, who really enjoy the program and are happy to give back to the next generation,” he said.
Warner said the marketing program continues to evolve as businesses progress by developing relationships with premium partners, such as Schlesinger Group. This professional insight keeps the curriculum on track with what’s relevant in business and the opportunity to remain “grounded in what companies truly need,” he said.
Eilish Montgomery can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.