By Devin Bolen – William Jewell’s Principles of Marketing class has brought the real-world into the classroom. In the fall semester 2014, two sections of the Principles of Marketing course, led by Professor Shelly McVay, began marketing projects for Village Partners in Honduras and Westside Housing in Kansas City.
Students in the course are assigned to project teams in which they develop assigned elements of branding, collateral pieces, media, promotion, social networking and a fundraising plan for the assigned service learning project company. This opportunity for students provides hands on experience in the fields of marketing and business, develops teamwork skills, serves as a resume builder and fulfills the reflective citizenship requirement for the ACT-In major for business students.
Working in groups of four, students are given weekly updates, forum posts, and objectives in order to have the projects completed by the presentation date. Students are responsible for completing work both in and out of the classroom. The independence that these groups are given is fundamental to the culture of the course and reflects a real world marketing group mentality.
Every year, Campus Minister Jeff Buscher takes a group of Jewell students to Honduras to teach, clean, and improve the community overall through the WJC Journey Grant program. The marketing students’ mission for the project is to market Village Partners to the people of Honduras and surrounding areas. In doing so, students will produce more awareness and involvement in the program through the development of a new logo, flyers, social media and other executions
The Westside Housing group focused on marketing for funding. Westside Housing renovates and sells housing to underprivileged Hispanic communities on the west side of Kansas City. Being able to market the Westside Housing brand is key to their business. The student marketers developed strategic communication ideas that were presented to project sponsor Professor Lori Wetmore for review.
Bringing experiences like these into the classroom prepares students for life outside of college and encourages them to develop team oriented skills early. Being a part of the development of a non-profit organization not only provides a rewarding college experience but a life experience that can lead an individual into their future career.