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Marketing Fellowship helps students gain experience by designing marketing campaigns

By Brooks Phelps
On November 30, 2010

Every summer, students of different majors intern at various companies. Some make money, some don't. Some are searching for experience or a resume booster. But many find themselves performing menial tasks that have little to do with their future careers.

But what if students could actually get authentic experience while still in school?

The Design and Innovation in Marketing Fellowship, started in Fall 2008 by marketing professor Mary B. Harms and graphic design professor Ruth Lozner, is helping some business and design students gain valuable experience.

Marketing and design students accepted to the program work together, applying their skills to real-world problems.

Previous fellows have worked to develop a marketing campaign for General Motors, with the team placing second out of 72 entries. This semester, the fellowship will present its work to the Washington Wizards.

"It really helps them get a job," said Harms, referencing several recent graduates who now work in the New York design industry. She noted that the fellowship helped them learn the relevant terminology and gave them confidence in interviews.

"The beauty of [the fellowship], is it adds a different perspective," said Lozner, who no longer oversees the program. Its capstone course is now taught by Howard Baumstein of Williams Whittle, a marketing agency.

The fellowship does more than allow marketing and design students to work together, though. As part of the requirements, fellows must take both a marketing and a digital media class in addition to the ones exclusive to the fellowship.

Making art students take marketing classes and business students take design courses benefits both groups, said Harms, adding that each found the other's area challenging.

"They're not used to public critiques," she said of the business students. "That's one of the benefits; they sort of develop this thick skin."

Harms said that she looks for applicants who have a genuine interest in design; noting that some may have chosen the marketing path despite being interested in art, because of monetary goals or parental pressure.

Applicants must have two years remaining in their college career to complete the fellowship. The application deadline is in February.

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