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Eller Team Takes Second at Annual American Marketing Association Competition

Marketing seniors and Eller AMA chapter advisor Sue Umashankar (center, red) display AMA awards in New Orleans.
Marketing seniors and Eller AMA chapter advisor Sue Umashankar (center, red) display AMA awards in New Orleans.

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April 2009

By Taylor Albers, Journalism '11

Coached by Eller MBA students, the undergraduate team developed a comprehensive business plan for

Eller marketing students Jeffrey Shaw, Christian Liebner, Stephanie Porter, Salyna Guanajuato, Kevin Akat, and Ana Carrillo placed just behind the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School at the 31st Annual American Marketing Association (AMA) Collegiate Conference in New Orleans, hosted by Eastman Kodak.

The Eller team organized market research for several months in order to develop a business plan for the sponsor’s “We were going up against top schools so we knew we had to bring our A game,” says Porter (BSBA Marketing ’09). “Professor Sue Umashankar [Eller AMA chapter advisor] advised that we tie our entire presentation, most importantly our recommendations, back to the information we found in our primary research.”

The undergraduates were coached by a team of Eller MBAs who leveraged their real-world experiences, presentation skills, and strategic thinking to manage the undergraduate project. First-year MBA Abhilasha Chadha cites the experience as a critical aspect of her MBA career. “My participation on the Kodak case competition team was one of the key components in my transition story that enabled me to attain a marketing internship this summer after a career based in information technology.” Abhilasha will work at Kellogg Company in Delhi, India, this summer.

The Eller students worked through a rigorous judging process, and were ultimately chosen to present their recommendations directly to the Kodak executives. “The true differentiator between the Eller team and the other teams across the world is that we didn't limit ourselves to the basic requirements as outlined in the case,” says Shaw (BSBA Marketing ’09).

“We were happy with the results and were honored to be placed next to such a prestigious school,” says Porter. $25,000 in prize money was awarded to winning teams. In addition to second place in the case competition, the Eller College AMA student chapter also won the Outstanding Professional Development Award, Outstanding Philanthropy Award, and the Outstanding Recruitment Video Award.

“Even though we ultimately came home with a sizable cash award, the true benefits from the competition did not have a dollar sign attached. We will see those benefits when we apply the advanced research and analytical concepts we learned through this truly amazing experience,” says Shaw.

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