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When Opportunity Knocks: Make the Most of Your Internship

Internships are the stepping stone toward a fulfilling career. Students get real world experience, networking opportunities and industry exposure. That’s why the Crosby MBA Program encourages a summer internship between the first and second year of the program. Some students choose to stay local, while others travel across the globe. Wherever their ambitions take them, all experience a form of growth that can’t be found in a textbook.

Here is a look how they applied their classroom knowledge into boardroom decision-making.

2016 MBA Summer Internships

“Advice to future MBAs: Take advantage of every opportunity you are given without hesitation.”

Tara Hanusa
Shire Pharmaceuticals
Neuroscience Marketing Intern
Boston, Massachusetts

Tara worked on the consumer marketing team for Vyvanse, a medication for binge eating disorder. She was exposed to different departments and functions throughout the company, as well as legal, medical and regulatory compliance, brand planning and SWOT analysis, and never-ending networking opportunities.

Since her primary project involved developing a program for patients, Tara’s role included contacting outside vendors and developing an analysis to determine a partner to move forward with. She contributed to developing a roll-out plan for the program, timeline, and market research plan.

Working effectively as a team, she helped get projects done on time with a polished, and approved, finished piece. The professional development that Mizzou invests strengthened Tara’s ability to best present herself and network effectively.   (more…)

Five Must-Read Books for Marketing Analytics Students

pinnellMike Pinnell graduated from the Crosby MBA program in December 2014 with a concentration in marketing analytics. He will work at DISH, accepting an offer with the company after an internship in which he provided insight into how customers use its self-service tools. Pinnell will live in Denver and looks forward to mountain climbing every weekend.
As I prepare to graduate, I have thought about what sparked my interest in analytics and which marketing analytics books helped me develop as an analyst. This list comes with a significant caveat, however: The field of marketing analytics changes so quickly that as soon as a book is published it is behind the times. To truly keep up, supplement these recommendations with sites like CIO for technology business news, Occam’s Razor for digital marketing news and strategies, Forrester for a blog run by analysts at various companies, Big Data University, and others. (more…)

Josh Nichol-Caddy: Applying MBA Lessons to Redefine a Publication

The Crosby MBA program is a full-time program; however, part-time attendance is available for qualifying students. For more than two years, Joshua Nichol-Caddy has been a part-time student  in the Crosby MBA Program and taught full time at Stephens College and advised their student-run publication. This fall he will become a full-time student to finish his degree.

Although I have been taking one and two classes at a time since January of 2012, I will
be enrolled as a full-time student in the Crosby MBA program when classes begin
in August.  Before that, I divided my
time between attending classes at MU and teaching at Stephens College, another
institution of higher education in Columbia.
Stephens College is just up College Avenue, but it sometimes felt worlds away — especially the semester my schedule allowed just 15 minutes to get from one campus to the other, when the two stoplights I hit en route seemed to stay  red forever. Then there were the times I literally had to be two places at once.

But my dual life had advantages: primarily, the opportunity to apply business
concepts immediately to my working life.

I graduated with a master’s degree in journalism from MU in May of 2011. That summer, while working as a reporter for the business section of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, I was hired by Stephens College to teach media courses and advise Stephens Life, a student-run publication about life at Stephen’s College. I hoped the  opportunity would help me synthesize my educational and professional  experiences. I had studied radio,  television and film as an undergraduate at Northwestern University, working for  a couple of years at an Internet startup as a video editor and web designer  after graduation. Through various freelance jobs and internships, particularly at the Palm Beach Post, I further developed my ability to produce digital content. Still, I spent much of my first semester working with a staff of five to  produce what was then a biweekly tabloid, pulling frequent all nighters to  “feed the beast.”

It was unsustainable, and Stephens Life was better than that. But what should I do
with that revelation?

The MBA program helped me consider Stephens Life as more than its print product. As a media organization and brand, Stephens Life needed a new mission.

Guided by seminars and management courses and advised by professors, I fundamentally changed what Stephens Life did and how it did it. Defining a goal to deliver compelling and  relevant content, Stephens Life moved online, printing only “the best of  the web” at semester’s end as a glossy magazine.This required reorganization, and I flattened the Stephens Life’s hierarchy. The elimination of positions caused blowback, but I had learned how to address that, too. And I instituted a  staff evaluation system, developing contracts in which staff members identified the personal, team, and organizational goals that would influence their final assessments.

Lessons from marketing courses helped to improve Stephens Life’s reach across
campus, and beyond. Previously unfamiliar with Excel, I used finance and data analysis assignments to develop  workbooks for tracking initiatives and maintaining budgets and schedules.

All of these courses taught me how to define success, making it easier to determine
whether individual actions facilitate or hinder progress toward a goal.

The results of this approach are clear. Besides an attractive and informative website and magazine, Stephens Life’s staff of nearly 20 now boasts an active social media presence, weekly television broadcast, and an auxiliary lifestyle magazine. Revenues from subscriptions and advertisements are up, and Stephens Life has developed partnerships with local boutiques, restaurants, and music venues.

The transition from full-time faculty member to full-time student comes with a bit
of apprehension, but that is far outweighed by my eagerness to see what results
from immersing myself in the Crosby MBA program.

Transforming Data into Information: An Alumna Perspective

Laura “Rudy” Rudolphi, Crosby MBA ’09, did not know exactly what career she wanted to pursue when she entered the Crosby MBA program. She always had an interest in statistics, and found classes such as Database Marketing to be entertaining and informative. “The [Crosby MBA] program allowed me to develop a strong ability to think critically,” says Laura, who found herself taking an indirect path to a career in analytics.

The core analytical skills she acquired led to her current role as Associate Director of Analysis at dunnhumbyUSA in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she is challenged to develop special marketing campaigns and models not only to target customers but also to increase their loyalty to the brand.

Growing customer loyalty is one application of data analysis that employers such as dunnhumby use daily in order to achieve success. This UK-based customer science company focuses on increasing and sustaining this customer loyalty for its clients through campaign creations and model building. They expanded operations to the U.S in 2003 through a joint venture with The Kroger Company to better analyze customer rewards card data in order to personalize and enhance the consumer’s shopping experience.

The Crosby program remains innovative and cutting-edge by providing students with the opportunity to concentrate in the growing field of Marketing Analytics. In addition, the curriculum includes several required courses in business analytics, such as Data Analysis for Managers and Managerial Analytics. From working with basic data sets to building complex prediction models, the professors challenge each and every student to explore their critical thinking ability. Today’s companies often have an abundance of data, but they are not always able to turn it into useful, quality information. Marketing analytics seeks to explore databases and effectively utilize them through predictive modeling and other tools in order to make important marketing strategies, tasks, and decisions. Professors use a “hands-on” approach to learning through the use of programs such as SAS. “What I learned from my exposure to SAS during my MBA was invaluable,” says Laura.
As business continues to evolve, the field of marketing analytics will continue to play a major role in the decision-making process. Students with a passion for exploring and discovering patterns in data should consider the career possibilities in this field. The Crosby MBA program provides students with the opportunity to gain a valuable, experiential learning experience through its Marketing Analytics concentration. “Hiring managers want to see candidates with training who can analyze data and not just crunch numbers,” states Laura, “and the Crosby program helps prepare students for this critical thinking mindset.”