(See original blog post at http://blog.business.uic.edu/blog/liautaud-student-posts/we-are-famaly)
We at the American Marketing Association (AMA) at the University of Illinois at Chicago are more than just another student organization. We are a community of very hardworking and passionate curious students that love to learn about the business world while also building meaningful connections with one another. That is exactly what makes us a fAMAly.
Karen Flores, AMAgency Co-Coordinator, said, “This organization I hold close to my heart. AMA has made me grow as a professional.” When asked how the AMA has affected her, Secretary Emily Hall said, “When I attended my first AMAUIC meeting, I felt immediate relief that I had joined such a supportive and welcoming organization. AMAUIC has been a catalyst that has helped drive my career goals. AMA UIC fosters guidance, professional growth, and community.”
Perks enjoyed by our members include company site visits, guest speakers, workshops, networking events and real-life marketing experience through our agency. National AMA members will as well receive the perks of additional networking events, workshops, conferences, participating in national competitions, discounts on certifications and more.
At AMAUIC, we also value social life and building meaningful connections with our fellow members and giving back to our communities. We plan exciting social and community service events each year. Examples of these include a potluck Friendsgiving and passing out lunches to the homeless. All of these events and activities seem like a lot of work throughout the year. However, our executive board plans everything so that our member’s time is not wasted, allowing them to participate in any or all of these events and activities without distraction from their academic responsibilities. In fact, our mentorship program ensures that our members are receiving the help they need with their classes so that they can excel both inside and outside of the organization. Within AMAUIC, members as well have the opportunity to move into leadership positions. These positions include Director of President, Digital Marketing, Director of Programming, Treasurer, and many more. Each of these unique roles allow members to use their talents while gaining valuable leadership experience.
Our executive board works to ensure that each event and activity is highly beneficial so that each of our members are receiving the most value for their investment. Despite the marketing name, our organization is all inclusive, meaning we accept students from any background and any major. For example, our president, Luna Awad, is an IDS major and our Vice Chair of Treasury Evan Duffy is double majoring in Finance and Marketing. We also have many members that are from different majors like computer science, engineering and design. The skills learned and opportunities offered to the members of the AMA UIC extend past what might be deemed specific to marketing majors. For instance, we offer site visits to advertising, technology, and many more companies in various industries. There are also opportunities to participate in both individual and team competitions. Our in-house agency allows students with varying business backgrounds such as marketing, finance, technology and more to utilize their talents.
A favorite perk of many members is the company site visits. The visits give students the opportunity to peak into what actual workplaces look like and how they function. In the past, we have visited companies across multiple industries include advertising, food and beverage, and technology. A few examples of these companies include Leo Burnett, Ogilvy, Walker Sands Communication, LinkedIn, IBM and PepsiCo. Our Director of Programming, Nelya Vasylyk had this to say, “LinkedIn site visit was full of great career and professional tips and tricks which I was privileged to learn from some of the brightest marketers in the company.” Site visits are key networking opportunities and often result in a greater chance at securing internship or even a job opportunity. The visits also give students a better idea of which type of work environment they may want to work in. Karen Flores had this to say, “And let me tell you "The office job" can be fun. I learned that from attending HAVAS.”
In addition to site visits, our organization has been grateful enough to host a number of guest speakers who often stick around after their presentations to meet with students one-on-one. Speakers come from a variety of industries, giving our members the ability to explore new possibilities. Vice President Anela Henic was fortunate enough to manifest an opportunity after speaking to Sparkling Ice representative, Angela Pargas following her presentation. “During one meeting, we had a guest speaker from Sparkling Ice, and I approached her afterwards in hopes of gaining an internship in the summer of 2019. I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Sparkling Ice team,” Anela stated. Other fantastic speakers include Associate Manager of IT Marketing & Digital Innovation Marcelle Hana from Kraft, Senior Project Manager Adrienne Nadeau from Maru Matchbox, and the President Messinger Consulting, Brad Messinger. Vice Chair of Treasury Evan Duffy said this about the events, “In my opinion the speaker events were one of the most valuable experiences that AMA hosted. I was able to learn from professionals who came to UIC to speak to us about how they got to where they are today and pushed past obstacles that got in their way.”
During the spring 2019 semester, our organization began implementing student-led workshops that allow our members to learn from one another. The Cultural Index Survey is an example of a workshop held during the semester. Using an algorithm, it allowed members to gain greater insight into their own personality and how they might fit into different work environments. AMAgency Co-Coordinator, Kelli Wong said this about the workshop, “I have learned more about myself through workshops such as the Cultural Index Workshop. This was one of my favorite workshops, because I was able to take a short survey and gain a deeper understanding of my personality, strong and weak traits, and how I work within a group.” Our organization also held a Google Analytics workshop that anyone in the association could attend. Our past president, Rebekah Romack led the Google Analytics for Beginners bootcamp, which resulted in each member being officially certified. The members that took the time to complete the certification can now include this accomplishment on their resumes to help them stand out when applying to jobs.
Of all the events that are held throughout the year, the most exciting and looked forward to are the conferences. Some of the regional conferences we like to attend are the University of Wisconsin White Water and Aurora University AMA regional conferences in the fall. In the Spring, we attend the AMA International Collegiate conference held in New Orleans, Louisiana which includes all the 388 AMA chapters around the world. All conferences give AMA UIC members the opportunity to participate in competitions, and workshops, network and watch prominent marketing figures give inspiring speeches. Member Nelya Vasylyk said this about the NOLA conference, “Our chapter, along with many chapters throughout the country, was able to gain knowledge from experts in the marketing field, network, and participate in several competitions. It was truly an enlightening and memorable experience which I would recommend to all students regardless of their majors.” Competitions are as well held at the national conference and our UIC chapter was fortunate enough this past year to come home with a couple awards. For instance, our members Sarah Magner and Jacob Friedman, placed 2nd out of over 98 teams in the marketing strategy competition. Our Chapter also won the “Exemplary Collegiate Chapter Performance In chapter planning and communication” award that was based on our chapter plan and annual report. We plan to attend these conferences next year and come back with even more awards putting UIC on the map for marketing.
In the spring of 2019, our chapter implemented the beginnings of our agency “AMAgency”. Our current president, Luna Awad, found a way to give real world experience to our members by having the organization act as a marketing agency for other school organizations or companies. Clients we worked with in the spring include the Student Activities Board, Student Wellness Collective, and the Undergraduate Women’s Network. Within the agency there are four different departments that allow our members to practice their marketing interests in a professional way. The departments include Account Management, strategy, Research and Analytics, and Creative. The departments work to successfully market client events. Currently, we have executive board members Kelli Wong and Karen Flores are working to improve AMAgency so that next year we will be able to offer our members real life agency experience. - Stay tuned for details!
The American Marketing Association has been extremely beneficial to the many members that have joined and will continue to be for all those that join in the future. Current president Luna Awad had this to say about her experience with the organization, “Joining AMA UIC was one of the best decisions I made in my college career. For me, it is not just a student organization but more of a place that helped me grow personally and professionally and helped me find my true passion.” With a new executive board in place for this next academic year, we look forward to growing the organization even more. To find out more about the American Marketing Association, come to our booth at UIC involvement fair this fall. We hold our meetings every Tuesday from 5 - 6 p.m. and the room will be announced shortly after the start of the semester, please stop on by and see what all the hype is about. Our brand-new website will launch at the beginning of the school year. Otherwise, we advise that you follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to keep up to date with everything AMA!