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Back To School

Artilce from AMA Marketing News featuring Triangle AMA Board Member Audra Marotta and her experience going back to UNC for the OneMBA program.

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Back To School

  1. 1. 9 11.15.09 marketingnews t for su mmer. is no lo nger ou ontinu ing School nt wit hout c nual y curre first an an sta in our ool k you c News, rk, sch fast to thin e, Ma rketing lanc ing wo ing too er. Her are ba w you is mov ur care rs who k at ho The w orld point in yo of ma rkete o tak e a loo some tories We als tion at o u the s ge 10). 13). educa rings y ks (pa (page sue, b ol boo sroom tion is n scho e clas tur- educa ck ope k to th re cap ey cra go bac who a e as th it’s tim e to acade mics orts and lif when keting -break ing e e t mar ound termin look a heir gr rt on t he can de with a n for t a repo t cont inues ofessio s with l repor the pr nclude ecia ee rs and . An d it co age 18 ). Our sp n of their p s (pa ge 15) niver sity (p ttentio ssroom rdue U in g the a of th eir cla s stor y at Pu nd out succes bo th in a keting n mar ucatio hig her ed cover story
  2. 2. 10 11.15.09 U marketingnews ears . After y round R EDITO time a mpus GING MANA econd ied ca T// NRIGH yllic, iv ISON E Y ALL t the s gain. T i eren r the id B ot d n fo ome a e is a l ay yea r ’t go h Colleg orld, you m y ou can t goes, l abou work w adage n is al in the as the n o f te l i fe — out h, but r ed u c at i o f your ry g you ands o of you ntinuin r dem can ad u l t , co h e othe Ameri As an l i n to t active es of ng schoo h ow three nt typ orati o see di ere i n co r p a d on t igated eers. y wo r k . Re e rs nav h eir car namel memb ance t iation lp adv Assoc s to he keting ogram Mar tion pr uing educa contin Q Eckerm an Drilling Deeply for Success cky BECKY ECKERMAN, 31, is the marketing manager for Ernst & Young’s Be Americas Oil & Gas Center in Houston. But a year ago, she wore her student hat, too. Eckerman was one of six E&Y employees enrolled in Rice University’s Energy Executive Management Program, a certi cate program designed for professionals already working in the energy industry. e program was composed of 10 courses taught by top energy executives and professors. With it, Eckerman was able to tap into a vein of networking opportunities that bene t her in her current role and could help pave the way as she continues her career in B-to-B energy marketing. “I’ve only been in the energy industry for ve years. [ e purpose of the program] for me was to learn beyond what I knew. It opened up my world. I learned more about what the [industry] challenges are, more about the market and the key issues our clients are facing,” she says. With the full support of her E&Y managers, Eckerman was able to complete the courses—all of which took place during normal work days and required her to be out of the o ce a total of 13 days—in just one semester. Normally, students enrolled in the Rice program have up to three semesters to complete the program. Reading assignments were required in the run-up to each in-person meeting day so participants would be prepared. “ ey de nitely test you,” she says. e interaction among students in the classes, which numbered 25 to 35 per class and were from all sectors and job functions in the industry, made the learning that much more eye-opening. Eckerman juggled classes and her regular duties, which include coor- dinating major oil and gas conferences and sponsorships, managing PR cover story opportunities and authoring thought-leadership articles. She spent her
  3. 3. 11 marketingnews Michael Browning P 11.15.09 t fit se studenostheir The t still moreeinules… busy sch d ramming tor of prog erman is the direc chairs the Becky Eck hapter and A’s Houston C ial interest group. for the AM keting spec energy mar chapter’s e elect of th president- rowning is Michael B ter. isville Chap AMA’s Lou the AMA’s easurer of Audra M arotta is tr hapter. Triangle C lunch breaks putting out res at the o ce via her BlackBerry and of strategic development at Chapman Kelly Inc., a healthcare and when classes ended at 4 p.m., she spent her evenings catching up insurance auditing service. Self- nancing the six credit hours he with everything else. “It wasn’t too bad in this day and age. ere is taking per semester plus summer courses, he plans to complete were scheduled breaks to check in with the o ce. [Rice] knows that his degree within two and a half to three years. He decided not to the people in the class are busy executives,” she says. attend a full-time M.B.A. program because he didn’t want to put Striking a balance between work and education wasn’t new to his career at Chapman Kelly, which Browning says is expanding Eckerman. She earned her master’s degree in integrated market- rapidly, on hold. ing communications in two years from Emerson College in Boston “It’s a tough day. I go to work, go home, eat, go to class and then while working full time as an account manager at market research wind down later when I can. It’s tough, but I think there is value rm Yankee Group. “Now that was crazy,” she says. in it being tough. It makes the degree worth more because it’s not For professionals considering an industry-speci c certi cate something you can easily get,” he says. “I could choose for it to be program, Eckerman’s best advice is to go into it with an open less challenging but that would extend the timeline.” mind—and bring your business cards. “ ere were so many Browning pondered the pros and cons of the di erent programs di erent business functions represented and now I understand he had under consideration. He studied economics as an under- what the challenges they are facing are. I keep in touch with graduate and loves marketing but considered the M.B.A. the best [other students] and it’s some great networking.” choice. “ e M.B.A. is more of a hedge against the future and what I might be interested in 10 years from now. I’m interested in marketing right now and I want to understand how that area The Night-Owl Executive impacts the other areas of the business, … but it is important to MICHAEL BROWNING, 32, looked long and hard at his understand accounting as well,” he says. advanced degree options. For a year and a half, he researched He’s already found ways to apply his new learning at Chapman master’s programs in marketing, economics and business. He Kelly, e orts which have de nitely scored added points with the researched top 20-ranked M.B.A. programs and online degree company’s management. “ e owners see the value of me being programs. He gathered the opinions of former colleagues at in the program, and how the knowledge I gain contributes to the General Electric and Humana. So it is safe to say he didn’t make success of their business,” he says. For example, a er learning about the choice to enroll in Indiana University’s Part-Time M.B.A. the hierarchy of e ects, which are the phases a buyer goes through program lightly. The program was honored last year as a top 20 before purchasing a product, Browning applied the hierarchy to his program by Business Week. company’s sales process to represent how potential clients move “I always wanted to do [a post-graduate program], but I didn’t through the sales funnel. know the route. I wanted to know what I wanted in my career inking and applying his schooling in this way also saves him before I made that move,” he says. some time and brain power. “ e real key [to nding work-study Browning currently is enrolled in the 36-credit hour program balance] is nding a way to incorporate both into your day. I’m and nds himself at IU’s Southeast campus in New Albany, Ind., thinking about work issues when I’m at school, and when I’m at two nights a week, o en until 10 p.m. Serving primarily the Louis- work I’m thinking about applying [what I’m studying] to my job. ville, Ky., area, the campus is just a few miles along the Ohio River is has the e ect of lessening the amount of time I’m spending at cover story from Je ersonville, Ind., where Browning works as the director both because I’m incorporating it together,” he says.
  4. 4. 12 11.15.09 ta rot marketingnews a M dra Au Global Acceleration AUDRA MAROTTA, 33, isn’t your typical marketer, and so it with learning how other cultures and businesses operate. “Be makes sense that her continuing education choices aren’t typical prepared to revise your expectations. Be ready to have your norms either. Marotta’s day jobs since emerging from Loras College as challenged in a good way and keep an open mind,” she says. an undergraduate in 1997 have been in accounting and nance— In between residencies, students complete other coursework in she just joined Dog sh Head Cra Brewery in Milton, Del., as tandem with their local universities on a Friday through Sunday its controller in September—but her number-crunching has schedule that accommodates students that have to y in to take been tempered by her mostly self-taught skills in marketing and part. Marotta was working full time as a controller at Duda/Paine leveraging of social media. She fused all her skills by enrolling in Architects, a Durham, N.C., rm, while enrolled in OneMBA. OneMBA, a 21-month global executive M.B.A. program, through She used all her vacation time to travel for the residencies and the the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 2006. company comped her the Fridays she needed to attend her other Marotta grew up accustomed to merging her interests. Born in the classes. “We had to set expectations on what to expect from each United States to Lithuanian immigrant parents, she grew up attend- other. It was a lot of work,” she says, noting she also had to schedule ing regular school during the week and attending Lithuanian school on in date nights while she was in the program just to see her husband. weekends. She balanced two sets of studies, two sets of friends and two It was helpful to be local for the portions of the program that cultures. “Growing up that way led me to appreciate di erent cultural took place at UNC, but other classes were hosted at a UNC exten- backgrounds and how they react and interact. I learned that what is a sion near Washington, D.C., to accommodate students who norm in one country isn’t the same in another,” she says. commuted from across the country. e intensive classes bred at same lesson was driven home with OneMBA, a program familiarity with classmates that spawned a professional network that really has no permanent place to call home. e point of di er- unlike any other. entiation for the program is that its students come from around the “We’d go to classes and then do homework over beers,” Marotta world and learn in lockstep with each other at their home coun- says. “ e networking was phenomenal. ere’s no way I could repli- try universities. Besides UNC, participating universities are located cate that on my own. I now have a network of 110 professionals all in Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Mexico and Brazil. During the over the world that have spent two years working with me and know program, all the students—there were 110 in Marotta’s class—visit my work ethic. Who knows when that will pay o ?” she says. each other’s home universities to complete course modules. On For now, Marotta expects to continue to work double-duty, this each 10-day trip students also visit a second, less-developed coun- time for Dog sh Head. While her o cial title is controller, she try to study the business environments there. For example, study- also was hired to support the company’s marketing initiatives and ing in Hong Kong included a side trip to India. help grow the business. “I link people together. I’m not just the “ is was not a eld trip. Each residency had its own focus accountant pounding away on the calculator,” she says. And if an and it was an immersive educational environment,” she says. e opportunity arises where she can help the cra brewer expand its biggest takeaway from the trips was the understanding that came distribution globally—say in Hong Kong—she’s in. m cover story
  5. 5. 13 marketingnews BY PIET LEVY//STAFF WRITER 11.15.09 Future Considerations How do you know it’s time to go back to school? Use this three-item checklist. The road to a college degree is the road to a better future. But depending on the undergraduate degree you earned and where you want your career to go, that road may only take you so far. Going back to school for an advanced degree or to complete an executive education program might become a necessity. How do you know when it’s time for more schooling? Find the three mileposts that could direct you to further education on the next page. cover story
  6. 6. 14 1 11.15.09 A Need for Alan Middleton, executive director of the Schulich Executive More Marketing Acumen Education Centre at York University’s Schulich School of Busi- marketingnews ness in Toronto, says marketers use school to get a handle on Brendan Hurley’s marketing experience matched his peers’—except ROI, branding and other increasingly important areas. Students they had formal marketing degrees and he didn’t. also seize opportunities to practice marketing in a setting where “It gave them a broader understanding of the marketing indus- mistakes don’t equal lost money. “You get to share concepts with try,” says the senior vice president of marketing and communi- people across a range of di erent marketplaces, so it gives you ideas cations for Goodwill of Greater Washington and president of the and perspectives outside the narrow focus of a particular industry Washington, D.C., chapter of the American Marketing Associa- or particular style,” he says. tion. “To continue growing professionally, I also needed to grow School also is a way to get up to speed quickly, a primary objec- academically.” As a result, Hurley earned a master’s degree in tive for Harvard Business School’s executive education students, says marketing from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in 2006. Charles Breckling, the school’s managing director of marketing. Katie Gehrt, assistant director of communications and market- “On-the-job learning can be very e ective, but it does take ing for Virginia Tech’s division of student a airs in Blacksburg, Va., time,” Breckling says. “ e executives coming to our programs had undergrad degrees in psychology and graphic design, but they are learning something they can … apply to their organization on 2 were little help for marketing, she says. She’s working on a master’s Monday morning.” in integrated marketing communications from West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va. “I felt like I needed more infor- mation to do a really great job,” Gehrt says. Career Advancement Jason McClelland, senior manager of strategic business development $ for e-commerce at Adobe Systems Inc. in San Jose, Calif., eventually wants to move up at the company. But all the positions he’s looked at require an M.B.A. “I came to the realization that the undergradu- ate degree is essentially becoming a commodity,” he says. “To push myself ahead of the pack, there was one answer: an M.B.A. degree from a school people have heard of.” Finding Funding It also can help with résumé building. “Having an M.B.A. is an established credential … that instantly means something to people,” he says. McClelland is enrolled in the University of California, The economy has taken a big bite out of what had been juicy university endowment Berkeley’s M.B.A. program. apples. Harvard University, for example, experienced a 30% plummet in its endow- Future career advancement also a ected Hurley’s and Gehrt’s ment’s value for the year ending June 30, and Stanford University anticipates its own decisions to get advanced degrees. “Having higher levels of degrees 30% drop this calendar year, which would be its worst single-year decline ever. is increasingly important for moving up,” Gehrt says of working at Many universities are a ected by investment losses and donation cuts, and in some Virginia Tech. ways that impact is trickling down. “There is less money we’re paying out of endow- Lisa Giannangeli, director of marketing for M.B.A. admissions ments that we’re providing to students,” confirms Jack Edwards, a director of finan- at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business in Stanford, cial aid for Stanford Business School. It’s also harder to get a third-party loan given Calif., says most people coming to the program are considering the economy, says Christopher Penn, chief media o cer for PrivateStudentLoans. a career switch. Instead of going to school to become more com, a subsidiary of education resource Edvisors Network Inc. in Quincy, Mass. “The acquainted with marketing, M.B.A. or executive education students credit criteria is stricter now and a lot of [students] across the board are looking for can garner a broader perspective to help them move up and/or out co-signers,” he says. And according to the Graduate Management Admission Coun- of marketing. cil’s (GMAC) 2009 survey, there were, on average, 21% more applications for every full- Once someone exits marketing and enters an advanced busi- time, one-year M.B.A. program, meaning more competition for available dollars. ness role, his responsibilities become more complex and more inte- grated into the business as a whole, and his marketing expertise Despite all this, there are still funding opportunities. Consider: likely is not enough, says Paula Beckmann, senior associate director of executive education for the University of Chicago Booth School ✔ Talking to the school first about scholarship opportunities and essay contests; 97% of Business. “Go back to school to help you shape a whole new way 3 of full-time M.B.A. programs o er tuition assistance and 36% of students receive of thinking about the business world,” she advises. scholarships, according to GMAC’s 2009 survey. ✔ Taking out a loan from the federal government or a third-party provider. Keep your The Time is Right credit clean to qualify for better loans, says Susan Gilbert, director of M.B.A. finan- You can wish for a higher degree all you want, but it won’t happen cial aid for Harvard Business School. without money. A major decision point for when you seek out advanced education revolves around when you can a ord it. ✔ Using Google, and to sift through scholarship opportuni- Hurley, Gehrt and McClelland had the funding in place to make ties, Gilbert and Edwards say. going to school a reality. Hurley says he had enough to pay for his ✔ Checking with foundations, associations and trusts, which often are overlooked by program without needing loans. Gehrt’s and McClelland’s employ- scholarship-seeking students, says Alan Middleton, executive director of Toronto’s ers picked up signi cant portions of their bills—one-fourth of Schulich Executive Education Centre at York University. McClelland’s tuition is covered, and Gehrt is reimbursed for the cost of up to 12 credit hours a year. ✔ Approaching your employer about footing the bill, Middleton and Edwards say. Besides having funding in place, make sure that if you are married, and particularly if you have children, your spouse is on ✔ Applying for scholarships based on your ethnic heritage. George Andrews, board with your decision. You need to have enough energy to associate dean of the evening and weekend M.B.A. programs at the University of complete the program and uphold your family responsibilities, Chicago Booth School of Business, suggests looking at the National Black M.B.A. says Chris Sam lippo, a lecturer at the University of Michigan- Association Inc., the National Society of Hispanic M.B.A.s and the Robert Toigo Dearborn and contributor to an executive education feasibility Foundation for opportunities. The American Marketing Association Foundation research study for the university. “It’s a real commitment in terms o ers scholarship opportunities for African-Americans, Hispanics and Native of time and money,” he says. Americans enrolled in marketing doctoral programs. For more details, visit York University’s Middleton suggests you ask yourself if your cover story family is ready to be supportive of the commitment you will have to make. “If not, you may complete the course, but you may end up without your family,” he advises, jokingly. m