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An Opportunity with an Edge

July 10, 2018

Leadership development is for sophomores too.

With their fast approaching entrance into the working world, juniors and seniors can find an abundance of leadership development opportunities, but sophomores/rising juniors have these opportunities as well.

The Marketing Edge Collegiate Summit held in New York City in June was one such event that was open to sophomore/rising junior attendees. Heather Quarnstrom and Kyle Schwagmeyer, LSBE Marketing Analytics majors, were there to learn as much as they could.

To be considered as one of the approximately 80 invited attendees to the Summit, students who have at least a 3.0 GPA are required to fill out an application and write an essay to Marketing EDGE, a national non-profit that helps college students develop the skills thatHeather  employers are looking for. 

There is a $350 enrollment fee that covers a hotel room, program materials, outings, networking receptions, and meals. Both Quarnstrom and Schwagmeyer’s fees were paid for by LSBE foundation funds. “Generous support from alumni and other donors allows students to have these types of experiences,” said Sara Pitterle, who was the director for the Retail Marketing Analytics Program.

 “I applied because I knew this program would not only help me develop the skills employers are looking for, but it also would allow me to learn from and connect with today’s marketing leaders,” said Schwagmeyer. “I have created relationships that will last a lifetime.”

Powerful industry leaders from high profile corporations led workshops, seminars, panels and more. 

Topics included what it really takes to make it in the workplace, the ins and outs of data analytics and how it is shaping our world, and brand image and how to maintain that throughout the years. 

“I attended panels more focused toward my career goals such as a workshop about how analytics can help you predict the future, focusing on the power behind consumer data and how to analyze data to predict how a specific person buys,” said Schwagmeyer. “This workshop taught me not only about the possibilities behind data analytics but also about the importance of ethics behind how we go about using data. “

He added, “I also thoroughly enjoyed the talk on leveraging emerging technology to attract, service, and engage customers. Marketing is constantly changing, and I learned the value of adapting to these changes through industry insights emphasizing current trends such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and augmented and virtual reality.”

Both students felt the conference helped them with their future plans.

“The conference has expanded the way I see the business field,” said Quarnstrom. “It is so large, and there is so much to learn. Veteran professionals have the skills and answers. Learning from them is the best way to gain that knowledge.”

“I do see now that there are many more possibilities than I thought possible in my career,” said Schwagmeyer. “I found that my career provides strong value to any business, so the options that I can take are endless.”

Incoming sophomores should be keeping their eyes open to these opportunities and be ready to apply. Both Quarnstrom and Schwagmeyer offered advice.

“Not many college students get the opportunity to do this type of thing,” said Schwagmeyer. “You get to network with a great number of people with diverse backgrounds and experiences. It’s not every day that you can casually eat food and converse with the top leaders of major companies across the country,” he said regarding the Summit.  

“Sophomores should take the chance, apply, and GO if you are selected!” Quarnstrom adamantly encouraged. “I know the most difficult thing for me was saying yes when I was selected because it was such a huge commitment and it felt daunting. But I would say to take that chance, make that leap. I came out with more knowledge and insight in the area of business, which has helped me advance considerably along my pathway.”

“All LSBE students and pre-candidates for business majors need to look for these types of opportunities,” said Pitterle. “Many organizations are scheduling these types of conferences for rising juniors as a precursor to a summer internship.”