YPSILANTI – Competing against more than 200 teams from around the World, students from Eastern Michigan University recently placed third in a prestigious marketing contest, marking the first time Eastern undergraduates had medaled in the competition.
The students competed in the annual Marketing Edge ECHO Challenge, in which they designed marketing plans for Collette Vacation Tours, an international guided travel company. They are students of David Marold, a lecturer who teaches marketing in the EMU College of Business and serves as an advisor to the students.
The bronze medal team included Glori Avneet Singh, Megan Spencer, Meagan Welsh, Amanda Derengoski and Anthony Nucullat.
Two other teams from Eastern made the semifinals of the competition. In the undergraduate division, the team of Emily Villarreal, Amanda Salazar and Jordan Mallet made the semis, while in the graduate division Taylor Frey, Don Kline, Rebecca Jensen and Mark Lubin advanced to the final four.
"I am very proud to teach EMU's highly motivated, hard-working and bright students who have entered and continually won top rankings in this exceptional competition,” said Marold, who is in his ninth year at Eastern.
Marold notes that students in EMU’s Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) master’s program have competed in the challenge and excelled in each of the last 10 years, continuing with their strong finish this summer.
“But our undergraduate students have been competing for just four years, and I am gratified and excited that they broke into the winner’s circle for the first time,” Marold said.
Singh, a co-captain of her group along with Spencer, said the ECHO Challenge proved a challenging but rewarding experience.
“Even though this project was the cause of many sleepless nights, it was definitely worth it,” she said. “It is certainly exciting to be recognized for all the hard work and time I put into the case. I know I personally liked this project because I felt like I was actually able to take what I learned in school about marketing, and apply it to a real life challenge. I am very thankful that Professor Marold had us participate in this case.”
Spencer said, “The Collegiate ECHO Competition allowed us to apply the knowledge we've learned in our marketing courses to a real-world situation. Working in a group in creating a marketing strategy applicable to an existing company provided valuable insight, preparing us to enter the workplace.”
The Collegiate ECHO award is regarded as one of the top honors for marketing students around the world, with the winners to be recognized at the Direct Marketing Association's annual conference in October. Approximately 50 top professionals across the marketing industry judged the more than 200 entries.
Headquartered in New York City, Marketing EDGE works to Educate, Develop, Grow, and Employ college students in the field of marketing. Now in its 51st year, Marketing EDGE is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks to create a distinct intersection between students, academics and corporations, and to bridge the gap between academic theory and the practical knowledge and skills required in the workplace. The goal is to continue to expand and enrich the pool of market-ready talent in the business of marketing.
About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest university in Michigan. It currently serves 22,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.