UNH Whittemore School of Business and Economics
UNH Business Students Will Graduate with Professional Experience
By Janet Lathrop
UNH News Bureau
April 11, 2002
DURHAM, N.H. -- For 19 University of New Hampshire MBA students enrolled in an intensive new marketing workshop this semester, the experience has been like adding a half-time professional job to all the other pressures of academic life. But all feel it's been worth every minute, because they will graduate with real-world experience instead.
George Miaoulis, Jr., visiting professor of marketing at UNH's Whittemore School of Business and Economics, says "when they finish in May they will have the skills to walk right into a marketing department and contribute substantively from day one. That's our goal, and I think this group is well on the way to meeting it. Our students will be one year ahead in terms of real-world experience compared to other graduates looking for that first job."
The Whittemore School's marketing department is committed to providing experience-based education, giving graduates a competitive advantage in job hunting, he added.
Miaoulis organized students in the hands-on marketing workshop into teams to research and design a full marketing plan -- including analysis of corporate culture, sales competition, product strengths and weaknesses, marketing strategy and more -- for two real companies. Team leader Jeremy Chapman of Weare and nine classmates are working on a marketing plan for Hematech, Inc., a Westport, Conn., developer and manufacturer of human polyclonal antibody therapeutics. And Andrew Wheeler of Nashua leads the other half of the UNH marketing workshop class in preparing a marketing plan for software maker Altaworks of Nashua. Students presented a first-draft marketing plan to company executives April 3.
Both teams feel they have made a real contribution to their assigned company.
"I think we raised some issues that they had not thought of, in terms of marketing," says Chapman. "We all have done a lot of research, educating ourselves about their products, and our market analysis is solid. I expect them to adopt a lot of our recommendations."
Everyone on both teams is also impressed with how much work the advanced course has been. Jill Stowell of Revere, Mass., recalled that teams started holding two-hour strategy sessions more than two weeks before classes officially opened in January. They got a jump on the work load and made it possible to rotate everyone through assignments, giving each student experience in all the skills needed to complete a full marketing plan.
Miaoulis estimates that each team is handling the work load of a three- or four-person marketing staff. Students have discovered that some information is more elusive than expected. Wheeler noted, for example, that "identifying the competition -- even trying to discover whether there is any -- was not easy. We're teaching each other as we go." Chapman said it was a challenge for his team to understand Hematech's sophisticated medical product line.
In May, these graduating seniors will deliver professional-level, comprehensive final marketing reports to company executives that feature company-specific strategies tailored to individual products, plus industry analyses and growth projections.
As Kristy Hemsley of Montréal, Québec, notes, "I don't know of another program where I could graduate with a portfolio like this. It's going to be really helpful in my job interviews."
Hematech team members besides Chapman are Lisa Blais and Adam Mechachonis, of Bedford; Edward Aten and Serena Johnson, of Amherst; Bryan Mulkerron, of New London; Jamie Heal, of Kensington; Michele Roux, of Sanford, Maine; Jessica Coviello, of Lynnfield, Mass.; Jillian Stowell, of Revere, Mass.; and Kristy Hemsley, of Montréal, Québec. Altaworks team members in addition to Wheeler are Ryan Obermiller, Corey Morin, Jay Chalifour, Jim Plakos and Sheela Mudholkar, all of Manchester; Josh Delisle of Amherst; Lisa Blais and of Bedford.