By Kara Sherrer
In just 10 months, the Master of Marketing program prepares students to enter the multi-varied world of marketing and brand management, from new product development to consumer analysis. Walk through the 10-month program with this interactive timeline and see our FAQ with Steven Posavac, Faculty Director and E. Bronson Ingram Professor in Marketing, and Megan Nichols, Associate Director of the Career Management Center.
What exactly is the Mod system?
Rather than using fall and spring semesters, Vanderbilt Business separates the academic year into four quarters, known as Mods. Each Mod involves seven weeks of classes, followed by a week of exams (for a total of eight weeks). There is a break in between each Mod of at least a week to allow for immersion experiences, holidays, and other events.
When does the program start?
The Master of Marketing kicks off in late July with a three-week orientation. Students take the Marketing Fundamentals course from an instructor who also teaches within the MBA curriculum, building skills they need to succeed in later classes and learning how to network. They also receive focused training in relevant areas such as basic finance, marketing ethics, and more.
Between Mods I and II, Master of Marketing students participate in BrandWeek, a three-day series of marketing challenges issued by real brands. Master of Marketing students form teams with MBA candidates. The teams are given a real-life marketing challenge and have anywhere between a few hours or days to come up with a plan, create their presentations, and present to the client.
“Students get to solve real marketing problems for real companies. That’s a very exciting part of the curriculum that they get to participate in,” Nichols said.
What exactly is a “MBA-level” class?
Many Master of Marketing students takes classes alongside MBA candidates, from the same marketing professors who teach the MBA curriculum. “Taking classes with MBA students is valuable because MBA students have significant work experience, and are older, and the Master of Marketing students can learn from their experiences,” Posavac said. “This works very well because the enhanced diversity of our classrooms reflects what most students will experience when they start their post-Vanderbilt employment.”
What subjects does the curriculum cover?
The 10-month program provides comprehensive training in all aspects of marketing, including courses on digital marketing and social media, advertising and sales promotion, brand management, new product development, pricing, marketing analytics, and marketing planning, as well as strategy. Students also have the opportunity to customize their studies through two Directed Studies courses. “You will graduate from this program as an outstanding general marketer,” Nichols said.
What do the Directed Studies involve?
Students participate in two directed studies during their time at Vanderbilt, one during Mod I and one during Mod IV. During the first study, “Industrial Immersion,” students conduct in-depth research on an industry of their choice and the major corporations within it. “Students gain both very deep knowledge regarding their chosen industry, as well as broad knowledge of other industries from hearing the presentations of classmates,” Posavac said.
For the second Directed Study, “Filling the Marketing Toolbox,” students identify a professional skill they believe will be important to their success and strive to improve upon it. Many students fulfill this requirement through an internship, while others conduct independent studies, such as marketing consultant projects. “The second Directed Study gives students the chance to become proficient in a given marketing skill, which accordingly helps them to differentiate themselves as marketers, and to add more value on the job,” he added.
What resources are offered for career management?
Master of Marketing students have a dedicated career coach who meets with them individually on a regular basis and helps tailor their career search to their interests and experience.
“It’s a lot of work to find a job, but there are many resources to take advantage of while they’re here: a dedicated career coach that’s here just for them, tons of workshops, company visits, a huge alumni network,” Nichols said. “They can utilize not only the 10,000 Owen alums, but also the undergraduate alumni network.”