Each year during fall break, students with an interest in marketing and/or brand management participate in BrandWeek, a 3-day series of marketing challenges issued by clients. Teams are given a challenge and have anywhere between a few hours or days to come up with a plan and presentation for their client. While BrandWeek has traditionally included MBA and Master of Marketing students, participation this year was limited to Master of Marketing students due to logistical adjustments necessitated by COVID-19. Below, 3 students reflect on their BrandWeek experiences this year.
Mia Maloney (MMark’21)
Between Modules 1 and 2, Master of Marketing students were given the opportunity to participate in BrandWeek, during which we were lucky enough to work on projects from some of the most recognizable names both locally and internationally, including Mars Petcare, IMG Sports, Graduate Hotels, and Goo Goo Cluster. The 3-day workshop was especially interesting this year, given that we were tackling challenges within each industry that were only heightened by the global presence of COVID-19.
The most rewarding part of the entire experience for me was getting the opportunity to work on these real-world challenges within the context of our small groups of students. After each case was presented by the visiting company, we would all break out into our small groups, where we spent a short period of time brainstorming our approach prior to creating our pitch. This time was perhaps one of the most beneficial experiences of BrandWeek, because we had the opportunity to be exposed to different perspectives and ideas from our classmates that challenged us to think outside of the box.
Then we had the chance to bring all of those ideas together into a final presentation that we pitched to each company, which was beyond rewarding. I felt so proud to be part of a cohort of students that are not only incredibly smart, but are also extremely creative, innovative, and fun. Coming out of BrandWeek, I feel a renewed sense of confidence in my abilities and grasp of marketing strategy, which I look forward to carrying with me into my career upon graduation. —Mia Maloney
Mason Greenberg (MMark’21)
During our fall break after finishing up Mod 1, we were given the opportunity to compete in BrandWeek. This was a great opportunity to shift our focus from the classroom to some real-world applications of the marketing techniques we’d already learned, as well as use our creativity, problem-solving skills, presentation skills, and teamwork. Students from our program were randomly sorted into groups, and we had the chance to work with Mars Petcare, The Graduate Hotel, Goo Goo Cluster, and IMG Sports.
Each company gave a short presentation of their core business and also identified one or two of their major marketing issues in the form of a challenge for us to solve. We then split into our teams and had to quickly brainstorm, form coherent solutions, and create a presentation of our ideas that one or two members of each team gave in front of the representatives from each company. After all the groups presented, the company representatives gave each team feedback on their presentation, selected the top two teams’ presentations, and then ultimately picked a winner. This process challenged our abilities to come up with solutions in a time-sensitive environment, while also providing a comfortable place to push the boundaries of creativity and take risks that we could receive constructive criticism on.
Overall, BrandWeek provided us with such a unique opportunity to work with real companies on their current marketing issues, and receive immediate and constructive feedback on our solutions, as well as forcing us to quickly come together in teams and use our individual strengths to come up with creative solutions. It was a valuable experience that I am positive we will all benefit from as we progress in our careers. —Mason Greenberg
Ali White (MMark’21)
Upon completion of the first Mod at Owen, Master of Marketing students came together in-person for the first time since orientation to work with Mars Petcare, Goo Goo Cluster, The Graduate Hotel Nashville, and IMG Sports for BrandWeek. Over the course of 3 days, we worked in teams to present our solutions to the current marketing challenges presented by each company. Fortunately, although there have been many difficulties brought about by COVID-19, Owen made it a priority to provide a safe and memorable experience for everyone who attended, both in-person and via Zoom.
For many, including myself, BrandWeek was the first opportunity to work closely with actual companies that needed creative and innovative solutions to their real-world marketing problems. All five teams competed to come up with the best marketing strategies and were able to receive insightful feedback from each company on their individual pitches. Each case provided a different set of challenges that allowed us to apply the strategic frameworks we have learned at Owen thus far. Throughout the week, I was encouraged and inspired by my classmates as we collectively honed our skills in idea generation, team collaboration, and presenting to a client.
Overall, I feel that BrandWeek’s fast-paced and immersive nature has prepared me for a career in marketing in ways that I could have never learned solely in the classroom. Owen’s emphasis on application is what creates brilliant professionals and what makes them stand out compared to other programs. As a result of this invaluable experience, I feel more confident and capable in my journey as an aspiring marketer. —Ali White