Two sections of Assistant Professor Michele Lashley’s course were charged with identifying ways to increase awareness about the company’s Future Leaders Program among Elon seniors seeking employment.
While the backdrop was the classroom lab in Steers Pavilion, what members of Assistant Professor Michele Lashley’s Corporate Publishing classes undoubtedly gained was real-world experience.
During the week leading up to Thanksgiving break, two sections of Lashley’s strategic communications class presented pitches to representatives of Amica Mutual Insurance, a Rhode Island-based company with branches throughout the country. The students were charged with identifying ways to increase awareness among Elon seniors about the company’s Future Leaders Program, a seven-week paid training program at company’s corporate headquarters.
Each class was divided into six “agency” teams tasked with developing ways to generate interest in the career development program. As part of the project, students met with the client, conducted research regarding the challenge, created a strategic and creative solution, and then presented formal pitches to the client.
“The client chose a winning team in each class and that team received an automatic ‘A’ for the project,” Lashley said. “Having such a significant reward at stake for winning the pitch helps replicate the competition and pressure that’s so prevalent in real-life pitches.”
The benefits of participating in this real-world scenario are abundant. “Through experiencing the emotions, challenges and rewards of coming up with a strategic and creative product that wins client approval, students get an ‘insider’s look’ at the agency world,” Lashley said. “And they’re able to do that while still being supported by the safety net of a classroom environment. My goal is that, by making something like this part of the Corporate Publishing class, students receive a really positive and memorable learning experience. Hopefully, they have fun with it, too.”