Elon students showcase skills in Marketing Jam case competition

Students consulted for a N.C. non-profit organization during the event hosted by American Marketing Association Triangle and Charlotte.

Ten Elon students represented the university in the 2021 Marketing Jam, a collegiate competition hosted by the Triangle and Charlotte chapters of the American Marketing Association.

Held virtually on Feb. 27, students were placed into randomly assigned teams and tasked to address a client’s problem, which included conducting an analysis, evaluating alternatives and formulating a solution with an action plan before presenting their work to a panel of judges.

Elon competitors included Emma Bassett ’21, Owen Clendenin ’24, Bennett Curtis ’24, Caroline Graham ’22, Xuan Huynh ’24, Anita-Lotti Harkov ’22, Andrea Marasso ’21, Jovani Mendez-Sandoval ’22, Elinor Stickevers ’21 and Melanie Surman ’21. They joined students from NC State University, Bob Jones University, Campbell University, NC Central University and UNC-Wilmington.

“My favorite part was having the opportunity to create a deliverable for a real company that could end up implementing some of your solutions,” Business Fellow Curtis said. “It was an amazing exercise for teamwork, problem-solving, and pitching skills.”

Marasso and Curtis, Bassett and Huynh, and Clendenin and Stickevers were members of the first-, second- and third-place teams, respectively.

“Working on a real case study makes you aware of the problems that companies are facing nowadays,” Marasso said. “Marketing Jam challenged me in showing my strength, thinking about my weaknesses and working in a team.”

Teams had four hours to create recommendations for Activate Good, an organization working as a “force multiplier” for causes with volunteer needs. The North Carolina-based nonprofit’s challenge involved the recruitment and retainment of volunteers of all ages, skills, abilities and backgrounds to fill critical needs in the community, especially those that support recovery and resilience-building after the pandemic.

“The Marketing Jam Competition was a fast-paced competition that placed me with eager and creative team members,” said Leadership Fellow Mendez-Sandoval. “We were able to provide entrepreneurial ideas to help the non-profit, Activate Good, navigate the shortage of volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The opportunity to craft various ideas in a short amount of time and presenting them to real-world professionals has only helped me gain transferrable skills.”

“As an undecided business student exploring different majors, the Marketing Jam was a wonderful opportunity to gain hands-on marketing experience,” Business Fellow Huynh said. “It was great meeting students both at Elon and other universities and working together on a real-life case study while learning how to sell a solution as a story.”

During the event, students also participated in a professional development session with The Creative Group and Kelaca and a speed networking session with marketing professionals.

“I enjoyed the opportunity to virtually network with other university students and professionals,” Bassett said. “The virtual aspect of the event helped put into perspective what future workplace environments may begin to look or function like. I definitely feel more confident in communicating and strategizing with others utilizing an online platform.”