A group of advertising students in a University of Arizona Eller College of Management course has spent the semester producing and executing a job recruitment campaign for the American Petroleum Institute, a trade association that represents the majority of oil and gas companies in the U.S. The course is characteristic of initiatives aligned with the UA's 100% Engagement initiative, providing students with the type of experience meant to make them more competitive and better prepared for entering the workforce.
"Over the years, there has been a deeper understanding of the importance and value of these programs," Dr. Ed Ackerley, whose Marketing 425 Class includes this hand-on experience, said.
Students designed fliers, produced recruitment messages, and planed and coordinated events, among other tasks. "This is very similar to having an actual job," said Dalton Shade, a junior majoring in business management and marketing. "The other thing that makes this really cool is we are working for real clients."
Ackerley said such engagement motivates students to think in more creative, collaborative and responsible ways. "It's a great lesson for students, especially when using social media and other tech devices, to implement a campaign and have to step back and think of the ramifications of their work: Who will see it? Where does it go? What are the responses going to be?"
Holly Inglish has served as public relations director for the campaign. "While in integrated marketing communications, I felt it was more of an internship than a class," Inglish said.
"This engagement opportunity provides an experience of real-world situations where students can think, extrapolate and view into the future to see how things are going to be," said Ackerley, who also has an adjunct position in the UA School of Theatre, Film & Television.
"That's the challenge I take on: I try to inspire these young people to do something they might not have done otherwise."