10 Years at Barsema - Partnerships Formed
~ contributor Emily Cronauer
As the College of Business celebrates the ten year anniversary of Barsema Hall, I am reminded of all the relationships that the Department of Marketing has been fortunate in creating within our facility. The inception of Barsema Hall has been a catalyst to the development of strong partnerships within industry, and it's not just the Department of Marketing that is seeing the results.
White Lodging's relationship with the Professional Sales Program began in 2008 when they hired Melanie Hickey, an NIU Marketing alumnus. "NIU Professional Sales students are able to hit the ground running," says Jerry Keyes, the NIU Professional Sales Liaison for White Lodging Corporation. "NIU sales graduates are always at the top of their training class." What began as one impressive alumnus hire has evolved into a lasting relationship that will serve to influence the next generation of professionals in the hospitality services industry. White Lodging's generosity has also led to a new professorship within the faculty, as Dr. Robert Peterson was named White Lodging Professor of Sales and will begin his tenure as Director of the Professional Sales program starting fall 2012. It's really an exciting time to be a sales student at NIU!
Another partnership with Kohl's has brought new life to students interested in retail marketing. Not only does Kohl's make sure our students dress the part by sponsoring the Dress for Success Fashion Show (which utilizes the beautiful Barsema Hall auditorium stage), they also ensure that marketing students can play the part by making connections within the classroom. By combining topics discussed in class with on-site visits to the DeKalb store, students are able to see the operational aspects of retail first-hand. Utilizing the knowledge they gain, students can also compete for scholarship funds provided by Kohl's by participating in a group project as part of class. Dr. Mark Rosenbaum was named Kohl's Professor of Retail in fall 2011, an honor he earned while playing a vital role in the development of our newest corporate partnership.
It's hard to believe that 10 years have gone by so quickly, and I certainly can't imagine life without this marvelous facility. It's not just the staff, faculty, and students that get to enjoy Barsema Hall, but also the visiting families and corporate partners. We mean business here at NIU, and our building reflects the commitment made to building future leaders in the business world.
Teamwork Is More Important Than Ever
~ contributor Emily Cronauer
Another academic year is set to begin and soon the Barsema Hall classrooms will be filled with marketing students eager for the challenge of their first sales role play, anticipating their first exam, and ready to put their skills to the test. The question is will they have adequate opportunities? Thanks to teamwork between the College of Business and our partners, the answer is an overwhelming yes!
Over the years, the Department of Marketing has forged strong connections with alumni and businesses, enabling students to put their knowledge into action. Whether the connections are made in the classroom, at school sponsored activities or out in the field, the chance to collaborate with a professional can make all the difference.
As the Marketing Internship Coordinator, I have partnered with businesses to develop the Marketing Internship website, on which more than 50 potential internships were posted for marketing students. Through use of this website, students gained access to internships at companies such as The Bradford Group, Target, and Restaurant.com. Students were also fortunate to team with companies within the classroom that led to internships with Aerotek, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Kohl's, and iProspect. It is these relationships that are most influential to our students, and much of it would not happen without our corporate and alumni partnerships.
Reputation is everything. When potential students are asked about their interest in pursuing marketing at NIU, the number one response is, "Because I've heard they have a great business program and strong relationships in the corporate world." NIU's College of Business has a reputation that precedes it. This is largely due to alumni representation and support. The marketing program continues to have a bright future ahead of it thanks to the financial assistance that supports awards and technology for the students, to the employment and internship opportunities made available by companies each semester, and to the alumni who continue to make us look good.
Competition for top students is at an all time high, and as we progress into the new academic year I challenge you to reconnect and team up with the College of Business. Whether you provide financially or experientially, your assistance is vital to continuing the NIU College of Business tradition of excellence. Remember, our graduates could be your next employees and coworkers. If you haven't been to campus for a while then it's time to come back and see what you've been missing. Come be part of our team!