Learning Beyond the Classroom
Experiential learning has always been a strong component of the Marketing Department at Merrimack. Many such experiences have included student participation in the required Marketing Research course, the Marketing Seminar course, and in electives, i.e. The Small Business Institute Program. Sample experiences are outlined below:
- In the Marketing Research course, student teams work together with a local company, college department, or community group. The team designs, implements, and completes a comprehensive project identifying and focusing on a particular issue for the client group, conducts professional market research, and presents their findings and recommendations to top management.
- The Small Business Institute Program involves students consulting with small business owners to identify and solve specific management problems. Student consulting has included assistance in market studies, accounting systems, personnel policies, production design, product line diversification, exporting and expansion feasibility studies. In addition, SBI teams occasionally engage in community development projects.
- The Marketing Seminar is a capstone required course that integrates the total marketing effort by use of an experiential learning exercise in which students practice the design, implementation, and control of business strategies. Students participate in a sophisticated business simulation that is designed to capture the qualitative and quantitative dimensions of business decision-making within the context of a total business enterprise. Students essentially run a business for the semester. The problems and opportunities encountered require total immersion into the business enterprise. The course enables the student to apply what has been learned in other business courses. Executive summaries, business plans, and annual reports are required components of the course, with presentations given to select venture capitalists (chosen from faculty, former students, and business professionals).
- Many companies and organizations have partnered with our students including: Fitness For You, McDonalds, Anheuser-Bush, KISS 108 Radio, Dow Industries, 99 Restaurant, Hebert Candy, Danvers Savings Bank, and Vision House.