I cannot believe that this project has finally come to an end. Through the countless hours working in and outside of the classroom, it was all worth it. I have become super close with Meade and my seven other group members and we have completed an amazing project for our client that we are all proud of. It seems like just yesterday that I had stepped into our class orientation, nervous as ever, and doing icebreakers with people who I have never met before. But every great team starts out by getting over those initial fears and obstacles, right?
I knew that this class was going to be unique compared to all of the other courses that I have taken. What I did not realize was how much I was going to enjoy it! This was my first ever experience in marketing consulting and it has truly impacted me to the point where I am interested in pursuing a career in this field. I have learned so much, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work on a project of this caliber so early in my life and career.
The biggest takeaway for me is definitely all of the marketing consulting knowledge that I have learned. Meade has been an amazing professor over the past few months, and I cannot thank her enough for guiding us through this process. I have learned that marketing consulting is all about relationships and building trust between you and your clients. With a strong bond, both parties are more transparent with each other and thus can work on projects more efficiently. In addition, I have learned that marketing is better working in a team. In our case, it was important to identify everybody’s strengths and let each other thrive in different parts along the way. One person cannot do it all on their own and dividing up parts of the project to people made it easier on everyone’s shoulders. Collaboration was key and we worked really well as a unit.
Another takeaway that I had was to learn to be flexible and adapt to any situation. As a consultant, one must understand that sometimes, things that are planned may change. Depending on the client, deadlines or even a large portion of your project may be altered along the way, and you will have to be comfortable and accept that. Working in consulting, you must always be prepared for changes but to also make sure that the end result will keep the client satisfied because it is your job. A real example of being adaptable actually happened to my group during this project. We were scheduled to go abroad to Germany during spring break to visit our client as well as experience the culture, but the trip unfortunately got cancelled due to the COVID-19 virus. All of us were preparing for the trip and excited to spend two weeks in Germany but were devastated when hearing the news that we could not go. However, we still had work to do. We could not be selfish and sulk too much in the fact we could not go because we were still responsible for getting our deliverables to our client on time no matter what. I learned that it is important to be mentally strong and not get overly emotional when changes occur in business.
Throughout this class, I would say that I have improved my verbal and written communication skills. This is important to have in both my personal and professional life. Without the skill to communicate with others on a social and professional level, nothing will get accomplished. Over the course of the semester, I had to collaborate with my group members about different ideas for our project. In addition, we needed to effectively communicate to our client in Germany as well as the other members we were collaborating with at the University of Augsburg. Through talking and email, we were able to work well with each other and made sure that we were on the same page. Being able to communicate professionally will help me succeed in any role that I have in the future.
This project was tough, but well worth it. It is definitely an experience that I would bring up in a professional interview and to help differentiate myself from other candidates. It might look like just any regular class on paper, but I would pitch it to someone as a real-world experience. Not many students can say that they have worked with an actual client during their time in school, let alone an international client. Working with an international client challenged me in many ways. I had to learn proper etiquette for doing business in German culture as well as learn to communicate effectively with them. In addition, my group members and I needed to produce multiple deliverables for our client’s global social media strategy. This was an opportunity and an experience that does not come often, and I am glad to have been a part of it.
In terms of advice for students who are a part of this class in the future, I would say to go in with an open mind because there is so much to learn. It may seem like a lot of hard work and extra commitment outside of class, and believe me it is, but this is an experience that I will keep with me forever. Although I was not able to get the study abroad experience out of this program, I am proud of what my team and I have accomplished this semester. This is not your average class and the probably will be the closest that you will get to have a real hands-on experience than actually working in the real world. I had no idea what to expect when I first started on this marketing consulting journey, but it definitely helped me figure out the parts of marketing that I really enjoy. Again, I cannot believe this class has come to an end. But thanks to this class, I know that I have grown, professionally and mentally, in ways that will prepare me for when I face the real world and I am so grateful for that.