Undergrads CONNECT on marketing

Nordstrom Investor Relations Manager Michelle Berg with UW AMA Leadership team.

Nordstrom Investor Relations Manager Michelle Berg with UW AMA Leadership team

On January 30th, the University of Washington American Marketing Association Chapter (AMA) and the Foster School of Business EY Center for Career Advancement welcomed 140 students from six Pacific Northwest universities to PACCAR Hall for the 3rd Annual NW Regional CONNECT Undergraduate Marketing Conference. The 2016 marquee UW AMA event sponsored by Bellevue-based T-Mobile afforded students and professionals numerous opportunities for networking, knowledge development, and enlightenment as to the inner world of corporate marketing.

The Seattle and Pacific Northwest business community was well represented with professionals from a variety of agencies, companies, and organizations participating in the keynote address (T-Mobile), breakout presentations (Proejct Bionic, Starbucks, UW Athletics), a networking lunch and expert panel discussions (AristaPoint, Eddie Bauer, Lightbulb! marketingworks, PepsiCo, Puget Sound American Marketing Association, Razorfish, Society of Marketing Professional Services, Tableau Software, and WE Communications), and closing remarks (Nordstrom).

T-Mobile’s Director of Marketing and Foster MBA alumnus Kris Kraft kick-started the event with sound advice for future marketing professionals, “Ask the customers what they want, and then give it to them. Simple.” Jamie Hui and Keith Jacobsen, both Foster MBA alums echoed Kraft’s thoughts, “You can see the Starbucks mission in the customer moments of connection.” Students learned about the process of bringing Starbucks products to market, the methodology utilized by Project Bionic to launch a brand’s digital presence, and the approach utilized by UW Athletics as well as the Seattle Seahawks and Sounders to create a unique “game day” experience by leveraging research, digital marketing, and content creation. “It was nice to come back to campus to present because I felt that UW AMA gave me so much during my time as a student. This was my opportunity to give back,” shared breakout presenter and former UW AMA member and Foster alumna Marissa Freeman, now Associate Account Manager at Project Bionic.

Project Bionic

Project Bionic present during a breakout session

“The whole idea of connect – establishing connections within the industry and with the end customer – was embodied throughout the entire day,” said Kourtney Kirton, a sophomore UW AMA Leadership Team member and current Foster marketing student responsible for planning the 2016 event. The use of technology, particularly data, to support marketing designs and strategies was discussed by numerous presenters. The current Director of Marketing and Game Day Experience for UW Athletics with previous stints at the Seahawks and Sounds, UW alum Ryan Madayag encouraged students to “fall in love with data. Knowing your data is going to help you land the job and it helps me every day to advance and become a better marketer.”

Closing out a day of excitement, passion, and curiosity were the closing remarks and question and answer session with UW alumna Michelle Berg, Investor Relations Manager at Nordstrom. Berg shared the importance of marketing in all aspects within a business from the sales floor to investor relations. She also shared insights into the cutting edge technological advancements and strategic steps Nordstrom will implement to grow to a $20 billion company in the near future.

UW AMA and the EY Center for Career Advancement thank all participants for being a part of such a vibrant learning opportunity for Pacific Northwest students from the University of Washington, University of Washington Bothell, Seattle University, Saint Martin’s University, and the University of Oregon. A special thank you to T-Mobile for its sponsorship of the 2016 3rd Annual NW Regional Marketing Conference!

conference attendees

TMobile’s Kris Kraft, Foster student Kourtney Kirton, and EY Center for Career Advancement Director Andy Rabitoy


This post was written by Erin Allett, Employer Services Manager for the EY Center for Career Advancement.

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