Applying Key Learnings from the Strategic Marketing Immersion to My Internship

by William Degroot, MBA ’13

William Degroot, MBA '13

Bill spent the summer engaged in competitive analysis and market research, among other strategic marketing projects, for a prominent consumer brand.

I am excited to be back in Ithaca for the second year of my MBA after a very enjoyable summer. I was able to intern at a large, leading Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) company. I had a great time and learned a lot about how to manage and grow a brand. My first year at Johnson, especially the Strategic Marketing Immersion, helped prepare me to be successful this summer.

The Immersion experience gave me insight into the terminology and strategies commonly used in brand management so that I could hit the ground running and contribute immediately on my summer projects. I think the Immersion set me up for success because I not only learned terminology and strategies through class discussions, but also applied them through a semester-long project for a different CPG company.

For my semester-long Strategic Marketing Immersion project, I was grouped with three of my peers and was tasked to deliver a go/no-go proposal of a product line extension as well as a competitive analysis of a leading competitor. Throughout the semester my group and I met with our client via telephone twice each month to share what we were learning and ask questions. We poured through Nielsen to analyze distribution and market share data to identify trends and opportunities. We conducted quantitative and qualitative research to gauge consumer interest in the line extension. At the end of the semester we presented our findings and our recommendations to our client in-person who agreed with our recommendations and took our work back to his staff. It was great to work on a project that not only helped me learn more about brand management, but also added value to the organization for whom we were consulting.

This consulting Immersion project was a great way to get a more practical understanding of the terminology and concepts I learned in class, and it set me up very well for my internship experience. One of my projects in my internship was to perform a competitive analysis of a competing brand and deliver recommendations to Duracell as to how they should respond. The consulting project from the Immersion Project helped me structure and approach the project as well as understand what data to seek. This prepared me to deliver a comprehensive analysis and a specific set of recommendations to the Management Staff. I am grateful for the experiences I had in the Strategic Marketing Immersion that helped set me up for success in my internship.