Learning in a Safe Environment

by Dr. Megan J. Ricard, MBA ‘14

Dr. Megan J. Ricard, MBA ‘14

While enrolled in Professor Thomas’ Strategic Brand Management course and Professor Park’s Market Research course as part of the Strategic Marketing Immersion, I was able to collaborate with fellow students on a live business case throughout the entire semester. We worked with a top healthcare firm on the launch of a new medical device. Though my background is in healthcare, it most certainly wasn’t in marketing, or product launches for that matter!

At first, it was overwhelming. The group included four students, all with differing backgrounds, Professor Thomas, Professor Park, and multiple representatives from the healthcare company that needed to be connected and aligned with project goals in order to be successful. As the semester progressed we were guided by our professors who led us through case studies during class sessions, while simultaneously working with the client on a weekly basis. What we learned in the classroom was directly applied to our live business case, which augmented the learning process.

The Strategic Marketing Immersion offered an opportunity to work on a cross-functional group in a project manager-type position, analyze a real business problem, and present our team’s analysis to a brand manager and other key executives at a top global healthcare company. Exposure to business problems and the business environment offered a “safe” learning environment for someone with a limited business background, like me. It also provided an opportunity to discern my strengths and weaknesses, and hone and improve my skills prior to my summer internship.