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Vice President of Competitions Backstory

In 2019, I returned to the University of Michigan-Dearborn to finish my degree in Marketing after leaving in 2011. I had been in the workforce shortly after leaving, being employed at various sales positions. I learned then that personal selling is a valuable skill that is transferable in other aspects of my life, and other occupations. Whether you are interviewing at a company or even making a proposition to help your company work more efficiently, sales skills help. 

When I enrolled, I met with a counselor to map out my plan until graduation. One of my classes that I was enrolled in was BA 300, Career Planning and Development. In this class, it was discussed and recommended that it is beneficial for students to be involved in student organizations, develop skills outside of school with certifications, alongside with getting good grades. This intrigued me as I have been in the job market before and any additional qualifications or experiences I can get cannot hurt my chances of getting the job that I want. 

In BA 300, some guest speakers came into the class and pitched AMA - The American Marketing Association. I decided to join soon after in the Winter 2020 semester because I knew the benefits of having a membership to a student organization means meeting new people and having extracurricular activities to add to my resume. The group was very friendly and welcoming. At one of the first few meetings that I attended we were divided into two groups - one for competitions and another for a pro Bono work for a local business. I chose competitions because I was told that it involves competing with other schools around the country with marketing plans, pitch, and sales competitions. Since I had sales experience, I figured it was a good fit. We practiced our pitch skills and worked on ideas for competitions. It was a great experience!

After the summer there were E-Board elections which I took as an opportunity to get more involved. I then was elected to be the Vice President of Competitions. In this role, I got to pick which competitions we would be involved in and have the students practice for these competitions. Currently, I am using my sales experience from years ago to give feedback and tips to the group so that they can fine tune their skills and to potentially win a pitch or sales competition. 

We have competed in a few competitions this year and they were very fun! One competition involved a digital marketing competition where my team had an hour to make a digital marketing campaign and presentation. It was challenging but also gratifying that we could come up with an involved plan in such a short time! We not only used the concepts we had learned in school, but the pitch and presentation skills we would practice in past AMA meetings. It all came together, while also building relationships with fellow members. 

In addition to the sales, pitches, and live digital marketing competitions, there is also a case competition that is a semester long project that involves all members of the competition group. This is a good experience of creating an in depth marketing plan in a real-world scenario and company. This also can be put on a resume to add any projects worked on. 

Altogether, my experience with the American Marketing Association at the University of Michigan - Dearborn has provided exponential dividends with everything from new friendships with fellow students, honing skills, taking part in projects, and leadership experience. I would highly recommend anyone who is interested in joining a business related student organization to consider joining the American Marketing Association. It has definitely enhanced my undergraduate experience. 

Brian Abood

Vice President of Competitions

University of Michigan-Dearborn ‘20

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