After taking my last final, I felt great to be done, but sad to see my time with professors come to an end. I had some great teachers this year. So today I'm writing to give others some idea of my coursework, but also to recognize the great teaching in those classes. And maybe for students following behind me, this can offer a better idea of courses to register for in upcoming semesters.
As a marketing major with a concentration in communications and promotions, my courseload has been heavy, and mostly within the marketing subfields. I took four marketing classes that I really enjoyed this semester, classes that I would recommend to any business major as either business electives or to fulfill marketing degree requirements.
Marketing 461—Consumer Behavior, with Professor Lan Chaplin
Consumer Behavior with Professor Lan Chaplin was one of my all-time favorite courses at UIC. It's required for marketing majors, but I'd recommend it to non-marketing majors as well. The class is a mixture of psychology and business; we explored the cognitive processes of the consumer and how their environment shapes their purchasing habits.
Professor Chaplin devotes a lot of energy to training students in the newest approaches to consumer behavior, including the study of children’s consumer behavior, personal branding, and the role of self-image in purchasing habits. Student work happens in teams, which are formed in the first week of class, and work together on two major projects. The first project focused on social media. The second, which we presented at the end of the semester, was a broader consumer behavior research project. Add to this a midterm and a final oral exam and you get a pretty challenging class. But Professor Chaplin provides lots of support and feedback at every step. Her class boosted my teamwork and presentation skills, but above all, my energy and work ethic.
You can read more about Professor Chaplin's class in my previous blog post about our teambuilding activities.
Marketing 479- Digital and Social Media Marketing, with Professor Sajna Ibrahim
Professor Ibrahim’s Digital and Social Media Marketing class looks at how different companies leverage digital platforms to increase brand awareness. Application in this class took the form of a single semester-long project. For mine, I implemented and measured my own social media marketing strategies, which I presented to the class at the end of the semester.
The course topics included video, mobile, and email marketing, SEO and search engine marketing, and content marketing. Professor Ibrahim balanced the readings so that we spent equal time working through research and applying concepts in discussions of recent news stories. Digital marketing is a growing and rapidly changing field, so anyone who wants to stay current on marketing trends needs this class.
Marketing 470- Brand Management, with Professor Kim Moon
This a great class for learning how businesses use brands. The class performs five brand audits, in which we assess brand health and evaluate the various roles of the brand in larger marketing strategies. At the end of the semester, we create our own brands in response to market research, and present them to the professor and the class.
For the first five weeks of class, Professor Moon had us pull together regular reviews of brand-related news; brands that were taking off, brands in transition, or brands that were on the decline. In addition to this, the class performed two case studies. The final project, a team-based presentation, drew on these case studies, as well as other bits of recent news and research on brand-related issues.
Marketing 463- Marketing Channels and eCommerce, with Professor Ann Trampas
I took this as an elective, and I’m glad I did. I can't overemphasize how useful it was to gain this perspective on the changing relations between buyer and seller. Professor Trampas begins the class with a firm grounding in the fundamentals: the different types of channels, different channel strategies, and different approaches to channel management. Then the class moves on to exercises in channel conflict.
By far the largest site of channel conflict today is the online marketplace. Businesses are constantly finding new ways to increase sales through the internet, which destabilizes older relationships within sales networks. Starting from studies and news stories about recent conflict scenarios, we built role playing situations to test our comprehension. Aside from two exams and a lot of shorter quizzes, most of the coursework fed into a large final project.
It’s winter break now, and my spring classes are all lined up - but I don’t want to spoil the surprise! Check back next semester, when I’ll have much more to say. Happy holidays!