In the fast-paced business world, students seeking careers in professional selling have to be more competitive than ever. At Bradley, students like Natalie Cabell ’18 take advantage of the American Marketing Association’s resources to gain a professional edge.
Cabell, of Overland Park, Kansas, is the vice president of programs for Bradley’s AMA chapter. The organization focuses on professional development through competitions, conferences, networking opportunities and guest lectures.
Last year, the AMA chapter attended several competitive conferences with other marketing organizations across the nation. At one of their first conferences in Aurora, Illinois, Cabell and classmate Garrett Cox '16 placed third in a social media in sports marketing event.
Bradley’s AMA team also routinely finishes among top programs at the annual National Collegiate Sales Competition, the oldest and largest event for sales majors. The team finished second overall at the spring 2016 event.
"Being in AMA provides a lot of value to who I am as a student and a marketing major," Cabell said. "At each competition I meet new people, expand my network and develop new skills that I will take with me throughout my collegiate experience and after."
AMA activities build on student experiences in Bradley’s nationally recognized professional sales program. Professional sales students work through role-playing sales scenarios early in their courses to gain experience. AMA's invited speakers provide an engaging supplement to classroom learning and help students realize their integration into the real business world.
Bradley Sievers ‘18, of Palos Hills, Illinois, transferred to Bradley and took advantage of AMA’s opportunities. He is the chapter’s vice president of professional development.
Additionally, AMA brings guest lecturers to campus to share their professional experiences and to network with students.
"We constantly have professionals with a variety of specializations speak upon their unique experiences," Sievers said, "No two events have the same theme. We've had presentations on personal branding, retailing, nonprofit marketing, professional selling and other topics. We want members to view the material as personally-relevant."
Faculty advisor Brad Eskridge offers valuable mentorship and professional connections to students. Cabell benefitted from his connections through an internship at Peoria’s Frito-Lay office she found for the summer of 2017.
"We could not run the show without Prof. Eskridge,” Cabell said. “He's a big help, and he's always there to help students. Having teachers like Eskridge and Dr. Mitch Griffin make learning the material so much more enjoyable."