Students "Wow" Company With Professional Marketing Efforts

At the burgeoning campus of Georgia Gwinnett College, students not only are learning innovative new skill sets in class; they are applying those abilities in real-life work situations outside of class. In fact, GGC students recently delivered an impressive line-up of marketing tools for one of the world’s highest-rated U.S. charities, MedShare International, a portfolio that normally would have cost the client some $200,000.

At the burgeoning campus of Georgia Gwinnett College, students not only are learning innovative new skill sets in class; they are applying those abilities in real-life work situations outside of class. In fact, GGC students recently delivered an impressive line-up of marketing tools for one of the world’s highest-rated U.S. charities, MedShare International, a portfolio that normally would have cost the client some $200,000.

“The enthusiasm and hard work our students put forth was just incredible,” says GGC Marketing Professor Robert Anservitz. “What they came up with was just unbelievable; and to be able to do that as undergraduates. I have done this at the University of Georgia and at Mercer. This is the 21st time I’ve worked with a class and a client, and this was absolutely right up in the 99th percentile—the best of the best.”

Anservitz helped arrange the partnership between GGC students and MedShare, the worldwide not-for-profit organization that obtains, sorts, packages and redistributes medical supplies that are plentiful in the U.S., but in high demand in other countries. By making use of medical surplus, MedShare has kept more than 980,000 cubic feet of medical supplies from ending up in U.S. landfills.

Nineteen students in GGC’s Marketing Promotions class were divided into four task force groups. One of those teams created, wrote and designed three new brochures for MedShare: a general information piece, one on volunteer recruitment and another on barrel collections for surplus medical supplies.

“I loved working with MedShare,” says GGC business student Rico Torres of Grayson. “MedShare got a quality promotional piece, and I got the experience of working in the marketing field. I think if anything, those skills will help me better market myself in the real world.”

One student task force created new signage for MedShare’s headquarters in Decatur, and another reworked and redesigned the MedShare web site, even translating it into French and Spanish.

Another group created a 13-minute “walk and talk” PowerPoint presentation that MedShare will share with potential donors and volunteers. “It was phenomenal,” says Anservitz. “They had 16 drafts of the script and spent 84 hours developing the presentation. I’ve never seen better – even from my graduate students.

“The students learned new skill sets during the class and plugged them in while developing their client deliverables,” he continued. “I think of my students not as students, but as working professionals, and they think of me as a consultant rather than a faculty member.”

Doing all that work for MedShare was only part of the class. Students also attended lectures, took exams and presented their marketing resources to the top brass at MedShare. The founder of MedShare, A.B. Short, attended the presentation and was thrilled with the work of the GGC students.

“The end result was a win-win for MedShare and for our students,” says Anservitz. “MedShare was ecstatic with our results and presentations. The students got way past worrying about grades. The client is who we were concerned about. In the process, our students really were stretched.”

Since its founding two years ago, GGC has made it a goal to provide its students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed, but also with the real-life learning opportunities that give them invaluable hands-on experience.

“There’s more to a successful career than just knowing how to do something,” says Dean of GGC’s School of Business Victoria Johnson. “Students must understand organizational behavior, the social landscape and how to be effective leaders. One of our goals is to give students experiences where they learn how to manage change, work as a team and conduct themselves in the business world.”

Robert Anservitz’s students certainly learned that – and a whole lot more.

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