The University of Rio Grande chapter of the American Marketing Association won two awards at the recent International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. The AMA recognized Rio’s chapter for Outstanding Membership and Outstanding Fundraising based on goals and projects the group completed throughout the year. Faculty advisor and associate professor of marketing Dr. Wesley Thoene said the conference allows students to network with marketing professionals and students from across the country.
“Around two thousand students, faculty and marketers from across the country go to this conference, so it is a great opportunity for us to meet with others in the field and share ideas,” Thoene said. “We heard some phenomenal speakers who talked about the latest technologies, trends and strategies being introduced to the profession as well as some general tips for individuals who are seeking employment from people who work in these large companies.”
AMA works to create a professional environment for students to refine their marketing skills and pursue networking opportunities. Thoene said he is proud of the hard work and dedication the group put into reaching their organization’s goals for the year.
“I am proud of everything this group has achieved this year. It is a testament to the quality of students at Rio that we are able to bring home awards every year,” Thoene said. “Conferences are a great way to network in the field and with potential employers. I feel it really helps our students to meet people who see and apply the concepts we teach in the classroom out in the field every day. The marketing field is always changing and developing new strategies, so these conferences help keep us up to date as faculty and help us provide the students with the newest information to make sure we give them a quality education.”
The group has won 30 national awards over the last 11 years including awards for community service, membership, communication, fundraising and planning. The group has also been acknowledged as one of the best small AMA chapters in the United States. Thoene said he excited to see that his young group can compete at a national level.
“Many of our students this year are freshman and sophomores, so this has been a rebuilding year for us because many of our members from last year are now alumni. We did have a couple returning members this year, but for the most part, this is a young group of students,” Thoene said. “Having a young group allows us to continue building and growing in the years to come, so I’m really looking forward to seeing how far they go by the time they graduate, especially since they have already won these two awards in their first year.”
AMA also organizes School of Business Visitation Day, an annual fall event bringing 150-200 local high school students to campus to compete in a day-long competition, meet faculty, and tour Rio.
For more information on the university’s AMA chapter, visit www.rioama.com.