The University of Rio Grande chapter of the American Marketing Association won two awards at the 40th annual International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. The AMA recognized Rio’s chapter for Outstanding Membership and Outstanding Communication 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 students to network in the field and with potential employers as well as apply the concepts we teach in the classroom out in the field every day,” Thoene said. “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.”
AMA works to create a professional environment for students to refine their marketing skills and pursue networking opportunities. Ashton Hogan, AMA Chapter Vice President and a sophomore business management major from Vinton, also attended last year’s conference. She said she believes the event is a beneficial opportunity for business students to prepare for the career field.
“I feel like I learned a lot at the conference. There were sessions on how to market our resumes professionally and how to prepare for job interviews. It was also interesting to see what other chapters across the country are doing at their schools,” Hogan said. “I was so excited when we received awards again this year because the group worked really hard and this shows that it paid off for us. It’s important that Rio has an AMA chapter because it gives us a chance to be part of a group, enhance our business skills and network with other students on campus.”
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. Steven Chapman, chapter president and senior marketing and business management major from Jackson, said he was proud to represent Rio’s AMA chapter at the conference.
“I think the conference is a great experience to learn more about business outside the classroom. The AMA is a large organization, so there are a lot of networking opportunities from around the country,” Chapman said. “These awards show that we have a great business program here at a small school like Rio. I’m glad we were able to represent Rio at this conference because hearing our name called for these awards shows our program is able to compete with larger institutions.”
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.