Cal Poly Marketing Mentor Program Featured in Marketing Education Review

Cal Poly faculty members Stern Neill, Lisa Simon, Sharon Dobson, Brennan Davis, and Lynn Metcalf have teamed up on research that will appear in the next issue of Marketing Education Review.  The article, titled “The Impact of Peer Mentoring on Marketing Content and Mastery,” was based on research they conducted this fall regarding a newly established marketing mentor program in the Orfalea College of Business.

Neill had the initial idea to start a mentorship program at Cal Poly, which formally paired older marking students who had exemplified academic excellence with freshman who were interested in pursuing a concentration in marketing. Metcalf worked with Neil to develop the concept and bring it to fruition at Cal Poly. The mentors worked in collaboration with the faculty members Davis, Simon and Dobson to provide guidance and assistance to the younger marketing students and provided the opportunity for all involved to Learn by Doing.

Throughout the quarter, the professors assessed the course and the effect that the peer mentors had on mentee content mastery. Their research found that students who worked with mentors performed better on a standardized test, reinforcing that the mentors had a positive affect on their learning. Additionally, the study  found that the mentors who had key leadership skills had students who preformed better on the tests.  The research ultimately showed that, when working a collaborative learning environment, students learn best when mentors seek to involve and recognize their contributions.

The experience not only provided valuable insight about how students learn, but it  also provided the mentors with a chance to grow and learn as well. The mentors were immersed in a demanding and engaging learning environment that gave them the tools they will need to succeed in their future careers.

“They say the best way to learn something is to teach it,” said Jenna Hoffman, a business senior who participated as a mentor in the program. “So now I feel like my degree in business and marketing is completely legitimate and qualified as I transition into my career.”

During the quarter the marketing mentors worked along side the professors and gained insight as to what exactly goes into the lesson planning process. They also spent a lot of time working hands on with the students, providing them guidance and assistance wherever they could.

Hoffman’s experience as a mentor not only showed her how classes are run, but also helped to improve her interpersonal skills as she learned to work with different personalities.

“Different leaders have different ways of going about their tasks,” Hoffman said. “As a mentor—and eventually as an employee — it’s important for me to be able to adapt to these variances and contribute my personal best regardless.”

For the full article in Marketing Education Review, visit ____.

Cal Poly AMA Chapter Tours Industry Firms

AMA members on the rooftop at AdobeCal Poly American Marketing Association (AMA) board member Michaela Iunker describes the club’s industry tour hosted during fall quarter.

On Friday, Oct. 28, a bus transported sleepy and eager AMA members to San Francisco to tour McKesson and Adobe while having lunch at Zynga in between. We were led by marketing lecturer and AMA Faculty Advisor Lisa Simon. On our journey to San Francisco, AMA members brainstormed questions to ask the speaker panel at McKesson. Upon arrival, all members were dressed to impress and ready to connect with the panel. Our group included many underclassmen and first-time freshman who were taking their first visits to major employers.

AMA members at McKessonWe received a tour in McKesson’s “Vision Room,” which displays all the products they create, all with messages on how much they affect, not only their cutovers, but also the medical industry. After the small tour, it was time to meet with the panel, which included Jeff Stalcup, VP of corporate marketing; Andy Burtis, senior VP of corporate marketing and communications; Stasia Lord, VP of brand for McKeson Corporate; Chi Nguyen, VP of health system marketing for the U.S. pharmaceutical business; Dara Shulman, senior director of marketing for the McKesson Specialty Health business; Rohit Parbhakar, director of digital marketing strategy for McKesson Corporate; and David Bone, director of enterprise employee communications for McKesson Corporate. The AMA members could easily see what it was like to work for a big organization like McKesson and if they felt like the culture fit their style.

Going on a corporate tour is more than having the opportunity to see really cool companies, but it’s a chance for members to see if working in those kind of environments would truly make them happy after graduation.

After the members finished with the panel, we hoped on the bus to have lunch at Zynga. I was a totally different style than McKesson, and it was a great opportunity to see a different style of company culture. We were also fed breakfast for lunch, which was fun for the AMA members.

Once we had a lunch and explored the company we were quickly whisked away to Adobe. Adobe was more creative-based and had a very friendly laid-back atmosphere. Members could really see the difference to what it would be like to work for a company versus a creative brand like Adobe. The really nice thing about Adobe was that the company employs a lot of Cal Poly alumni, so we got a chance to have a panel with them to learn more about the company and ask questions.

Cal Poly AMA would like to say a huge thank you to McKesson, Zynga and Adobe for hosting our group and supporting the success of Cal Poly marketing students.

Hear about the impact of the visit from a few AMA members who took the tour:

“Going on the corporate tour was an amazing experience because I got to see how diverse companies are within the same area. Being a first-year just starting to explore my opportunities in business, it was very beneficial to see how different companies operate, treat their work environment, and provide for the public. It gave me a better idea of what to expect in the professional world depending on what type of industry I choose to go in. The biggest thing that I learned from the corporate tour was that no matter what your specific background is, there are always opportunities to excel within a business, as long as you crave that success.” — Daniel Gonzalez

“It was extremely beneficial to hear a panel of around 10 Cal Poly Alumni discuss their experience and give tips & tricks to us, as they were in our positions only a few years ago. I thoroughly enjoyed bonding with other members of AMA and meeting new people as well, and I would recommend a corporate tour through AMA to anyone! I am thankful for this wonderful experience and hope that I have the opportunity to attend another tour in the future!” — Elena DeAngelis

“I really enjoyed going on the corporate tour this quarter. It was really cool to see so many different industries in one day. Going on this tour has especially sparked my interest in the healthcare industry and perhaps even McKesson. What I love about the corporate tours is that you get to see a side of the company that you wouldn’t otherwise get to see at a career fair or through a company’s website. At McKesson, you could really see the passion that people had for making a difference in other people’s lives, something that resonates with me. Overall the tour was a great way to get to know new members in a smaller setting as well as learn about what different industries have to offer.” — Casey Li

AMA members at Adobe“The corporate tour experience was wonderful. Before I went on this tour, I had never been to a successful corporate office or had the behind the scenes look that I received after this experience. I had never considered working at Adobe before the tour, but after it seems like a job that is very appealing to me. It helped me learn about opportunities and careers I’d enjoy that had never occurred to me before. It was great to get to hear from the panel at McKesson, they gave a lot of great advice that will stick with me for a long time.” — Rachel Yenofsky

“The professionals at McKesson had great advice regarding what to look for in a career. One of the panelists mentioned the analogy of picking a career like you would pick professors for classes in college. When we’re choosing classes, we always try to pick the best professors based on quality, whether we’ll actually learn something from the class, and if it will be a good overall experience. Deciding on a job position should be done in the same way. Rather than choosing a job based on simply the job description, the professionals at McKesson emphasized the importance of choosing a position that forces us to be better and more innovative than we were before. Overall, I had a great experience on the tour and am endlessly thankful for the opportunities and connections I’ve gained through AMA.” — Marisa

“As a freshman, I enjoyed seeing what different opportunities and experiences lie ahead for me in terms of my education at Cal Poly, and my experience in certain fields in the workforce. What really impressed me in all three of these companies was the amount of Cal Poly graduates they hire, along with their high praises of the preparedness of Cal Poly alums. During these tours, I was quite pleased to see how business and marketing could be applied to such a variety of fields, from healthcare to mobile games to software, and many more.” — Tali Pilip