As an undergraduate student studying at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, I believe there are opportunities everywhere you look. Recently, I had the extraordinary opportunity to present the research I’ve been working on at a marketing research conference in New York City. It was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve had and one that I will take with me as I move on to the professional world.
Last May, I visited with Professor Sterling Bone about my interest in doing research. Over the past year, I have been working with Professors Bone and Deanne Brocato on how the marketing of princesses affect self-identity formation and the personal and collective well-being of mothers and their daughters. Because this is a topic I am particularly passionate about (especially as it relates to the awareness and prevention of eating disorders), I jumped at the chance to code and analyze the qualitative interview data that Professors Bone and Brocato had collected.
|Huntsman student Amy Nelson presents marketing research|
Throughout the school year, we furiously worked to understand and analyze the mounds of data at a deep and underlying level. Countless hours were put into coding the data, and numerous meetings were scheduled to discuss our findings.
When the time came, we submitted the research and were accepted to present our work at the 2014 Positive Marketing Conference at Fordham University in New York City. This international conference is an academic and professional event where professors, PhD students and marketing professionals come together to discuss how “positive” marketing can be a catalyst for creating uplifting change in the world. Topics were presented in a wide range of categories, but all were centered on the implications of positive marketing. As the only undergraduate student at the conference, I was given full reign to present our research to an extremely intelligent and highly reputable group of people.
Instead of feeling intimidation, I felt a tremendous amount of community-like support. Each academic and professional attendee made me feel at ease, which was an extremely comforting feeling – especially given the circumstances. The presentation went just as I hoped, and afterward I received an exceptional amount of positive feedback from several of the conference attendees. It was such a relief! I also had the chance to network with some of the attendees and hear about their experiences – it was fun to be able to converse with and learn from them. This conference really opened my eyes to the academic world.
While the end goal is to publish our findings in a top-tier academic marketing journal, this conference was an outstanding opportunity to present our research to an academic and professional community and gain feedback in order to move forward with this research. As an undergraduate student, I have been extremely lucky to have Professor Bone and Professor Brocato as mentors throughout this process. It truly has been an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me, and I’ve learned a great deal from this experience. Research opportunities at USU are vast and widespread. I encourage everyone, at some point in your college career, to get involved with research – it could end up being an experience you won’t soon forget.