A shopping trip to a Target retail store now takes on new meaning for students who participated in the Target Case Study program as part of the fall session of the College of Business Administration’s Retail Marketing undergraduate course.
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“The program presents students with the opportunity to solve real-world challenges for Target’s retail business,” said Tim Dugan Birrittella, lecturer, Department of Marketing. “As part of the process, the students gain a stronger understanding of the marketing complexities facing retailers today.”
Birrittella initially contacted a Target recruiter to come talk to his class, which in turn led to the invitation to participate in the Target Case Study program.
“We jumped at the opportunity,” Birrittella said. “Not only did this provide an excellent learning exercise but Target also presents scholarships to the students who deliver the winning case study.”
The 48 students in the class divided into twelve teams of four students. Six teams tackled a case study on connecting with multicultural shoppers, and another six teams focused on a Hispanic market case study. The students prepared a written report as well as an oral presentation for Target representatives.
And the winner is . . .
Students Sasha Gessen, Alexandra Givner, Andrea Mantica, and Isabel Pascua scored the winning case study with original merchandising strategies for the Miami, Los Angeles, and Chicago markets.
According to Pascua, one idea that caught the Target judges’ attention centered around the creation of a “Club MIS Quinces” in Miami area stores to provide a gift registry for the now-popular Quinceañera parties celebrating a girl’s fifteenth birthday.
“Our team worked together to make this project successful,” Pascua said. “During the process, I learned to communicate my ideas and to listen to others’ ideas.”
Givner feels the case study project drove the team to think more creatively and innovatively.
“To succeed in retail marketing today, you really do need to ‘think outside the box,’” she said.
Each of the winning students will receive a $1,000 scholarship from Target.
There’s more good news: Birrittella recently received word that his spring 2009 class has been selected to participate in the next Target Case Study program.
“I’m very pleased to continue this education partnership with Target,” he said. “Aside from the scholarship incentive, I’ve received very positive feedback from the students who participated in the first competition. It’s a win-win all around. Target showed interest in the ideas we presented. The students gained valuable experience outside the classroom, not to mention connections with Target that can lead to future internships and possible career opportunities.”