The winning streak continues for the American Marketing Association’s FIU Collegiate Chapter, AMA@FIU, with its 14th consecutive Top Ten Chapter award. The honor was bestowed at the 38th annual AMA International Collegiate Conference, held March 17-19 in New Orleans. Two College of Business students also placed #1 in individual categories.
“It’s an incredible feat to be in one of the top places for so long,” said Tim Birrittella, senior instructor in the Department of Marketing and AMA faculty advisor. “Our goals are to utilize our strengths and experience to help the community and fundraise. Consistency helps our chapter transition each year and enhances the team.”
AMA collegiate chapters from the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico gather annually for an intensive marketing experience that includes professional guest speakers, a career fair and networking opportunities. This year, 25 College of Business students attended the conference, which drew over 1,400 attendees representing 360 AMA chapters.
AMA@FIU members point out that diversity is one of the factors that make their chapter stand out.
“Our members are not only of different cultural backgrounds and nationalities, but also different majors, which is something you don’t often see in other chapters,” said Stephanie Espinoza, director of membership for the FIU chapter’s executive board. “We are also one of the few chapters with strong online media and entrepreneurial orientation.”
In 2013, AMA@FIU launched Roaring Concepts, the College of Business’ student-run marketing agency. Managed by AMA members, the agency offers branding and image building, creative and market research, and in-college promotions as well as local, email and social media campaigns. Clients include the Miami Marlins, PDQ and StudySoup.
Attracting national attention.
The combined success of Roaring Concepts and of AMA@FIU has increased the group’s national exposure.
“What makes our chapter stand out is that we’re able to apply all our marketing knowledge and hands-on experience to delve into the real world,” said Jonas Erthal, current president of AMA@FIU. “We operate a sustainable business where we have to meet and respond to client demands.”
The three-day AMA collegiate conference was filled with social activities, exhibitions and presentations by marketing professionals. Students competed in market simulation, sales and marketing strategy challenges. In another, students were tasked with creating a 10×10 trade-show exhibit highlighting their chapter’s activities and incorporating the conference theme, “Mint Your Future.”
Espinoza was one of two AMA@FIU members to win top spots in individual competitions. She won 1st place for the Community and Social Impact Scholarship, recognizing students who make a positive impact in their local communities, and a $7,500 award.
Andrea Saladrigas won 1st place for the AMA’s International Sales Competition, the highest ranking ever for FIU. She also ranked ninth for the AMA SALES Student of the Year category.
The focus now is on getting back to work, using historical knowledge to examine what worked and what didn’t.
“We’ll spend the next couple of months brainstorming about what we can do to be better next year,” said Birrittella. “These days it’s harder to stay at the top of the pack, especially considering that we are a commuter school with most of our members working part-time or full-time.”
In addition to the high-profile wins at the AMA collegiate conference, 35 College of Business marketing students will be inducted into the AMA’s honor society, Alpha Mu Alpha, this academic year. Last fall, 19 seniors were inducted and as the spring semester comes to a close, 16 others will join them. Inductees must be in their senior year and maintain a 3.25+ GPA.