University of South Florida

Muma College of Business

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New practice center offers experiential learning to marketing students

TAMPA – Marketing students at the University of South Florida now have the chance to build up a portfolio of professional work thanks to a new practice center that pairs student-teams with local businesses. Businesses can tap into the student talent pool while chipping away at a company’s marketing projects.

The new practice center in the School of Marketing and Innovation within the Muma College of Business allows students to work on industry-sponsored marketing projects, get paid for the work while being overseen by a faculty member, and gain real-world experience that is a resume booster for internships and other job opportunities.

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The center’s goal is to give students industry work experience while providing local businesses and organizations marketing expertise in areas such as marketing research, business development, and marketing campaigns.

“It’s an opportunity for applied learning,” said Loran Jarrett, an assistant professor of instruction in the School of Marketing and Innovation who is overseeing the center. “The more opportunities where students can build their resume and their portfolios, the more they’re going to be ready for the marketplace and be ready to command a high salary.”

Jarrett said practice center projects will ideally span one semester and are open to undergraduate and graduate students.

“This is a great opportunity for students to learn and to help all sized businesses and the community,” she said.

Practice center projects also offer an opportunity for international students to gain valuable work experience, because student visas have restrictions on paid work.

Here’s how it works:

Marketing students from all three campuses apply to participate on available projects. Participants are selected based on GPA, skill sets, and the availability of projects. A project’s scope may cover topics such as marketing research, digital marketing, business development, marketing audit, and marketing promotions.

Two students would be assigned to work collaboratively on each project. Projects would be supervised by at least one faculty mentor and at least one representative from the project-sponsoring industry partner.

Students benefit by gaining valuable experience while being paid. The program also complements classroom lessons and make students more marketable for internships and careers, giving them a competitive advantage in a tight job market.

Businesses benefit by having top-quality marketing students work on their project, while leveraging the expertise of faculty members. While projects typically last one semester, an industry partner may choose to sponsor a project’s next phase or submit a new project for an additional semester.

Projects are accepted on a rolling basis and generally follow the semester calendar, with start and end dates from August to December or January to April.

To submit a project, contact Jarrett at Available projects will be posted as a course on Canvas where students will apply for a project’s jobs.

The center is modeled after an existing practice center in USF’s School of Information Systems and Management that provides experiential learning opportunities for students in the business analytics and information systems program.

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