KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University's collegiate chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) completed its academic year on a high note—winning several chapter awards that highlight the value of this student organization. The awards, judged by a panel of AMA members, are based on how well the chapter executed its annual chapter plan. WMU’s chapter won awards for outstanding chapter planning, membership and internal and external communications.
The AMA is an active organization at the Haworth College of Business, led by Dr. JoAnn Atkin, associate professor of marketing. In the spring semester, the chapter held weekly industry speaker nights, professional development sessions, social events, a company tour at LFK Marketing and the annual Southwest Michigan AMA Mentor Mixer. During the weekly events, the chapter invites WMU alumni from a variety of different areas within the marketing field to come in and share their career paths with students. Chapter President Rachel Cooper says, “Bringing back in-person events this year was exciting. I’m proud of how adaptive our executive board was. Not only did we host in-person events, but we also invited speakers to present virtually to our students. This allowed us to hear from speakers who were all across the country.”
Membership was also the focus of one of the awards that the chapter received. Cooper says, “We worked on increasing membership by participating in Business Bash, visiting classrooms and passing out fliers. We also started a membership points system to encourage members to stay engaged.”
Another facet of the annual chapter plan was increasing communications efforts, which contributed to winning the outstanding Internal and External Communications Award. “We added two communications committee members to our executive board which helped us grow this aspect of the chapter,” says Cooper. “We also created a Microsoft Teams channel that members can engage with when they become a part of the AMA. We use this platform to share weekly updates, internships and job opportunities with members.”
Atkin, who has been chapter advisor for more than 7 years, can attest to the quality and initiative of the students in AMA. “When you have good leaders within the organization, they can identify their peers as strong leaders, which helps establish continuity and enables the whole chapter to run smoothly,” she says. “Previous chapters have set the precedent and the students this year excelled at meeting their goals.”
Cooper is excited to build upon the momentum of this year and carry it into the next. “We just finished electing our new executive board leaders for the next academic year. We are excited to work on planning more professional development events, seeing returning members and welcoming our new members!”
Atkin encourages any interested students to join AMA. “They will get to network with and learn from their peers, WMU alumni and industry professionals across the marketing discipline. And they don’t have to be a specific major to join—just have a genuine curiosity about the marketing field and related careers.”
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