For the past 16 years, the Clemson University Department of Marketing in the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business has been preparing students for careers through its Master of Science in marketing degree. Recently, the department recognized a need to update the program. As the industry’s marketing needs have changed over the past decade, the department recognized refreshing the program would strengthen students’ preparedness for entering the job market after graduation.
“Since the program was created, student needs have changed due to a shift in what careers our graduates are pursuing. It was time to reassess the program to make sure we are providing the most relevant education possible,” said Danny Weathers, program director and professor of marketing.
As a result, the department paused enrollment two years ago and began a comprehensive and systematic revision of the program. They obtained insight from potential employers, program alumni, prospective students, and other programs around the country and at Clemson.
These sources revealed an applied, career-focused program would bring the most value to students.
“Our industry contacts indicated the importance of providing as many ‘real-world’ experiences as possible,” said Weathers.
To achieve this goal, the department has partnered with the Clemson Region Small Business Development Center (SBDC), a national organization with regional offices providing support to small to mid-sized businesses as they seek to grow their footprint in South Carolina. Critical to the program, the Clemson region office recently established the SBDC Student Consultant Center within the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business. Students who are part of the refreshed marketing program will now have the opportunity to address real business problems through two practicum courses in partnership with the Student Consultant Center.
“This partnership is a win-win for Clemson students and our SBDC clients,” says Ben Smith, Clemson Region SBDC Director. “We are excited about the opportunity for South Carolina business owners to have access to professional-grade market research and marketing expertise.”
Dr. Ezgi Ferrand, Director of the Student Consultant Center and former M.S. Marketing student herself, adds, “The experiential learning that Clemson M.S. Marketing students will get working with real business clients will be a key differentiator in their future success.”
Other changes to the program include a refocusing of the curriculum to better support the SBDC partnership.
“Our students will be working with real businesses on real problems. Their performance will have important implications for the business owners and the local and regional economies. We want them to be as prepared as possible, so program details will be aligned with this goal,” said Jennifer Siemens, Chair of the Department of Marketing.
Further, the program will now run from June to May instead of August to August to better align with typical hiring cycles. The program is designed to offer students substantial value through specialized workshops related to topics such as career preparation and communications.
“The dynamic approach toward applied experience and having professional foresight into the ever-evolving world of marketing makes the reinvigorated program an extremely valuable offering,” shares J.D. Tuminski, Vice President of Digital Marketing at Def Jam Recordings and Department of Marketing advisory board member. “Students will be equipped with the tools to enhance their education and stand apart from the crowd to become immediate industry leaders.”
The Department of Marketing is excited to admit master’s students for Summer 2022 and is currently accepting applications. For further information, contact program director Danny Weathers or visit the Department of Marketing website.
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