Southwestern Oklahoma State University
The Bark
This SWOSU Principles of Marketing class met with 38 industry experts during the 2016 fall semester.

This SWOSU Principles of Marketing class met with 38 industry experts during the 2016 fall semester.

Industry Experts Participate in Innovative SWOSU Marketing Class

Principles of Marketing is a standard course in university business programs across the nation, but 38 students at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford recently received extra mentorship and encouragement from industry experts.

Typically, a course includes multiple choice quizzes, worksheets, lecturers and exams. But, there was more. Students were asked to write research papers investigating the marketing aspects of their future career industry.  The students then met with industry experts to review the findings of the research papers and seek additional advice.

Thirty-eight experts representing the following industries participated: agriculture, construction, manufacturing, non-profits, video gaming, vintage clothing, equine products, health and fitness, music, sports, automotive, accounting, banking, hospitality, radio, aerospace, and computer science. The experts gave feedback on student descriptions of the marketing process from new product/service research, development and implementation, as well as pricing concepts, distribution channels and promotional strategies.

“I am appreciative to our industry experts for sharing their time and talents with our students,” said course professor Dr. Amanda Evert. “It says a lot about our area communities that our students were able to get hands-on advice from such an impressive group of experts.  I am also very proud of our students. SWOSU students have an incredible work ethic and it shows in the effort they put into this project.”

Student papers were 10-15 pages long and included an in-depth analysis of major trends, opportunities for industry growth and applying the course concepts in the real-world environment. The expert feedback added real-world value to the students’ learning experience and offered insights into how course concepts can be applied in major Oklahoma industries. 

“The student did some good research. We were able to take what he understood from an outside perspective and apply it to what actually happens in the real world,” said Elk City Great Plains Bank President Jeff Waters. “We talked about the importance of community banking and being a community-minded bank in being a big part of the schools and civic organizations which all leads to marketing.”

Weatherford Cummins Ford General Manager Jim Pugh said he was surprised by the depth of information that the student had in the paper. He complimented SWOSU for getting students ready for the world before graduation.

Students also reported being pleased with the outcome of the project, especially the opportunity to network with industry experts.

“My expert gave me reassurance that I was on the right track,” said accounting major Colton Cowan of Piedmont. “There were ideas I never thought of from his knowledge of the industry. We all have dreams and aspirations, this paper brought the idea to life, instead of just being a thought.”

Students also reported they found the project to be very useful to their career growth and industry knowledge.

Entrepreneurship major Ashley Williams of Alex said the research project was extremely empowering and that learning about her industry and being able to apply marketing concepts is going to be a huge asset to her.

Computer Science Major Jack Guillory of El Reno said the project was very inspiring. After doing this project, he felt like a true expert in his field. He watched news reports and shows related to his industry and he could name their sources off the top of his head because of his research in the class.

For more information about this class and others, contact Evert at 580.774.3040 or amanda.evert@swosu.edu.