As a co-chair of the Evening/Weekend Marketing Club, I participated in this year’s Winter Marketing Trek, which gave my fellow students the opportunity to visit several Chicago-based companies to learn more about their unique culture and how marketing roles function at each company. We were accompanied by Marketing Professor Oleg Urminsky and Assistant Director of Employer Relations, Huneth Lor-Fair.
A SWEET START
Our trek got off to a sweet start when we arrived at Storck, the company responsible for brands such as Werther’s Original, Merci, and Mamba, just to name a few. Storck presented a deep-dive into each of their brands, highlighting the history, strategies, and challenges associated with each. The presentations gave Booth students a thorough understanding of how Storck positions each brand in the competitive confectionery space. The best part of this leg of our trek may have been the samples of candy we got, though. The fact that it was 9:00 a.m. did not hold anyone back from feeding their inner Willy Wonka!
UNICORNS, GRAFFITI, AND ZEN
Where can you find unicorns, graffiti, and zen rooms? DigitasLBi, that’s where. The company is a leading digital marketing agency that consistently wins industry awards. Some of their top clients include Dunkin Donuts, Taco Bell, and Maytag. During this leg of the trek, we learned about some of their top marketing campaigns and were treated to an employee panel which was a great opportunity to learn about the roles and responsibilities of various team members. We then ended our visit with an office tour. The colorful and vibrant open-office layout was just one of the many great things about DigitasLBi’s exciting culture.
GETTING INTO THE SPIRIT
Our last stop for the day was Beam Suntory, the world’s third largest premium spirits company. While Jim Beam is their flagship brand, they manage a wide portfolio of spirits including Maker’s Mark, Knob Creek, Hibiki, Pinnacle, Sauza, and Sipsmith. The company recently moved its headquarters to a brand new office space in downtown Chicago. Our visit started with a tour of their new office before gathering to learn about the company’s rich history and partnership with the Chicago Cubs.
As a perfect way to end the day, Beam Suntory opened up the doors to their in-house bar, The Rackhouse, for a happy hour! Not only were the drinks great, but we also got a chance to network with Booth marketing alums.
I appreciated the opportunity to learn first-hand how the marketing departments of each of these companies operate. I also really enjoyed meeting the individuals who were leading these marketing initiatives. Being able to complement my classroom experience with these interactive visits has enhanced my Booth experience while also expanding my network.