First-Place Finish Leads to Job Opportunities for Kennesaw Marketing Students

KENNESAW, Ga. (Mar 25, 2020) — A group of Kennesaw State University students recently placed first in a marketing competition sponsored by Amazon, and may end up getting jobs with the e-commerce company as a result.

Three members of the Kennesaw Marketing Association – Laura Stallings, Lenny Jimenez Cazon, and Amber Griffin – took the top spot in the Morehouse Marketing Conclave Amazon Case Study Competition in February.

Kennesaw Marketing Association Wins Amazon Case Competition at Morehouse Marketing Conclave

Organized by the Morehouse Marketing Association, the Conclave is an annual student-run event that invites college students from across the Southeast to Atlanta to learn about the latest trends in marketing, advertising, and sales. The Conclave features workshops run by marketing professionals, a career fair, and multiple networking opportunities. Among the businesses in attendance were 3M, AT&T, and Amazon.

Amazon’s participation included sponsoring the case competition, which saw teams developing marketing plans to enhance Amazon’s efforts to reach college students. The KMA students’ winning plan focused on opening small, kiosk-like physical retail spaces called Amazon Student Go stores on college campuses where students could buy food and technology items and pick up their Amazon deliveries.

Stallings, a senior marketing major, said the competition was a great way to network with potential employers.

“Competitions like these give you lots of exposure,” she said. “We were able to meet people from a lot of different companies who gave us advice on the industry and our resumes. We also got exposure for our school and for KMA. Our hope is that we were able to put KSU on the map for these companies.”

Other companies that attended the conclave included Publicis Groupe, Publicis Sapient, Publicis Health, Starcon, Epsilon, the Clorox Company, Moxie, and State Farm. The other finalists in the case competition were teams from Morehouse College and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State.

Coming in first netted each student an Amazon Echo and priority consideration for job opportunities with the company. Stallings was asked to interview for a position as either a senior human resources assistant or a marketing specialist, while Jiminez Cazon is now interviewing for a job with Amazon Web Services.

Senior marketing lecturer Tyra Burton accompanied the Kennesaw State students to the Conclave. She praised the KMA team for their thorough understanding of key marketing concepts and their ability to tailor their solutions to meet Amazon’s needs

“What put them over the edge was that their data analysis included products and solutions that Amazon already had available, but tweaked them for the situation in the case,” she said. “One of the judges commented that it was their analytics that set them apart.”

In addition to winning the Morehouse Marketing Conclave, Stallings and Jimenez Cazon also won another marketing competition shortly after. The two competed in the third annual Coles College Digital Marketing Competition on March 7.

Competitors from Kennesaw State, Morehouse College, and Clayton State University developed marketing strategies for Solid Source Realty, which has sponsored the event for the last two years. The judges included Michele Velcheck, CEO and founder of Solid Source Realty and a Kennesaw State alumna, along with others in the company and representatives from the Con Mods and Cox Media Group.

2020 Kennesaw State Digital Marketing Competition sponsored by Solid Source Realty

Stallings and Jimenez Cazon won first place overall as well as the award for best strategy. Another team of Kennesaw State students – Haley Ganues and Caysi Ingram – won second place and the awards for best presentation and best creative.

“These competitions give students the unique opportunity to compete within the digital marketing space,” Burton said. “The scenarios they are presented with are real-world situations that the sponsors are looking for a solution to. Students have the opportunity to make a significant impact.”

-Patrick Harbin