Fully prepped and with adrenaline soaring, 47 of the nation’s brightest MBA students will gather at Wake Forest University beginning Thursday, February 5, to vie for a hefty $50,000 grand prize, in one of the most intense and prestigious marketing competitions in the world, the 19th Annual Wake Forest MBA Marketing Summit.
At the core of the three-day Wake Forest MBA Marketing Summit are the highly charged marketing competitions. A select group of eight MBA teams and six undergraduate teams from across the country are invited to spend an intense 36 hours developing a specific strategic marketing opportunity for the sponsor, PepsiCo. The intensity will climb as students make their cases to PepsiCo executives and executives from other leading companies from around the nation — and compete for a $50,000 cash grand prize, the largest ever offered in the event’s 19-year history!
The Wake Forest MBA Marketing Summit, which is completely student run and managed, presents exciting opportunities that promise to top events of past years. A free public event at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6, at Wait Chapel will feature an address by Indra Nooyi, continually ranked one of the most powerful women in American business in her role as the Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo. Another powerhouse and celebrity, Maria Bartiromo of CNBC News, will guide the discussion with Ms. Nooyi.
Jim Gleitman, who will present for the second consecutive year on the Wake Forest MBA team, said that he’s more excited than nervous about the trial ahead. “When you first walk into that room in front of judges and cameras, it is a bit unnerving,” Gleitman said. “But the 25 minutes for the presentation just flies by. Afterward, you get a great feeling of satisfaction.”
Plus, Gleitman said, the chance to compete with seven other prestigious schools and network with executives is an exhilarating prospect. “Everyone on the MBA level program welcomes this opportunity,” he said.
Interest in the Wake Forest MBA Marketing Summit has swelled over the years. For the coming event, Wake Forest students screened 96 applications for the MBA competition — the largest number ever received.
Also, six undergraduate student teams will join the competition this year — up from four teams last year. The undergraduate competition will have a sustainability and corporate stewardship theme, with a $1,000 award going to the winning team.
The Wake Forest MBA Marketing Summit will kick off Thursday evening in Deacon Tower at BB&T Field, the football stadium. Friday’s schedule includes a professional luncheon and networking opportunities involving students, invited business leaders and alumni.
On Friday evening, the free public program promises to be one-of-a-kind. Responding to cues from Ms. Bartiromo, anchor of CNBC’s “Closing Bell,” Ms. Nooyi of PepsiCo will discuss PepsiCo’s efforts to grow its brands globally in today’s economic climate; the importance of cultivating innovation within an organization; Ms. Nooyi’s successful journey to becoming Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo and the power of effective leadership in driving performance.
Throughout Saturday, student teams will make case presentations, with the Wake Forest MBA Marketing Summit capped that evening by a gala, announcement of team winners and prize presentations.
In addition to Wake Forest University’s Babcock School, other participating MBA programs in the event include: The University of Washington/Michael G. Foster School of Business; The University of Virginia/Darden Graduate School of Business Administration; Ohio State University/Fisher College of Business; The University of Chicago/Booth Graduate School of Business; The University of Notre Dame/Mendoza College of Business; Harvard University/Harvard Business School; and The University of California at Berkeley/Haas School of Business.
Wake Forest MBA Marketing Summit guidelines dictate that student presentations be confidential, which bars any videotaping and/or broadcasting of the contents of presentations.
Dana Lee, a co-chair of the Wake Forest MBA Marketing Summit and an MBA candidate in May, said that the event delivers many benefits to both academia and to the professional community.
“The Wake Forest MBA Marketing Summit gives students an educational, management and leadership experience with a real-world challenge,” Lee said. “It provides students with fantastic networking opportunities and exposure to top companies, as well as recruitment opportunities for the sponsor. And, the event enhances the visibility of Wake Forest University and the marketing profession.”
For more information please visit www.mba.wfu.edu/marketingsummit
For more information about PepsiCo, please visit www.PepsiCo.com