The Value of Real-World Learning Experiences

Oct. 18, 2018 by Leland Pilz

Leland PilzWhat’s more important -- knowledge learned in a classroom or the practical experience of working on real world problems?

The answer is Yes! At Concordia we believe in the power of faith, learning and life changing experiences.

I teach marketing in the Concordia College of Business and Communication, and I have seen how real-world projects can be life-changing experiences for our students. Our marketing curriculum provides students with a solid foundation of marketing principles. Plus, specialized knowledge from upper level courses such as Digital & Social Media, Market Research, Consumer Behavior and Data Analytics.

But why stop there? I’m always on the lookout for real-world opportunities for our students. I have gotten a great response from Austin companies when I approach them about having our students work on a marketing project for them.

At first they think they are just helping out the university by offering a student learning experience. But in every case, the clients have been blown away by the real value that our students bring to their business.

Here are some examples of projects our student teams have worked on:

  • For IFly indoor skydiving we developed branding and lead generation ideas. The same CMO later came back to us and asked us to work on a new start-up project for an app called BloxMob. Return business is a great endorsement. After the project, he hired one of our students as an intern.
  • SASS salad dressing company asked our students to develop a social media strategy for them and manage their Facebook page. After the project, they hired three Concordia students as social media interns.
  • Sometimes the clients are former CTX students. Brian Ellis graduated in 2014 and now he’s Director of E-commerce for HUMCO, a big pharmaceutical company here in Austin. He asked us to work on a brand development project and hired one of the student team members as an intern.
  • And just last week I got a call from Clarissa Post-Castillo who graduated last year and now is Sales & Marketing Manager for AnyLabTestNow. We’re helping her with some social media ideas.

I’m so proud of our students and I’m confident that experiences they gain at Concordia will serve them well.

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