Differentiating When It Matters Most

Hi Everyone! As you may or may not know, one of the great things about Stern is that all the clubs are student led and student run. As an MBA1, you have the opportunity to apply to AVP positions for a wide range of clubs and positions, which is amazing, as we can not only practice our leadership and managerial skills, but also have direct access to all the club’s resources! This year, I was fortunate enough to be selected as one of the AVPs of Conference for the Graduate Marketing Association (GMA). Our annual conference was held late last year on November 6th and was a huge success!

Since our conference is pretty early in the school year, planning actually starts earlier during the spring/summer. My amazing VPs (Hi Debbie & Aileen!) had already booked a venue, set a theme, and reached out to speakers by the time we AVPs came on board to sort out the details and kinks.

Our lovely conference brochures!
Our lovely conference brochures! (Photo Credit: Nevena Georgieva)

The conference theme this year was “Engaging Consumers: Differentiating When It Matters Most.” Our keynote speakers included the marvelous Carolyn Everson, VP of Global Marketing Solutions for Facebook, and the CEO & Co-Founder of Brooklyn Brewery, Steve Hindy. There were also panels focusing on digital branding, packaging, and 360 activation, with speakers ranging from Unilever to Google to Lancôme. Our afternoon sessions also featured a panel co-hosted by the Stern Women In Business group on campus, along with a MBA1 Mini Case event hosted by our sponsor companies.

It was definitely a lot to coordinate – we needed to secure speakers, market our event, create pamphlets…and all within a student org budget! My first assignment was to create an app for the event (go check it out! You can learn more about the conference and attendees here: https://attendify.com/app/k5m3i3) – which was definitely a new experience for me! There were times, especially closer to the conference, where I would put away my phone for half an hour only to come back with 35 new emails and 10 new action items. But in the end it was super worth it to see the conference go off without a hitch and to get positive feedback. Not to mention the preparation and event day were both excellent networking opportunities!

Goodie bags!!
Goodie bags!!

I had such a blast both planning and participating in this conference. If you’re ever in the neighborhood, the conference is open to public, so feel free to come by next year! Not to mention the GMA Conference is just one of many, many conferences and events held and run by students throughout the year, so there are tons of options to choose from.