Molly Rapert, associate professor of marketing and director of the Center for Teaching Effectiveness, interviews several Walton College students about their internships in a variety of industries.
Listen in as Molly talks to junior Katie Brandt about her internship at Modthink, a digital marketing firm in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Follow #ThisIsHowWeIntern to hear more about our students’ experiences interning.
When Covid-19 ended their service project to collect feminine hygiene products for homeless shelters, sophomores Quincee Scates and Kaitlin Ketchey, both officers in Future Women Business Leaders at the University of Arkansas, quickly pivoted to an online project anyone could help with: writing letters to provide support to shut-ins or medical professionals. Continue reading Determined to Support→
At the age of 23, Garrett Rybak sat in the cockpit of a T-34 with the engine roaring and propellers spinning. After the requisite safety checks, he grabbed the controls and sped the aircraft down the runway until it went airborne into the Wild Blue Yonder. Continue reading EPIC Spotlight: Garrett Rybak→
Not Dr. Ashton. It was a request he made when he was department chair for the Department of Marketing and, later, senior associate dean at the Sam M. Walton College of Business. He has never wavered on this preference, and it’s how his students address him. He’s Dub. Continue reading EPIC Spotlight: Dub Ashton→
The Sam M. Walton College of Business will host the Retailing Thought Leadership Conference on the University of Arkansas campus Oct. 11-12. Representatives from more than a dozen companies and nearly 20 colleges and universities will be on hand to share insights on the future of retail.
The National Retail Federation estimates that retail supports 42 million jobs, provides $1.6 trillion in labor income and contributes $2.6 trillion annually to U.S. GDP. The Retailing Thought Leadership Conference will feature retail industry leaders and scholarly experts presenting their views on what’s next for retail. The collaborative nature of the conference, aimed to establish ties between research and practice, will generate fresh topics for publication in a special issue of the Journal of Retailing.
The event will include several keynote speakers and conference breakout sessions. The breakout sessions are by invitation only, but students, faculty and staff are invited to attend the main program on Oct. 11.
Speakers for the main program of the conference include:
Cecilia Wu, vice president, customer science at Walmart
Erin Campbell, senior vice president at Saatchi & Saatchi X
Andres Mejia, vice president, Sam’s Club team lead at the Coca-Cola Company
John Karsberg, head of tests and insights at H&M
Suzanne Jervis, director, product insights and decision sciences at Sam’s Club
Rida Moustafa, distinguished data scientist at Walmart
Marcel Uphues, director of finance at Metro Group
Rand Waddoups, senior director, Omnichannel at Walmart
Renee Brandon, vice president, research and data at Field Agent
Tom Duncan, associate brand director at Proctor & Gamble
The event will be informative for students planning for careers in the retail industry involving various aspects such as omnichannel commerce, in-store marketing measurement, disruption through technology and retail formats of the future. Faculty, staff and students interested in these topics are encouraged to attend.
Conference sponsors include the Walton College and its Center for Retailing Excellence, the Retailing & Pricing special interest group of the American Marketing Association and the Retail Supply Chain Institute at Babson College.
Participating companies include Walmart, Sam’s Club, H&M, Coca-Cola, Proctor & Gamble, Saatchi & Saatchi X, ConAgra, Whyte Spyder, Dillard’s, J.M. Smucker, J.B. Hunt Transport Inc., Metro Group, Field Agent, Elateral, and more.
Participating colleges and universities include the University of Arkansas, Arizona State University, Babson College, Dartmouth College, Drexel University, ESCP Europe, Florida State University, George Mason University, Georgetown University, Georgia State University, Indian School of Business, Loyola Marymount University, McGill University, Ohio State University, Purdue University, Rice University, Santa Clara University, Southern Methodist University, Texas A&M University, Tilburg University, University of Bath, University of California, University of Houston, University of Muenster, University of North Carolina, University of South Carolina, University of Texas, University of Tennessee, University of Tulsa, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and University of Washington.
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the Sam M. Walton College of Business hosted four residential summer camps in June to introduce high school students to the University of Arkansas and Walton College.
The four camps introduce high ability minority students to career options, campus resources and campus life.
“Introducing college life to high school kids who may not otherwise have this opportunity is life changing,” said Barbara Lofton, director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for Walton College. “Through our summer camp programs, these students meet faculty and staff, stay in dorm rooms and eat meals on campus, participate in research and learn about academic and career opportunities available to them.
“It changes their perception of college and makes them feel at home here.”
The Business Leadership Academy, held June 9-13, introduced newly admitted freshmen to campus life. The students enhanced leadership skills through team projects and met Walton staff and faculty. The program also told students about career opportunities in retail and marketing.
The Fleischer Scholars Program, held June 16-21, hosted two camps for low income high school juniors and seniors whose parents did not attend college. Fleischer Scholars Program I was for students new to the program. Fleischer Scholars Program II welcomed back students who attended the camp previously.
The weeklong camps taught students how to research, develop and present a business plan and helped them transition from high school to college. The Fleischer Scholars Program provides a four-year partial college scholarship to participants.
The Accounting Career Awareness Program was held June 23-28 for underrepresented high school juniors and seniors interested in pursuing careers in accounting. Students attended undergraduate classes and networked with accouting professionals. Workshops focused on basic skills needed for accounting careers, business etiquette and requirements for certified public accountants.
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion was established in 1994 to support, advocate and assist Walton College in developing plans for diversity and supporting students throughout the college. It is the oldest office of diversity at an Southeastern Conference business school and recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. For more information regarding the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, visit walton.uark.edu/diversity.
About the University of Arkansas:The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among fewer than 2.7 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.
Hmmm. What to pick … pretzels, potato chips, corn chips, energy bars or popcorn?
For marketing seniors and juniors in the Marketing Category Management class at the Sam M. Walton College of Business, walking through the snack aisle in the grocery store is more than a shopping trip, it’s an academic study.
Bob Bachtel, an instructor for the Department of Marketing and a principal for IRI Worldwide in Bentonville, leads this class and challenges students to research the salty snack category, devise a plan to drive sales and then present their solutions to the class and industry experts. The competitive exercise was the culmination of the class, which focused on data analysis using shopper and sales trends, product placement, shelving/modular and product placement design software and presentation skills.
The class is designed to provide students a strong skill set to get a job in the growing field of category management. Students can get certified in category management and Kantar Virtual Reality and learn to use shopper and sales data in category and business analysis.
Throughout the spring 2019 semester, category management students benefitted from corporate mentors and speakers from Walmart, Sam’s Club, IRI Worldwide, Johnson & Johnson, Nestle, 8th& Walton, General Mills, PepsiCo, Harvest Group, Keurig/Dr. Pepper and Smuckers.
In addition, companies such as IRI Worldwide, the Category Management Association and Kantar Retail provided data sets and computer-aided design software to assist in researching shopper trends and placing products on shelves digitally.
Teamwork For the final class project, the students formed six teams and began to research the overall category, find areas of growth in product development and target markets. From there, teams devised new or improved product lines, such as:
Team One – Dos Caras, Spice It Up, a new plain corn chip with flavor packets to add according to the spiciness level of the consumer’s choice. Target market: millennials and young adults.
Team Two – Simply, a new product line of organic corn chips with guacamole and Sriracha hot sauce flavors. Target market: millennials through flavor and older adults through pricing.
Team Three – New packaging and flavors for KIND bars, an existing product line. Target market: older millennials and baby boomers.
Team Four – Pop Fuego, a new line of popcorn with new flavors. Target market: middle class millennials
Team Five – Marley’s Seaweed Chips, a new veggie chip. Target market: health conscious adults.
Team Six – New flavors for Tostitos, expanding an existing product with new flavors. Target market: Asian and Hispanic markets in west coast, Texas and southern states.
Industry professionals judged the six presentations on:
Thesis statement or the strength of the idea presented.
Supporting documentation or evidence.
Creativity in solution.
Several teams noted the increasing Hispanic population and one team noted the increasing Asian population for their target market. Students also researched trends of Millennials, Gen Xers, Baby Boomers and more. From there, they researched product flavors and spokespersons that might appeal to those ages and markets.
Some targeted consumers interested in healthy snacks, while other teams targeted cost conscious consumers. The target audience would shape how each team promoted its product. Those focused on cost cutting would use coupons as a marketing tool, while products focused on the Hispanic market might launch the new product line before Cinco de Mayo (May 5) or during Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15).
With the research done, consumer audience identified, products designed, and presentations created, teams were ready to present their work to judges Cole Dodson from IRI, and Steve Meehan, a retired industry executive, and Bob Bachtel.
And the Winner Is … The Dos Caras, Spice It Up! team won the class competition due to its proposed unique spice packet that comes with each bag of unflavored tortilla chips. The consumer adds the amount of spice they like to plain chips and then shakes the clear, re-sealable bag to distribute the flavors. If the consumer wants more spice, they add more.
The Dos Caras (Two Faces) product targeted Gen X and Baby Boomer population and the growing Hispanic market in the mid-Atlantic states and key markets in the western United States. It would launch with three flavors: hot sauce/jalapeno, chili/lime and mango/chili.
Dos Caras presentation included sales profit of $1.7 million for 450 Walmart stores at a sales price of $2.48 per bag.
The team tackled a 2% loss in the unflavored chip market with this interactive product. Its main competitors are the Juanita’s, Tostitos and Old Dutch brands.
The salty snack industry is a $19 billion industry with 4% annual growth.
News from the College of Business at the University of Arkansas