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Philly Student Chapters: “Center of the Marketing Universe”

“When people think about marketing, they think New York City and big ad agencies,” said Jim Thompson, Assistant Professor of Marketing, at Temple University, Fox School of Business.”[But at this year’s International Collegiate Conference], Philly’s student chapters looked like the center of the marketing universe.”

When more than 1,000 aspiring undergraduate student marketers meet every year at the International Collegiate Conference hosted by the American Marketing Association (AMA), they participate in career development workshops, networking events, competitions, listen to keynote speakers, and generally have fun. The AMA believes that student marketers are redefining the future of marketing by meeting challenges and creating opportunities in their home communities and campuses. The Conference provides further opportunities for students to learn and network with industry professionals about careers and cutting-edge marketing and sales practices. Student chapter leaders, professors, and advisors meet to celebrate chapter successes, discuss best practices in chapter management, and learn leadership skills.

Philly Talent Makes A Showing

This year, the Conference was held in Chicago via a hybrid format ( two days virtual, three days in-person). There are 321 schools that have AMA Student Chapters that hail from the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. Chapters have varying numbers of students: Temple University in Philadelphia had 240 members at its peak, while smaller ones have as little as five members. Yet with all this competition, Philadelphia schools made an admirable showing.

“Philly is a big place for marketing, especially because of all the pharma companies in the area,” explained Thompson.”It’s important to give some recognition to the talented student marketers in local chapters — a lot of them are in the Philly area, at both Temple and St. Joe’s — and it’s important to keep that talent here.”

Both Temple University and University of Pennsylvania won for “International Chapters of the Year,” and Saint Joseph’s University received an honorable mention for “Excellence in Marketing Week Activities.”

During the conference, students were given opportunities to pitch round sessions, run business and marketing simulations, and run marketing strategy sessions. All of these were designed to give students practice, exposure to real world situations, and interactions with industry professionals. The students’ work was strictly evaluated and rated. Awards were given to the top performers and several corporate sponsors awarded scholarship stipends. Temple University won Second Place in the Marketing Week Competition, Saint Joseph’s University received an Honorable Mention for Marketing Week Activities, and students from the University of Pennsylvania won awards in Diversity Leadership, Social Impact, and Marketing Scholarship.

Philly Students Impress Amazon

Temple University also won the Case Study Competition this year, in which 105 schools participated. In this competition, marketing professionals volunteer to judge the students’ work and provide valuable real-world experience and feedback.

In the fall before the Conference, students work on a case study of the Conference’s sponsor company (for 2022, it was Amazon Prime Student). They then submit their plans at the beginning of December. After a month of blind judging, the finalists are announced at the end of January. On the first day of the Conference, finalists present to the sponsor company itself.

These final presentations are usually 25 minutes long, and the judges are blind as to which schools the presenters belong to. The next day, the winning team as selected by the sponsor company is announced. This year, Philadelphia’s own AMA Temple University Chapter was the winner.

Thompson had this to say about their work: “You should see what the students do! Each school has to do research to solve certain issues and put together a plan based on their learnings. They are about 40 pages long. It’s very comprehensive.”

Afterwards, Amazon invited the Temple University students to present to a few of the executives in the company; they were impressed with the numbers the students presented. 

“The numbers the students came up with were close to what the company has internally,” said Thompson.” Also, some of the issues the students identified are what the company is actually dealing with right now.“

Young Marketers Understand Digital ROI

AMA’s goal is to keep young marketing students active in the organization throughout the different stages of their careers, and to let seasoned marketers know what they can expect from them. 

“Students going to school now are well versed in modern marketing, “ explains Thompson. “When I was starting out, there wasn’t any digital marketing, or it was just beginning. These students know how to maximize the power of digital media and which platform reaches which group. Companies would be pleasantly surprised as to how much they know and how they would benefit a company. Senior professionals often ask, ‘Is there really ROI on digital?’ Students and new grads can show them that they just need to get started and can figure it out from there.” 

For a complete list of the 2022 AMA Collegiate Awards, go to :


Save The Date for the 2023 AMA International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans, March 30 – April 1, 2023!