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Marketing superstars head for the halls of FSB

By Katie M. Taylor
On January 24, 2013

A new event is presenting business students with the unique opportunity to meet a group of highly successful marketing minds from Fortune 500 companies, brought together by their shared background-Miami University.

According to Bob Dahlstrom, Seibert Professor and chair of the marketing department, all students are welcome to attend the event, Miami Rocks Marketing, which will take place Feb. 15 in the Farmer School of Business (FSB).

The event is the result of brainstorming done by three Miami alumni, CMO Network Editor at Forbes Jenny Rooney, Chief Marketing Officer for Rockfish Interactive Dave Knox, and Senior VP and Global CMO of Beam Kevin George.

According to Rooney, the event provides a way for her to give back to the university, a place she recently referred to as "the Cradle of Marketers" in a piece she wrote for Forbes.

"There are a lot of Miami graduates who are in high-ranking marketing roles now both on the client side and the agency side," Rooney said. "It just became very clear that there was an opportunity to bring them all back to campus and assemble them all in one place, and that their collective expertise would provide a great learning opportunity for current Miami business students."

Dahlstrom said the event grew beyond initial expectations.

"The goal was to have people who are chief marketing officers of Fortune 500 companies that are Miami alums come back," Dahlstrom said. "So, we started with four companies and then the word got out ..."

Miami will play host to marketing minds from a list of well-established companies including, but not limited to, Kellogg, Beam, Louisville Slugger and Yahoo. According to Dahlstrom, president of Twitter Adam Bain, will be among them.

"We're really juiced up about it because getting these kinds of people in the room is rare," Dahlstrom said. "The idea that students are going to actually get to talk to these guys, to be able to have lunch with them, to be able to find out what they think is where the markets go."

Dahlstrom said the day-long event will consist of multiple parts in which students will meet the panel of alumni, be presented with several mini cases and work in groups to come up with solutions, present those solutions, and discuss what awaits them after college.

According to Dahlstrom, Miami Rocks Marketing's interactive style will give business students an opportunity to use their knowledge and gain experience.

"If you learn by doing, you learn a lot more when you're asked to do a project rather than just to report on what others have done," Dahlstrom said.

The experience will also provide students and alumni with a great networking opportunity according to Dahlstrom.

"The primary purpose is for everyone to network, for our students to get an opportunity to meet with executives," Dahlstrom said. "It's an opportunity for these executives to meet one another."

Knox stressed the importance of making connections in the business world, and credited much of his success to networking.

"When I look at my career, it has been the networks and relationships that I've formed that have been more valuable than probably anything else to help me get to the place I'm at, and many of those relationships started at Miami," Knox said.

According to Knox, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity that Miami students will be lucky enough to experience every year.

"Business conferences that would charge thousands of dollar to attend would be ecstatic for the chance to have the CMO of Beam, president of Twitter, all these amazing people attending," Knox said. "Yet Miami students get a chance to attend it for free, and get to meet these amazing alumni who definitely have a stake in helping Miami students succeed."

Rooney said she urges all students to jump on the rare opportunity while they have the chance.

"I would strongly encourage students to go in and really realize what they're getting is a fantastic and fabulous panel of really the best marketing talent out there right now."

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