Abby Sharpe ’19, Oxbow, N.D.
Major: Business-Marketing

It’s senior year and I could not be more excited about my business marketing major and all the possibilities after graduation.

Coming in as a freshman, I declared as a business major and by sophomore year I decided on a marketing concentration.

To me, marketing is the perfect mixture of personal interactions and logistical planning. I love the creativity involved with marketing. The challenge of always thinking of new ways to reach your target market, or even new ways to reach a new segment of the market, is constantly intriguing. It can be tough, but the stimulation and innovation it comes with are so engaging.

One of my favorite classroom experiences so far at Concordia was during my Principles of Marketing and Sales class when we had the chance to create our own product and market it to a group of buyers.

My team created a board/mobile music game called CardTunes. Not only did we come up with an idea, but we also had the challenge of developing an entire marketing plan – one that outlined our brand and position within the marketplace, our competitors, our target audience, our social media goals, and advertising and buzz marketing strategies.

All of this information needed to be accurate, organized and in a context that our potential investors would understand. We presented to six “sharks,” in reference to the television show “Shark Tank.” Our sharks took this seriously as they were business professionals from the community brought in by our professor. They analyzed our companies and products to the smallest detail, determining if we would be worth the investment.

This project put us in the position to present a business proposal where our success was based on the sharks’ interest in investing in our product. We researched, brainstormed and worked together to put forward the best product we could with the best marketing plan to support it. It was real-world grading and our group found success. We received support and investment from all six sharks.

While this experience was challenging, it showed me how much I could enjoy a future job in marketing. I got to experience the ups and downs that come with the work, including collaborating with others and blending our ideas into one, organizing and planning with a variety of moving pieces involved, and actually putting it all together to sell our idea to potential investors.

Another class I had the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in was Global Marketing, which I took while studying abroad in Sweden. In this class, we created our own brand and branding strategy. We worked together in our groups to merge our idea into one solid company and present the goals, plans, product and personality of our brand.

I worked with two girls from Austria, which opened my eyes to how marketing can vary across the world and allowed me to see from new perspectives. They had very different ideas from me, varying work processes and new ways of approaching problems. Working together in a culture other than my own, with people from different backgrounds to create one cohesive idea, was such a great learning opportunity for me.

I’m really looking forward to my research-based classes, including Consumer Behavior and Marketing Research, to gain more insight and experience as I prepare for graduation and job applications.

And while I have loved my marketing-focused classes, the great part about being a business major at Concordia is the opportunity to get your feet wet in all aspects, from economics to finance to information systems. It’s such a diverse field and being able to develop a well-rounded understanding is so valuable.

As a senior looking at my final year, postgraduation plans can be scary but also very exciting. After four years at Concordia, I feel prepared to go on and do something I have come to love through my courses, peers and mentors.