Business students win social media competition
When four students from UW-Eau Claire entered the Halliburton Social Media Competition earlier this semester, their eyes weren’t necessarily on the prize.
“As a marketing major, I (was thinking) of my resume and how it would look,” senior Valentina Rangel said.
But when the results came back last week, Rangel and fellow seniors Stephanie Moran, Abby Eddy and Kristen Mitrenga beat undergraduate and graduate schools from across the nation to win the 2012 competition.
The race for the finish line started when the group was determined to make a project worth winning the competition. Mitrenga said she had some good incentives to work with this group along the way as well.
“Professor (Charles) Tomkovick offered us extra credit and also said that the winning prize would be an iPad,” she said.
Tomkovick, a marketing professor, proposed the project idea to his classes. He has previously worked with Halliburton and knew that the Eau Claire campus could compete with anyone.
“We always know we can compete well, but it is always nice when you have external judges saying, ‘Hey you guys are pretty good,’” he said.
Tomkovick also said he was proud of the winning team, as well as all the teams who entered the competition.
“They took this charge and independently organized their work,” he said. “This was work outside of class in a winner-take-all competition.”
The competition included the four students competing against 20 other teams comprised of undergraduate and graduate students from Eau Claire, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, University of Houston and Rice University. Their initial proposal defined their social media plan, a financial analysis and overall company impact.
After they advanced to the finals competing against one team from Eau Claire and three others from different schools, she said they wrote a proposal, which included how to implement their plan. This included a significant cost and financial analysis, a description of the type of team needed to implement the social media campaign and a plan for involving the entire company of Halliburton.
Mitrenga said the preparation took a conference call from other experts who helped implement the groups’ ideas into a concrete plan and gave it direction.
“We are all marketing majors, so we all have some sort of idea of what a campaign is and social media planning is,” Rangel added.
Tomkovick said Halliburton picked social media because they realized how important it is to get to the sources and consumers, while Rangel added the companies will be implementing their ideas over the new few years.
Tomkovick thought the success of these Eau Claire students speaks volume for the University.
“This award is so special because it is external validation that Eau Claire students can compete at the highest levels with great business students across the United States.”