Whitman Clubs Complement Classroom Learning With Real-World Skills
Learning does not begin or end in the classroom at the Martin J. Whitman School of Management. That commitment comes shining through in the form of various clubs and organizations that support students’ majors and other interests through alumni connections, hands-on skill building, networking, internships, travel and other opportunities that offer real-world competencies that make Whitman School students job-ready.
PULP: Squeezing out the Meaning of Marketing
Marketing is often one of those terms that means different things to different people. Is it sales? Is it branding? Is it public relations? The Whitman School’s PULP Marketing Club, along with classroom learning, helps alleviate the confusion by giving students a broad overview of the different aspects of marketing that can include elements of digital marketing, public relations, social media marketing and marketing strategy.
PULP presents a new topic weekly, and attendees are primarily Whitman School students, although others come from around the University with majors that range from psychology to music. Meetings are invaluable to students, as they test the waters of marketing for the future, seek out ways to develop their own professional brand and discover that marketing has a long reach.
“I wanted a major in marketing, so I joined. I was surprised to see that PULP was getting a lot of great speakers who were very knowledgeable.” - Kaviyan Deenathayalapandian ’22
Esther Shmagin ’19, a dual marketing and psychology major, as well as co-president of PULP, got involved with the club as a sophomore when it was called the American Marketing Association. She noticed that the culture was rather isolated, with members quickly coming into meetings to ask questions, then leaving. Shmagin decided to get more involved and, along with Co-president Lucas Krupkin ’20, changed the club’s culture so it evolved away from only theory and toward ethical discussions, networking, an exchange of ideas among members and opportunities to bring in interesting speakers from all aspects of the marketing profession.
Kaviyan Deenathayalapandian ’22 was eager to get involved in PULP during his first semester at the Whitman School.
“I wanted a major in marketing, so I joined,” he said. “I was surprised to see that PULP was getting a lot of great speakers who were very knowledgeable.”
The club held his interest so much that he is now the vice president of public outreach and social media.
“I’ve come to appreciate how creative (marketing) can really be and how people come up with research about what brands should do in order to move forward and show what they want to represent,” said Deenathayalapandian. “I walk away from some of our speakers thinking, ‘This was truly inspirational,’ and it’s starting to prepare me for the long term.”
Business Analytics: Calculating a New Way of Doing Business
Part of the experiential learning philosophy at the Whitman School is keeping pace with the needs and changes of the business world. With that in mind, new clubs form regularly to align with student interests and curriculum changes. The Whitman School recently added a master’s degree in business analytics, as big data and statistically driven business planning have become a popular career paths for many. With that came interest from Whitman School graduate students to create a corresponding club to network with professionals in the field, including Syracuse University alumni, and develop specific software skills needed to be job-ready.
The club has approximately 120 members, many of whom are international students; those from the University’s School of Information Studies are also welcome.
“Data is the new way of doing business.” - Vaibhav Maheshwary ’19 M.S.
When the club first began, it brought in local analysts to speak, but soon members were asking for an even greater reach. Then-President Tamara Seredneva ’19 M.S. started cold-calling people in the field and working with Whitman School faculty, and soon the Business Analytics Club was bringing in a wider array of speakers — in person and through conference calls — from places like Ernst & Young and Facebook. The club also began offering more networking opportunities, software workshops and the ability to become Excel-certified, while also creating valuable connections with those working in the field.
Vaibhav Maheshwary ’19 M.S. took over as the club’s president in January. His goal is to offer members the information and practice they need to be competitive in this rapidly evolving field.
“Data is the new way of doing business,” said Maheshwary. “It’s still a fairly new field, however, so we will continue to bring in new speakers and create ways for Whitman School students to connect to those working in business analytics and to develop the skills they need to pursue their careers.”
Women in Business: Empowering Females by Example
Despite the name, the Whitman School’s Women in Business Club is not only for women; men are welcome, too. In fact, the membership is split about 50/50. However, the primary objective of this organization is to promote women’s advancement in the corpo-rate world through efforts focused on social and economic empowerment, professional growth and a strong network of female business leaders, including University alumni.
Mariam Kvantaliani ’19 MBA has been the club’s president for the past year. A Fulbright Scholar, her Fulbright mission is to increase multicultural understanding and gain leadership skills, something that fits in nicely with her work with the Whitman School’s Women in Business. While the club was established for graduate students, it welcomes undergraduates and others from Syracuse University schools and colleges to its meeting and leadership sessions.
As the club’s president, Kvantaliani works with members to create contacts and establish connections with established female profes-sionals, noting that students are motivated when they hear speakers’ stories of their challenges and how they overcame them.
The highlight of the club’s yearly activities involves sending several members to the Annual Dynamic Women in Business Conference held at Harvard Business School. This year, eight female club members from the Whitman School attended and had the opportunity to network with powerful professional women and hear dynamic speakers that included keynote Shan-Lyn Ma, CEO and co-founder of wedding planning company Zola; Beverly Anderson, executive vice president of cards and retails services at Wells Fargo; Berta de Pablos-Barbier, chief category officer at Mars Wrigley Confectionary; and a panel on diversity and inclusion with representatives from Booz Allen Hamilton, TIAA and State Street Corporation.
Women in Business is a testament to the support female students receive from the Whitman School, articulating the idea that they can contribute to ensuring that it’s no longer just a man’s world, particularly in the various fields of business. The club’s opportunities complement classroom learning with skills, connections and opportunities that, according to Kvantaliani “are really empowering.”
TAMID: Emphasizing the Value of Team Work, Hands-On Experience in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv, Israel, has the largest collection of startup capital outside of Silicon Valley, California, and students at the Whitman School are given the opportunity to tap into this invaluable resource and work with startup companies through a relatively new club on campus called TAMID.
TAMID (Hebrew for eternal) is a national nonprofit that supports 53 chapters at colleges and universities around the world. The Whitman School is one of its newest, according to chapter President Nicholas Tramposch ’21, a dual major in finance and biotechnology. The organization allows Whitman School students to be involved in an interactive educational program that demonstrates business leadership principles. Membership allows students to join consulting teams that advise Israeli startups — ranging from biotech, artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud computing and more — or conduct equity research and manage stock portfolios.
According to Tramposch, members are in classes all week, so the Whitman School’s TAMID chapter shies away from heavy lectures or rote learning. Instead, the group encourages experiential learning, including creating stock pitches and consulting on projects, with a heavy emphasis on teamwork. There are approximately 70 members in the Whitman School chapter, including students with backgrounds in engineering, education and arts and sciences — adding an extra layer of diverse knowledge to the teams.
“It’s not the standard learning environment but a form of education through experiences,” Tramposch explained. “We learn by doing and seeing.”
Each year, teams submit anywhere from 10 to 15 stock pitches and consulting projects to TAMID’s national chapter, which sends along the best to various startups. This allows TAMID members to better understand how big deci-sions are made at startups and how they manage and use their resources. Last year, the Whitman School’s TAMID presented a stock pitch to the national group’s portfolio that was ultimately purchased by Intel.
In addition, members can apply for an eight-week internship experience in Israel, where they receive hands-on learning with startups, see some of the sights and learn about Israeli’s economic landscape. While it’s a highly competitive process, Tramposch is optimistic that the Whitman School will be represented in this summer’s group.
“Whitman produces excellent students, which is one of the reasons we are excited to see new minds join our team and see how they are able to contribute.” - Nicholas Tramposch ’21
“Immersion is really important,” he said. “There is a tremendous emphasis not on who or where an idea comes from but from the quality of the ideas themselves. Companies that participate appreciate that and recognize that even interns can make valuable contributions.”
Tramposch is excited to see how TAMID will evolve at the Whitman School. “Our chapter is new and just starting out, so we are very excited to see how far we can go,” he said. “Whitman produces excellent students, which is one of the reasons we are excited to see new minds join our team and see how they are able to contribute. We’re team players at Whitman. We know we can go far alone, but we also go much further together.”
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