The Associate: Week Seven

1 05 2010

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“All good things must come to an end” — at first this is how I felt after I heard Alan Wilson, CEO and President of McCormick and Company tell Allison Murray “you’re hired.” Making it through six cases, four interviews, and a handful of all-nighters throughout The Associate competition I felt defeated to find out that I was not “hired.” In my opinion it’s not whether you win or lose, rather how you play the game. Looking back on the entire competition I feel that I still came out a winner. During the competition I managed to learn a great deal about myself and was able to hone my presentation skills, improve my leadership qualities and expand my personal network. I am certain that these will benefit my future career development. For this reason I feel that all good things don’t have to come to an end. The Associate competition provided me with an opportunity to gain exposure in the Greater Baltimore business community and I can leverage this to my advantage during my job search. Aside from the other candidates I don’t think there are many local graduates that can tell the story of the real-world experiences which were gained throughout the competition. This will serve as a competitive advantage in the upcoming weeks when I am going on interviews and speaking with potential employers. Although I haven’t aggressively searched the job market because I’ve focused a great deal of time and energy on the competition, I’d like to think I’ve established a solid network through my involvements in student organizations and from previous internships and jobs. Read the rest of this entry »





The Associate: Week Six

26 04 2010

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This week differed from previous boardroom sessions of as two of the candidates, Justina Whyte and Nicholas Price did not move on in The Associate competition. Advancing to the next round, Allison Murray and myself were presented with the final case from McCormick and Company. It was quite fitting that the final case was on Grill Mates, a sub-brand designed specifically for grilled foods since the entire competition was sponsored by McCormick and Company.

The objective for this case was:

  • Who should the primary consumer be for Grill Mates?

Key questions included, but were not limited to:

  • Should the primary consumer be the male user or the female purchaser?
  • What should the ratio be between the primary and secondary target audiences?
  • How can Grill Mates drive awareness with the selected target audience outside of traditional advertising?

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The Associate: Week Five

19 04 2010

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After the judges determined that Mark Preston would be eliminated from Team R.O.S.E. following the presentation to R2integrated, the four candidates remaining had a short period of time before they reached the next stage of The Associate competition. While the entire competition has been an extremely time intensive process, it felt more so as interviews with the McCormick team were approaching. The following morning Allison Murray, Justina Whyte, Nicholas Price, and myself interviewed with four representatives from various departments within McCormick and Company. This gave the interviewers the opportunity to learn more about the candidates as we gained additional information about the company’s cultures and core values. Read the rest of this entry »





The Associate: Week Four

17 04 2010

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Three cases down and Team R.O.S.E. recently came off a two case win streak. R2integrated, a web marketing and technology firm headquartered in Baltimore, MD presented the fourth case for The Associate competition. R2integrated offers services and solutions that are used in the creation and management of web sites, campaign infrastructures, digital tools, and rich content. I find it quite ironic as this was the second company which presented a case challenge where I have previously interned at.

The objective for this case was:

  • The company would like to expand its available market, both geographically as well as their client profile. The questions are where and how.

Key questions included, but were not limited to:

  • Which geographic markets make the most sense?
  • What type of channel (direct/indirect)?
  • How do they generate awareness and leads in remote locations?
  • How do they support a remote sales effort to close business?

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The Associate: Week Three

3 04 2010

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MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services, LLC presented the third case and the six remaining candidates on The Associate competition would experience long nights and dedicate time for yet another week. The objective for the MacKenzie Healthcare Challenge was:

  • To help medical practices and healthcare firms capture a competitive advantage through site selection and lease negotiation.

The challenge required creating a market analysis for the following eight area hospitals:

  • University of Maryland Medical Center
  • Greater Baltimore Medical Center
  • Franklin Square Hospital
  • St. Joseph Medical Center
  • Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
  • Howard County General Hospital
  • Upper Chesapeake Medical Center
  • Anne Arundel Medical Center

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The Associate: Week Two

10 03 2010

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Two cases down, three more to go, as well as an interview. This is the path that follows until the end of the competition for the remaining six candidates participating on The Associate. This past week both teams were presented with a case from Target Corporation. The objective for the case was:

  • How can Target better utilize technology to innovate their food strategy so their guests think of Target first when it comes to food?

Team R.O.S.E. consisting of myself, Mark Preston, and Justina Whyte came up with a number of solutions for Target Corporation after spending an exhaustive amount of time exploring the company, making onsite visits, speaking with numerous Target team members, as well as conducting online research. Team R.O.S.E. also explored the various technologies that are available on the market before reaching any conclusions and evaluated how realistic these could be implemented in the Target stores nationwide.

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The Associate: Week One

3 03 2010

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There’s a saying “all good things must come to an end.” It seems like this phrase was the case for Team R.O.S.E. after a week of The Associate competition taking place. Team R.O.S.E. (Revealing Opportunities with Strategic Excellence) was comprised of Demontray Hawkins, myself, Mark Preston, and Justina Whyte. We all worked together from last Tuesday until this past Sunday on a case for Kane Construction, Inc. It was an extremely involved case as I personally spent many nights awake until 3:00 or 4:00 AM working on and it felt like everything else was pushed aside. Our team worked extremely well with one another as we devised a marketing strategy for the Kane Construction company, using a “separate but equal” approach. One of the assignments was to determine if the three Kane family business should form a “consolidated” approach or a “separate but equal” approach. The other part of our assignment was to determine how the company should increase their market share in the Baltimore region as they are currently based out of their new headquarters in Gaithersburg, MD.

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