JMU students completed a ninth consecutive year participating in the Google Challenge (GOMC) at James Madison University. There were some big changes to MKTG 477 in 2016. As you can see from our traditional year-end class photo below, the most notable change was a larger class size compared to years past. Another change was that every student in the Class of 2016 earned their AdWords certification by March 1. Almost all of these students will be graduating from JMU this Friday. I wish them all the very best as they leave their roles as students and begin new phases of their lives as marketing professionals. I hope in some way I have made a meaningful difference in how they choose to approach their new role.
On behalf of the 25 students from the JMU GOMC Class of 2016, we are grateful to the many supporters for the MKTG 477 course.
We owe a debt of gratitude to Google for running the Challenge each year. There is no other educational experience quite like the GOMC. Between the AdWords Business component and the optional Social Media Marketing component using Google+, students get eight weeks worth of planning, executing, and analyzing a digital marketing experience while working with actual clients and a real budget. I have always said “they [Google] don’t call it a challenge for nothing” and this year was no exception. All teams faced unique hurdles, but that is something I appreciate, expect, and respect about the GOMC. I consistently hear from alums how they didn’t realize at that time how the JMU GOMC experience had a major role in starting their growth into the marketing professionals they are today.
Thank you to five non-profit organizations that served as clients for JMU. Thank you for putting your trust in JMU students to take over your Google+ accounts for social media marketing and for giving them a chance to explore how AdWords can help to meet your organization’s goals. In the end, we hope that your participation in the GOMC advanced your marketing goals a bit further.
Thank you to our agency partners from firms in Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Richmond, Alexandria, Baltimore, and Philadelphia for providing guest speakers, career opportunities, scholarships, prizes, company swag, and networking opportunities. We are grateful for your continuous and enthusiastic support of the educational mission at JMU.
Thank you to 25 dedicated JMU GOMC alumni who served as mentors for the Class of 2016. I am confident that your friendship and support meant so much to the students while they were on their GOMC journey.
Finally, a belated thanks to the 16 mentors from our 2015 pilot test of the professional mentor program. Because of your successful work, the professional mentor program is now a permanent part of all future MKTG 477 classes.