You may remember from my previous blogs that I am a member of our university’s AMA club. AMA stands for the American Marketing Association, which is an organization that provides professional growth opportunities for members through chapter activities, competitions, corporate visits, guest speakers, community service events and interaction with other chapters in the region and country. Chapter members are able to network with other people involved in these events and prepare for the real world after graduation.
I returned a few days ago from the AMA International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans and wow, did I learn a lot and experienced a lot. Let me just say this, I honestly did not understand fully how important and well-rounded the American Marketing Organization was until I came to this conference. I always understood the importance and the meaning behind it, but this competition and conference changed my entire perspective. It was well-organized and contained events focused on everyone’s growth in the marketing world.
Out of several competition options, I decided to participate in the “Perfect Pitch” event. The Perfect Pitch means you have 90 seconds or less to present yourself in front of a panel of people, and explain to the judges why you would be a perfect fit for their company. I had this thing down, remembered a script and was good with it. And of course, two days before my competition, I thought it would be an awesome idea to change it. I just knew what I had come up with would be the winning pitch, for sure.
Here’s what I learned – don’t do that! I got up there, started so strong, and about 30 seconds in I blanked. I didn’t stop, I just wrapped it up and said have a nice day. What I can take from this is that my new pitch is gold, and keep that for future competitions. But what I need to do differently is practice the crap out of it. Next year for the conference, I plan to enter a few other competitions, hoping my confidence goes up as my experience grows.
Moving on to the better parts of the trip, I ate the best seafood of my life. If you want to know how to make Mayce happy, you give her some Cajun crab legs and fried green tomatoes with crawfish sauce, preferably on the balcony of a French Quarter corner restaurant basking in the sun. Coming back to Ohio with a little sunburn on my shoulders got me through the second week of classes. The all-around atmosphere of New Orleans and the culture of the city was nothing like you could experience anywhere else – at least from where I have been to. I did not get to experience even a quarter of what I wanted to, but I will say I had the time of my life.
I know what you are thinking – so what did I think of Bourbon Street? Honestly, it did not smell as bad as everyone said it would! Oh, believe me, I witnessed some things I wish my eyes never got the chance to see, but that’s part of the experience and boy have I got stories to tell. I listened to some of the best music and saw the most amazing art. The best part it? I experienced it all with some of the best people I have ever met. That made the whole experience so much better.
The lesson learned here is: don’t eat salmon at the awards banquet, because you will find out the hard way that you’re allergic to it. Shout out to Rebecca Metras at www.rsmartist.comfor taking some awesome pictures during the trip, and for dealing with me being picky about the ones with me in it.
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