This post is my shout-out to the DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University. We DeGroote students are lucky to be the beneficiaires of numerous extra-curricular programs offered by the school, such as MARS Apprentice, Focus 2040 and Canada’s Next Top Ad Exec. The program that is nearest and dearest to my heart is MARS Apprentice.
MARS (Marketing, Advertising, Retail and Sales) Apprentice is a five-week intensive business program wherein two teams of six students each compete. The teams develop solutions to a new challenge that is presented to them by industry professionals each week – and they only have six days to research, problem solve and develop ideas! Each week, the teams present their solutions to a panel of industry judges, professors and an audience of 80-100 guests. At the end of the five weeks of competition, the team with the greatest number of winning solutions becomes the ultimate MARS Apprentice with career opportunities, internships, and cash awards on offer.
The competition promises to give participants a taste of the “Real World” and to honour them with “Real Rewards” if they are successful. This promise holds true not only for contestants, but also for the planners of the competition. In my third year, I was a co-chair for MARS Apprentice, and this has proven to be the most valuable take-away from my undergrad career at DeGroote. Having the opportunity to work with fellow students, professors, and sponsor companies to bring all these resources together to create the seventh season of this innovate program was a truly unique and enlightening experience.
Programs like Apprentice bring members of the DeGroote faculty and student body, as well as industry representatives together to form a sense of community that shares a passion for the school, for its programs and for marketing.