WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., April 25, 2019 — West Liberty University’s Gary E. West College of Business students taking the upper level class of marketing and management learned first hand how to create an effective marketing plan this semester.
“This class offers real life experience for students and gives them a chance to go beyond the textbook,” said Instructor of Marketing Ingrid Loy.
Sixteen students, all juniors or seniors, are enrolled in the class and they compose three marketing teams serving the following local businesses: Ditto Boutique, Family Services of the Upper Ohio Valley and the WLU Incubator.
Ditto Boutique is a repeat boutique located at 1143 National Road, Wheeling and owned by Stacy Dietz and Janice Jones, of Wheeling. Students working on Ditto Boutique marketing plan include Micah Hosfeld, Kayla Hungerman, Kevin Stryker, Bailee Tusick, Tanner Yoho and Mohammed Zouari.
Family Services is a non-profit serving the area for many years offering senior care, counseling, financial management assistance, veterans’ outreach and more. It is located at 2200 Main St., Wheeling. Students assisting in this marketing endeavor include: Isaac Herron, Bethany Lewton, Luca Seisler, Ben Taylor, Anthony Veltri and Hunter Westlake.
The WLU Incubator is run in the Gary E. West College of Business and offers business start-ups a chance to develop and receive certain free advantages. Located in Main Hall, the incubator is an active space with computer resources and advice provided by Dr. Richard Briggs, the director. The student marketing team includes: Grace Bulabula, Kourtney Koscevic, Camilo Moncayo, Matthew Valentine and Mitch Viakley.
“The marketing plans are considered a capstone project and are important classwork for juniors and seniors. It is meant to create a culminating academic experience that offers a taste of career experience that is worthy of resume mention,” Loy added.
The marketing students made their final presentations of the marketing plans that they came up with to a panel of professors who critiqued their work. After that, the students presented these marketing plans to the businesses themselves.
“Getting to work with a real client has been an eye opening experience,” said senior Anthony Veltri, of Weirton.
“Actually going through the ups and downs of the marketing plan process is valuable experience that I can take with me when I graduate. As for the project itself, we believe we have a great strategy to help out Family Service and we’re hopeful our client feels the same.”
Veltri has already secured a full-time job in marketing that he will start after his May 4 Commencement. His team was awarded the first prize among the three capstone project groups after the students were judged by the professors.
Paula Calvert, CEO of Family Service, is pleased with the team’s work and states that she’s looking forward to implementing it soon.
“This has been very valuable to Family Service and I am impressed with the students’ professionalism and ideas. This marketing plan is much needed,” Calvert said.
Mitch Viakley, another student from Weirton, said that the capstone work gave him group work experience that will be valuable after graduation.
“I have gained team work experience and skills from being involved in this capstone group,” Viakley, who was a member of the WLU Incubator group.
“I’m very proud of my students. They’ve taken the challenge and pressed on. If I had a marketing team, I’d have no problem hiring any of them,” Loy said.
Loy herself is a WLU alumna from Wellsburg with lots of experience in business having spent 22 years in industry. She earned both her undergraduate degree in business and her MBA at WLU and was a member of Leadership West Virginia in 2017.
Today WLU offers more than 70 undergraduate majors, plus a growing number of graduate programs including an online MBA. For more information, please call 1.866.937.8542 (WESTLIB), visit westliberty.edu or follow WLU on social media. To view more about WLU, please visit westliberty.edu/youtube.