Gaining Skills While Giving Back


Update, September 11 2013: The Tippie MBA is a finalist for a U.S. Search Award for this project. Best of luck to the team in their quest for the prize!


What does an MBA program do when the business landscape is changing faster than textbooks can be written and professors can develop new course structures?

At Tippie, the academy structure allows students to find real-world projects in their areas of concentration as a way to gain practical experience in new skills. It also allows organizations to take on projects that they otherwise would not have the time or expertise to accomplish.

The Tippie Marketing Academy worked with the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT), a Chicago nonprofit focused on urban sustainability.

We saw this project through from beginning to end, starting with the application for a Google Grant, which allows nonprofit organizations up to $10,000 in Adwords spending per month. We used this grant to set up a number of Google Adwords campaigns in hopes of driving more traffic to the site.

Each member of our 5-person team was responsible for developing advertising campaigns for a specific portion of the organization’s website.

Throughout the project we were able to develop and test our hypotheses for what drove traffic to the CNT website. We each created a number of campaigns, ads, and keywords. Along the way we tracked the effectiveness of specific ads and worked as a group to determine best practices.

The project was a great chance to expand our skills beyond what we learn in the classroom. We developed tangible and marketable skills for our future and valuable assets for future employers.

Our group was able to help improve the reach of the Center for Neighborhood Technology. By creating this program from scratch, we were able to provide the organization with manpower and expertise in areas where it was needed most.

The project was a great opportunity for Tippie marketing students to gain valuable skills that are only learned through helping real organizations solve real problems.

It was a mutually beneficial partnership and is just one example of the way that Tippie students find innovative ways to build their skills and give back to the community at the same time.



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