Our Trip to Four Businesses in Kansas City

Last week, sixteen of our University of Iowa American Marketing Association members travelled to Kansas City, MO marketing agencies for our Spring 2015 Professional Trip. Every semester, AMA members look forward to getting the chance to tour and meet one-on-one with top marketing companies, and this semester’s professional trip did not disappoint.


Our trip began early morning on Thursday, March 26 and our first stop was to the vibrant headquarters for Barkley, an independent marketing agency. Barkley is the largest employee-owned advertising agency in the U.S. and works with clients like Dairy Queen, Vanity Fair, and Spirit. AMA had the opportunity to meet with recruiting manager, Jennifer Karns, and HR coordinator, Heather Giarratana, to ask questions about the work that Barkley does and about internship and full-time job opportunities that are available. We especially loved the tour of Barkley’s open floor plan and the inside peek to strategy, creative, and social media departments.

After a great start to the trip with a visit to Barkley, AMA took time to wander around Kansas City’s Power and Light District and built up quite an appetite. We grabbed a bite to eat at BRGR Kitchen + Bar (more like giant mouthfuls of delicious burgers and classic American meals) and then headed back to our hotel to prepare for the next day of visits.


Our second day started out with a bang as we met with the entire team from BIGSHOT Inbound who specialize in inbound marketing-based strategies for the healthcare industry. AMA members took shifts meeting with BIGSHOT members from each department and had the opportunity to explore what each department does on a daily basis. Our members were ecstatic about getting to talk to each department one-on-one and had a lot of fun doing so!

AMA’s third stop was to Hint, a digital content and strategic marketing group that has an impressive portfolio including work for LinkedIn, Apple and H&R Block. Our members took a tour of Hint’s office and even got to steal a sneak peek at their “Bloody-Merry-Go-Rounds” that they created for the Kansas City Design Week. Afterwards, Hint’s Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Growth, Dan Barker, met with the group to discuss the projects that are currently being worked on and gave honest and insightful advice to our graduates that were soon to be entering the workforce.

What’s a trip to Kansas City without tasting some amazing BBQ? After our stops to BIGSHOT Inbound and Hint, AMA stopped by the legendary and original Arthur Bryant’s for the best pulled pork and burnt ends sandwiches around. After refueling with some awesome grub, we headed out to our final stop.

On our way out of Kansas City, we met with Don Costante, Event Presentation and Production Specialist from the Constante Group, at Kauffman Stadium. Our members got an inside look to what the marketing team for the Kansas City Royals are currently working on as well as a VIP tour of the stadium. We were even allowed into the stadium’s control room, the Royals Hall of Fame, and on the field!

It’s safe to say that our Spring 2015 Professional Trip was a huge success. AMA truly appreciates all of the companies that met with us during our trip and showed us such hospitality. Our members learned many things about each company and gained some great tips on searching and interviewing for marketing positions. We hope to see everyone again when AMA comes back to Kansas City!


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