Doug Berger talks with Terri L. Bartlett, President of the DMEF
Tell us about today’s marketing student.
As DMEF carries out its mission, we don’t target only marketing students. We also seek out talented students in other areas, including PR/communications, economics, finance, and design, among others,
as each is a rich pool for potential talent. In addition, today’s students are digital natives. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re well-grounded in incorporating digital into marketing. So, we present programs designed to bridge the digital gap between students and the marketplace.
How does DMEF help today’s students become tomorrow’s industry leaders?
Last year, our Board approved a new strategic plan. Within that plan, we visually identified what DMEF is: We act as a funnel, attracting the largest number of students to direct/interactive marketing. Through numerous programs,we narrow down who the top students are, so, at the end of that funnel, we help place the best and the brightest students in our field.
At this funnel’s largest end are our Student Career Forums, one- or half-day programs that last year introduced more than 400 students to our field. The next level is our Collegiate ECHO Marketing Challenge, which engages hundreds of students and faculty in marketing campaigns.
We offer scholarships. Students apply, and we carefully vet them to assess their commitment to this field. Taking it a step further, we offer the Interactive Marketing Immersion Xperience, or I-MIX, an intensive, one-week program that delivers industry knowledge to highly motivated juniors and seniors and provides them networking exposure to successful business people.
The Next Generation Leaders is our premier program. It offers applicants – recent graduates who represent the cream of the crop – the opportunity to acquire valuable work experience during a 12-month rotating residency program. Our associates receive exceptional training through two or three assignments – six or four months at each participating company. And the companies gain new ideas and momentum from these exceptional students.
How can marketers support DMEF’s work?
There are a number of ways, but I’ll focus on two. We offer sponsorship opportunities for our awards dinners and various student programs, including those I’ve mentioned and our recently relaunched Professor’s Institute.
Importantly, there’s general giving, which can be done on a corporate or individual level. Certainly, we welcome contributions to our scholarship funds. This year, we plan to award $125,000 to worthy students, up from $85,000 last year.
What does your DMCNY membership provide DMEF?
The DMCNY, the organization as well its individual members, has been incredibly supportive of DMEF. This kind of closeness and camaraderie is invaluable. In fact, for a nonprofit organization like DMEF that’s dependent on contributions and in-kind donations, the DMCNY’s longstanding support simply cannot be quantified – nor can our appreciation of the Club and its members.
The Direct Marketing Educational Foundation (DMEF) works to attract,educate, and place college students in direct/interactive marketing careers, thereby expanding and enriching the talent pool of trained, market-ready marketers. Posting’s Doug Berger spoke with DMEF President Terri L. Bartlett.