From left, Sydney Weise, Wilson Tolbert and Jacob Belvin

Competition winners show Marketing Department’s story from student perspective

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When the VCU School of Business wanted a video to promote its Marketing Department, it needed to look no further than its own halls. After all, who better to tell the department’s story than its own students? In addition to living that story, it’s what they’ve trained to do.

Dozens of students competed for the chance to create a 30- to 60-second video telling the Department of Marketing’s story from their own perspectives. The first phase of the project featured a proposal competition in which all marketing students were invited to submit video ideas aimed at promoting the department.

Students formed teams of three and those who submitted a proposal earned extra credit toward a marketing class. The proposals consisted of a theme, objectives, storyboard, and how the proposal fit into the School of Business' EPIC strategy: Experiential Learning, Problem-Solving Curricula, Impactful Research and Creative Culture. Finalists then presented a 10-minute proposal in April to a panel of judges consisting of University Relations staff, Brandcenter faculty, Department of Marketing faculty and an outside marketing professional.

The winning team comprised Jacob Belvin and Sydney Weise, who graduated this spring, and Wilson Tolbert, who graduates in 2018.

VCU School of Business Epic Competition Winner

“Our team wanted to really portray the experience you receive from the Marketing Department at VCU,” Weise said. “Throughout four years in the business school, you experience so much, seek so much opportunity and gain a wide perspective of the world around. We wanted to demonstrate that as a student you are constantly changing, learning and seeing things in a new way — like imagining graffiti up on the wall.” 

Throughout four years in the business school, you experience so much, seek so much opportunity and gain a wide perspective of the world around.

The project was funded through the School of Business’ EPIC initiative and the team worked with Dan Brazda, video production manager in University Relations, to create the video. The students drove the creative design and editing of the video, while Brazda provided advising, equipment and graphic design.

“The students did 90 percent of the work,” Brazda said. “The concept was ambitious given the time restraints and the fact that they were in the middle of finals and working as well. … I was very impressed by their professionalism, creativity and organization in completing the 60-second video promoting the School of Business marketing program.”

In addition to fostering a creative culture, the project allowed students to share their experiences and perceptions of department programs in their own creative ways, said Jodie Ferguson, associate professor and director of the Customer Experience Laboratory, who ran the competition. Additionally, the video project offered hands-on experiential learning and problem-solving components.

“One of the pillars of EPIC is experiential learning,” Ferguson said. “We wanted to give students the opportunity to get real agency experience and to give the students a chance to produce a product for a real client that would actually be used in the real world. University Relations provided the agency experience and the mentoring to help the students produce a high-quality product that we would be proud to use as a promotional tool for the department.”

For its part, University Relations was excited about the idea of working with the marketing students. In fact, in the fall, select marketing students will participate in a new internship class — MKTG 493 — with University Relations.

The video can be seen on the School of Business’ website and social channels.

From pitching to storyboarding to filming to reflecting on how it all went, enjoy this behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the VCU Marketing Promo Video by a group of undergraduate students.


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