A big highlight each and every semester for the students of the A.C. Nielsen Center is the two-day External Advisory Board meeting. For about 24 hours, top professionals in the marketing research industry come to Madison to discuss the current status and future opportunities for the Center. The Nielsen Center’s board meeting is very rewarding for the students as it gives us time to network with those currently in great positions within our industry.
The activities started at a networking lunch on Thursday where everyone re-introduced themselves and updated others on what has happened since the last meeting in the fall. Then it was straight into the meeting where there was a lot of discussion on where the center currently stands and where we should direct it in the future. This is a unique aspect as students are encouraged to participate in this discussion and help brainstorm how to help the program continually evolve and improve. We were all treated to a great presentation from Professor Noah Lim, who talked about very interesting research regarding how to properly structure sales teams. After the meeting, it was time for some fun starting with speed networking, which allows students to quickly catch up or meet with many of the board members in a short amount of time.
The spring EAB meeting is special as with the end of dinner comes the presentation of the coveted Bob Drane and Janet Christopher award. This year Peter Wierenga deservingly won the award for all his hard work and dedication to the Center over the last two years. Finally, on Friday there was the always popular industry sharing hour and alumni spotlight, which was a great addition this year, allowing us students and members of the board to hear about one of our own alums out in the real world.
The EAB is so generous in their time given to mentoring students in addition to all the work they do to help the program continue to be the premier place to study marketing research. I am thankful for all the time I have had to develop relationships and learn from those in the industry in which I am about to enter.