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Aaron Anderson

Chicago Field Trip

by Aaron Anderson Monday, December 12, 2011

We took our second field trip of the year in early November.  We visited the McDonald’s headquarters in Oakbrook, IL and the McKinsey & Company offices in downtown Chicago.  At the McDonald’s office two A.C. Nielsen Center alums walked us through the menu development research process.  We had the opportunity to understand the focus group research that went into launching the new fruit and maple oatmeal breakfast item.  Every class member was offered a sample of the product and we were able to order lunch from the office’s own internal McDonald’s restaurant.  The tour concluded with a class picture aside the iconic Ronald McDonald statue.

Chicago Field Trip 

The A.C. Nielsen Center at McDonald’s headquarters in Oak Brook, IL

Our next stop was downtown at the McKinsey & Co. Chicago office.  John Copeland, a member of the A.C. Nielsen Center External Advisory Board, hosted our class for a presentation on the company, a day in the life of a McKinsey consultant and a series of case studies.  It was a wonderful opportunity to see strategic marketing research applied in the context of large scale client engagements.  For me the presentation highlight was the case study involving a large scale multi-country pharmaceutical user segmentation study.

Chicago Field Trip

The A.C. Nielsen Center at McKinsey & Company in Chicago, IL

Following the McKinsey visit we checked into our hotel rooms downtown, which was just a 10 minute walk away from our alumni happy hour location.  As students streamed over to the Sidebar Grille we were joined by alumni that work in the area.  This was a great networking opportunity that helped students learn more about the real-world experiences Nielsen Center alumni have post-graduation.  The evening was full of good company, delightful conversation and of course plenty of food and libations.

The trip constituted a wonderful introduction to marketing research functions at two leading global companies and helped A.C. Nielsen Center students form tighter bonds.