Let’s Talk Business

Hands-On Marketing with OVCT Student Samantha Riggs

During the first week of my Marketing class we were assigned a project that was not your typical college assignment. With this project, we had to come up with a product, sell it to our fellow students, and then market the product in the area around us. As we brainstormed on what product we wanted to sell, we also considered a charity to which we could donate our proceeds. The Columbiana County Humane Society was our chosen charity because they agreed to present to our class!

During our meeting with the Humane Society, we had the opportunity to learn more about our county and the organization. Jenny Rukenbrod from the Humane Society visited our classroom and had a lot to say about the animals they care for and protect. After their visit, we knew we wanted to help this great organization!

The next step in our project was trying to figure out what our customers would like to buy and how much they were willing to spend. The best way for us to understand our potential customers was to have the student body complete a survey. Students voted that they wanted us to sell lanyards and really liked the idea of the funds being donated to the Columbiana County Humane Society. Our next step was to develop a marketing plan and strategy.

We planned to sell lanyards during the operating hours of Hangry Helpers (a small café, solely operated by Business Administration students in order to prepare for externship), and to use social media for our marketing. The class created marketing videos, distributed flyers, and talked to local high schools and community organizations about our product.

My personal experience was great! I learned a lot from this project, which will be beneficial to me and my career goals. At the start of the project, we were assigned special jobs and titles that would symbolize our future careers paths and goals. My career plan is to use my Business Administration degree to work in Human Resources because I really enjoy helping others. I was chosen by my peers as the communicator for the project and my duty was the correspondence between our group and the local high schools.

OVCT’s High School Admissions Representative, Monica Allison, assisted us with implementing the project and scheduling our pitch. Multiple college administrators and program directors served as the OVCT decision-making panel. When the plan was approved, I drafted a letter to the campus president requesting final approval and starter funds to initiate the project.

We sold the lanyards during lunch periods at Southern Local High School and were able to visit classrooms and speak with teachers, where we were invited to attend their upcoming District Showcase. This event, held in the high school’s gymnasium, was one of the most successful events for lanyard sales.

This project taught me how to present a successful marketing pitch, how to communicate professionally, and to understand basic accounting principles. This project and OVCT’s Business Administration program have helped me cultivate skills that I did not even know I had!

Business Administration students Samantha Riggs and Breanna Kelly sell lanyards at Southern Local High School to benefit the Columbiana County Humane Society:

OVCT Business

Columbiana County Humane Society Director Jenny Rukenbrod (center) visits our marketing class:

OVCT Marketing Class

For important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended this program CLICK HERE