Class Watch: Google Marketing (IST 402)
The IST College plays host to all sorts of alluring classes. Among these jewels, I was lucky enough to be enrolled in IST 402 during this past Spring semester. Depending on the semester, IST 402 has multiple focuses, sometimes with multiple classes each covering a different topic. In the past, topics have included database design and storage architecture, among other things. But every Spring semester since 2008, the College of IST has offered a 402 class based on internet marketing.
The class, The Google Online Marketing Challenge, revolves around an international competition of the same name. The class is make up of 10 teams of 5 people, with a world renown internet search and marketing Professor. Dr. Jim Jansen developed a curriculum around the Google Challenge after he became involved in the academic panel of the competition.
The goal of the competition and class was to match up with local businesses and create a online marketing plan based on their business goals. Partnerships were established with local business and entities like The Bicycle Shop and the Smeal MBA Program. After weeks of instruction and planning, each team was allotted $200.00 by Google to run a 21 day e-marketing campaign.
Lectures and campaign planning sessions were supplemented by a variety of fantastic speakers from industry-leading companies. Many IST 402 students were even able to network with these speakers to attain interviews for internships and full time positions. The class was even visiting by the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile crew.
In additional to the international competition, the class had a local competition between the 10 teams. Sponsored by the College of IST, Smeal College of Business and Impaqt (Search Engine Marketing Agency), prizes were given out to the top three teams at a celebratory dinner at the Tavern.
Results of the international competition will be announced in late summer or fall. Winners will be selected from different geographic locations by academics specializing in internet marketing. The top three winners from each location will get to travel to Mountain View, California to the Google Campus for free. During the Spring 2008 IST 402, one team from Penn State placed first in the “Americas” geographic location and were flew out to California for free. The Penn State team got to meet Google employees and were awarded Apple Macbooks.
Students of all majors are welcome to enroll in the class. In fact, my favorite part was being on a team made up of IST, Marketing, Economics and Finance majors. We were able to pool our assorted skills to make a fantastic campaign. Interested students can find Dr. Jansen’s contact information on his website, here. Please contact Dr. Jansen when you schedule for the Spring 2010 semester.
Have you taken a cool class? Let us know in the comments!