Student Voice: Making a Real Difference

MBA student Alexis Mariani shares her experience with a hands-on consulting project

When my team and I began working on our project for Triad Adult & Pediatric Medicine (TAPM), we really did not know what to expect. Our assignment in Brand Management (MBA 731) was to develop an implementable brand awareness strategy and promotions campaign for a company with a unique marketplace offering. While I can’t speak for my teammates, I didn’t think we would be making a measurable difference. I understood that this assignment addressed real world applications of course material, but it ended up becoming much more than I anticipated.

Presenters speaking on their projects results in a classroom.

Triad Adult & Pediatric Medicine is an FQHC (Federally Qualified Health Center), with offices in Guilford and Rockingham Counties, North Carolina. Their friendly staff go out of their way to help and provide for their patients, making the community their family and their practices a home. Within our class, there were three teams who were assigned to tackle TAPM’s brand awareness strategy. About a third of the way into the semester, Michelle Lewis, CEO of Triad Adult & Pediatric Medicine, was invited as guest speaker to present us with issues the company had been facing and the questions they needed answers to. It was after Mrs. Lewis’ presentation that we were informed two of the three teams were to be chosen to present to TAPM’s Board of Directors. This changed everything.

For this project, I was very lucky to have such a great team to work with. We really played off of each other’s strengths and weaknesses and always brainstormed together when tackling our strategy for TAPM. We knew we had to stay within the bounds of what the company was capable in doing in terms of scope and financials. This, I believe, is what made our brand awareness strategy so successful when we finally presented it to Mrs. Lewis a few weeks later. We could tell she was impressed with the strategies presented by all three teams and we were humbled when our team was chosen to present our strategy to the Board.

The day of the presentation arrived and I had never felt so nervous before. My team and I walked into the conference room and I was even more anxious as TAPM employees also began to take their seats. What if the Board did not like what we had to say? What if they thought our strategy wasn’t good enough? My worries soon vanished as we began our presentation and faces around the room began to light up. It was then that I realized, my team and I were the experts and the room was hanging on our every word. The gratitude we received for our work made me feel so lucky to have had this experience.

To learn so much and be able to really apply it in order to make a difference in the lives of great people and a great company.