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AMA recognized as Top International Collegiate Chapter

| Carrie Ottum

For the third time in the past five years, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire American Marketing Association (AMA) student chapter has been recognized as the "Top International Collegiate Chapter" by the AMA International out of 345 collegiate chapters across North America. 

Carrie Ottum, Outreach Program Manager, interviewed Scott Swanson, UW-Eau Claire AMA faculty advisor, and marketing and management professor, to learn more about the outstanding achievement. 

CO: How is the International Chapter of the Year selected? 

SS:
Each chapter submits a plan in early fall semester for their upcoming year which is followed by a report of their activities in the spring semester. The plan is then judged and scored across several key areas.

CO: What criteria are used for judging and who is involved in the judging/selection process?

SS:
Each chapter submitted materials that are judged over multiple rounds by marketing faculty from universities located primarily in North America. The areas each chapter is judged on include the following areas: community and social impact, fundraising, membership development and activities, internal and external communications, and chapter operations.

CO: What’s next for AMA as the International Collegiate Chapter of the Year?

SS:
The UWEC-AMA chapter has been in the top 10 internationally for the past 12 straight years, and have been recognized as the top International Collegiate Chapter three times during the past five years. The challenge to maintain this level of excellence is substantial as each year the competition gets more intense. What is next? To continue to improve the value proposition for our members. The awards and recognition are wonderful, but at its heart, the UW-Eau Claire AMA is all about providing students with opportunities to improve their marketability by providing opportunities to further develop their knowledge and skills in a nurturing environment that builds lifelong friendships. 

Carrie Ottum also caught up with Madeline Djerf, President of UWEC AMA and a senior digital marketing analytics major from St. Louis Park MN, and Karissa Hilstad, VP of Communications for UWEC AMA and senior human resources major from Owatonna, MN.

CO: As current UW-Eau Claire AMA members, what benefits have you experienced by joining?

MD:
Joining AMA at the beginning of my sophomore year at UWEC has been one of the best decisions I have made during college. I know that without this organization, my college experience would have been entirely different. Since joining, the benefits I have experienced include networking with fellow COB students and faculty, industry professionals, our corporate sponsors and other chapter leaders across the country. Additionally, I have become more confident as a leader and a young professional.

KH:
 I have gained so many amazing things throughout my AMA career. I joined my sophomore year where making friends was my biggest benefit. In my junior year, I was more focused on the professional development aspect from weekly meetings for internship preparation. Now being a senior I have gained an incredible amount of leadership skills that will last me a lifetime. 

CO: What does being named International Chapter of the Year mean to you all? Especially if either of are you graduating this May.

MD: Being named International Chapter of the Year has been my goal the entire year. Last year our chapter was Top 5, which is still an incredible accomplishment, but being Platinum (International Chapter of the Year) status was the next goal. We are continually improving as a chapter and this award recognizes that.  The executive board, our directors, and our general members put in countless hours for this recognition. So to me, it means that all of our hard work paid off. We ended the year in the best possible way, the only thing that would make it better if we could hold face-to-face general meetings to celebrate this win together.

KH: Being International Chapter of the Year still seems surreal to me. I never dreamed that joining an organization on campus would result in so much success three years later. The entire Executive Board has worked incredibly hard the last year to make this happen and I could not be more proud of our team. Considering I am graduating in May, this is a great way to leave AMA and the College of Business. I am excited for the organization and its future successes. 


AMA members attended the 2020 AMA International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans, LA, where they participated in competitions, workshops, roundtables, and conference award ceremonies.  Besides receiving Platinum Status, UW-Eau Claire AMA student chapter members experienced success in the following areas: 

Marketing Strategy finalists: Brielle Bjork and Karissa Hilstad
Research Competition: Maggie Hall (placed 2nd), Ryan Dainsberg, and Parichay Singh
SABRE Simulation Top 8: Reid Berndt, Ryan Arch, and Ryan Dainsberg  
How to be a Top Chapter presentation: Madeline Djerf
Faculty Research Paper Award: Dr. Scott Swanson

AMA is a student-run professional business organization that offers students opportunities to learn essential skills and leadership to prepare for a future in business. For more information about AMA contact, Madeline Djerf or Dr. Scott Swanson. Visit the AMA website to learn more about the student organization.