General Motors hires marketing class as advertising agency

October 26, 1995
Contact: umichnews@umich.edu

ANN ARBOR— This fall University of Michigan School of Business Administration seniors returned for a different kind of learning experience. General Motors Corp. is sponsoring a marketing class that simulates the advertising agency experience of working for a large corporate client.

The undergraduate business students are developing a marketing plan for a promotional event that will be presented to GM marketing executives and then exhibited on the Ann Arbor campus.

U-M business Prof. Michal Strahilevitz describes the General Motors Marketing Internship (GMMI) program as ” the most exciting and challenging course I have ever taught…the fact that the students will actually be able to implement their plan (with a $4,000 budget) and get feedback from leading marketing executives will make it an especially motivating educational experience for them.”

The students are getting exposed to a ” real world experience” that enables them to apply the theories and concepts they learn about in the traditional classroom, said Strahilevitz. ” All too often students study subjects without seeing practical applications; this is an opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience while directly impacting the marketing initiatives and strategies of the world’s largest corporation,” said Dick Genthe, president of Dick Genthe Chevrolet of Southgate, one of the GM dealers working with the student program.

General Motors is funding an advertising budget and providing promotional materials and advice to the students, who are partnering with area Chevrolet/Geo dealerships to showcase Chevrolet cars to the university community as part of the promotion.

GM has contracted with Sgro Promo Associates, a California-based marketing agency to serve as an outside resource for the students as they develop the marketing plan.

” It’s great to see General Motors continuing to take a responsible role in educating today’s students and tomorrow’s executives,” said Tony Sgro, president and founder of Sgro Promo Associates.

For more information, contact Kelly Andrews at (313) 332-3757 or at kellyand@umich.edu.