We, the class of 2020, have just completed our first semester in the Master of Science in Marketing program. And, wow, it’s a great feeling! The entire cohort has come together over four classes, multiple projects and group meetings – and one assignment, specifically: The ISMP.
What is an ISMP?
Answer: the single most challenging – and rewarding – academic endeavor any of us has ever completed.
ISMP stands for Integrated Strategic Marketing Plan. It is a research project uniquely designed to immerse students in a company’s overall situation – its industry, the competitive landscape, its value chain, its finances, audience(s), and SWOT. We then use all of this information to design a viable marketing plan and direction for that company. The most appealing part of this assignment: we can choose any company we wish – and we’re encouraged to choose companies at which we intend to seek employment. This year, companies ranged from Netflix to Sephora to Trader Joe’s.
Candidly, an ISMP is a lot of work. A lot. Some of us had reports totaling 50 pages! Thankfully, we received so much support – from Dr. Diane Badame, our professor (with extensive marketing and management experience across industries), the incredible librarians at the Gaughan & Tiberti Library, and from each other. All the tools for success were provided to us, and, after many meetings (complete with a lot of feedback) and several revisions, we presented our analyses and recommendations to the class. It all culminated with a big, delicious “Congratulations” cake from Dr. Badame (and Kool & The Gang’s “Celebration” filling the classroom)!
It was the perfect finale to the summer semester. The knowledge and experience we’ve gained over 10 short weeks is immeasurable. I also think it’s fair to say we’ve all gained something of equal importance: confidence. We’re all now comfortable conversing about analytics, finances, segmentation, the 5 C’s and the 4 P’s! The entire cohort is looking forward to the fall semester and the amazing opportunities the Master of Science in Marketing program has lined up for us – i.e. guest speakers from the world’s top companies, the Master of Marketing Seminars, and the Mentorship Program.
We’re all one step closer to our dream jobs. Thank you, USC Marshall and the Master of Science in Marketing Program!
- The Master of Science in Marketing Class of 2020/2