The UMass Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research (CMR) recently held its bi-annual Client Dinner. The purpose of the dinner was to deliver semester-long research projects to clients. Student teams worked with UMass Dartmouth Charlton College of Business, UMass Dartmouth Print Shop, Metro South Chamber of Commerce, Poyant Signs, New Bedford Credit Union, and conducted a study on the 2019 Inc. 500.
Each student team sat at a private table with their client and shared the findings of these customized studies. Clients expressed their surprise and satisfaction.
“Anytime students, faculty, and the community collaborate, it’s magic,” said Charlton College of Business Dean Kathryn Carter. “It was great to see the confidence level the outgoing students have in various skills. We’re pushing all of the career development skills in the Charlton College of business and I know these students will be great hires.”
“I feel very grateful to be here tonight. I graduated from here (SMU) as a first-generation college graduate. Melinda, a former [UMassD] student, is now a part of our marketing team as a result of a study she conducted last year in this program. We are looking forward to hearing the results,” said Richard Poyant, President of Poyant Signs.
“It’s been a pleasure working with this group of students and the Center for Marketing Research. We completely rebranded this year, and I’m looking forward to the results of this study. NBCU has done projects with the Center in the past and they’ve always done a great job,” said Berta Varao, Executive Vice President of New Bedford Credit Union.
In total, seven projects were conducted using a range of different methods. Some of the students worked in the field while others conducted telephone surveys or collected surveys online. The students worked over 1,050 hours during the fall semester to collect hundreds of surveys.
Each research study presented to the clients is valued at $15,000 to $20,000. Through the CMR research program, all clients were able to get this work at deeply discounted prices.
Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes, Director of the program, explains “There is nothing more valuable for these students than having a real-world business experience.”
After a buffet dinner, the students had an opportunity to tell their clients about the many challenges they faced during their projects. They were also quite vocal about their ideas to help the client succeed. Virtually all clients commented on the knowledge and enthusiasm of their student research team.