By: Namrata Nesarikar, MBA’20
There’s nothing us millennials love more than a free trial. We want our 30 day free trial of Spotify Premium. We want our free trial class for Orange Theory, and we want our free trial of LinkedIn Premium. The First-Year Academy projects that Kelley MBAs work on during spring semester are the closest thing to a free trial run for our summer internship.
The Academy project is in the first or the second seven weeks of the spring semester, depending on which Academy you are in. In this project, you work with a real company on a real opportunity that they want to capitalize. It offers insight into what your summer internship will be like, and helps you understand specifics like what resources you would have to tap into, and what it would mean to work in a group. Most of all, it offers an environment where you can explore ideas, work through them, and still have a safety net of knowing it will have no significant detrimental impact on the company or the brand in case anything goes wrong.
I am a member of the Consumer Marketing Academy (CMA) and I got to work with EJ Gallo, a connoisseur in the wine industry, on the launch of a new wine format – canned wine. We were given the task to formulate a go-to-market strategy for canned wine for their Prophecy brand. And though it may sound simple to list out strategies, the actual implementation goes far deeper than that. My team looked into where canned wine could be distributed, what kind of influencers would work best to market the product and we even reached out to summer festivals about sponsorship opportunities and having booths. We asked and answered questions like, are we selling the same wine that’s in a bottle – just in new packaging, or are we selling a whole new experience? But above all, we worked on exactly who to market this new way of consuming wine to – and it went a lot deeper than just millennials.
Overall, my Academy project has allowed me to go into my summer internship at Kellogg with increased confidence and enthusiasm.