News Release

Marketing Classes at U of M Crookston Gain Real-world Experience through Projects Addressing the Marketing Needs of Regional Businesses

By ltollefs on
Friday, December 4, 2009

When students have the opportunity to apply what they learn in the classroom to address the needs of a real-world client, they gain experience that will benefit them when they leave the classroom for a career. While the students were learning, they were also conducting service to the community. Business instructor Rachel Lundbohm's classes in marketing research and integrated marketing communication at the University of Minnesota Crookston had the opportunity to synthesize current research and develop plans to address the specific needs of several businesses and organizations in the region fall semester.
marketing class fall 09.jpgThe marketing research class, a senior level course, worked with the Northwest Minnesota Area Health Education Center (AHEC) on some research that addressed high school students' perceptions of career choices in general along with healthcare related careers. Sandy Henneberg along with Executive Director Joan Tronson, represented AHEC and met with the students about the research project. The class conducted focus groups in high schools, in-depth interviews with guidance counselors, and developed surveys that were sent to every high school covered by the Northwest Minnesota AHEC.

In the photo above: Members of the marketing research class presented their research findings on the perceptions of high school students about healthcare careers to a representative from the Northwest Minnesota Area Health Education Center on Friday, December 11, 2009. Class members include: Seated (l to r):Cynthia Weber a senior from Crookston, Minn.; Marketing Instructor Rachel Lundbohm; Northwest Minnesota Area Health Education Center Executive Director Joan Tronson; Thomas Melhorn, a senior from White Bear Lake, Minn.

Standing: Kyu Tae Kim,a junior from Seoul, South Korea; Jessica DeBoer, a senior from Crookston, Minn.; Matthew Heier, a junior; from Ray, N.D. Brett Wright, a senior from Cortland, N.Y.; Alyssa Jensen, a senior from Cameron, Wis.; David Bawdon, a senior from Harrisburg, S.D.; Abbie Tosh, a senior from Climax, Minn.; Stephanie Onken, a senior from Round Lake, Minn.; Chansouda Rattanavong, a senior from Warroad, Minn.; Jared Hendricks, a senior from Owatonna, Minn.; Adeboye Adeyeye, a junior from London, England; Treasure Clemons, a junior from Minneapolis, Minn.; Wilfred Kooser, a junior from Omaha, Neb.; Jacob Karras, a senior from Janesville, Wis.; and Benjamin Welch(not pictured), a senior from Edina, Minn.  

In the integrated marketing communications class, students were divided into two groups. One of the groups worked with Shawnn Balstad from Pembina Trail Resource Conservation and Development Council (RC&D) to help raise awareness and knowledge about RC&D. The students met with Balstad and worked on a campaign that covers all marketing channels to develop one cohesive message for the RC&D.

These two groups of students, both engaged in projects for a not-for-profit business, were involved in what is known as service-learning. Service Learning, a method of teaching, learning, and reflecting where participants learn and develop through active participation, is an important part of the classroom experience at the U of M, Crookston. It combines the academic classroom curriculum with meaningful community service.

The other group of students in the integrated marketing communications class met with Paul Blomquist from C & M Ford Sales in Hallock, Minn., to create a marketing campaign that integrates traditional print and broadcast media with Internet, direct marketing  and personal selling. The students developed a plan that addressed marketing needs for the dealership located in Hallock as well as Roseau County Ford located in the Roseau, Minn.

In December, students will present the findings of their research and make recommendations based on what they learned to help each of these entities determine future marketing decisions. Lundbohm knows the experience will benefit her students in the classroom as well as the workplace. "The students enjoyed the hands-on learning opportunity in marketing provided by these projects," she explains. "I set the standards high in the class because they were working for real-world clients and I wanted them to get the most from this experience.

"The students took different approaches and used different strategies to meet the needs of the clients and they were able to provide service to businesses and organizations in the region which has given the projects more meaning."

The U of M Crookston is set to offer two new bachelor's degree programs in business beginning in January 2010.  The Bachelor of Science in Marketing and the Bachelor of Manufacturing Management in Quality Management were recently approved by the University of Minnesota Board of Regents and both of the degree programs will be available online as well as on site. 

Today the University of Minnesota Crookston delivers more than 25 applied-science undergraduate degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; math, science and technology; and natural resources. To learn more, visit

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