Marketing Analytics and Strategy Student Lands Job Through Real-World Business Projects Analyzing Company Data

Marketing Analytics and Strategy Student Lands Job Through Real-World Business Projects Analyzing Company Data

Photo of Julia Lombardo

Henkel Associate Brand Manager Julia Lombardo ’21, MAS’22

Julia Lombardo ’21, MAS’22 recently accepted a job as an associate brand manager at multinational consumer goods company Henkel following her capstone project and subsequent internship with the company.

Being able to talk about the skills I learned during my capstone in interviews was a strong driver in receiving a full-time job offer with Henkel.

— Julia Lombardo ’21, MAS’22

MAS: A Specialized Program for Real-World Marketing Skills in Data Analysis

For marketing professionals or recent business graduates looking for advanced marketing analytics skills, Fairfield’s Marketing Analytics and Strategy (MAS) graduate program is a top choice. Designed to deliver essential research-based analytical skills, students work with standard industry software including Tableau, Qualtrics, and SPSS, and apply data from Nielsen, IRI, and Kantar Media. By the time they graduate, all MAS students will also have key digital marketing skills and be Google Analytics certified. MAS students may choose to specialize in the areas of product management, business analytics, management, or finance. What sets Fairfield’s MAS program apart from others are partnerships with Fortune 500 companies where students engage in experiential learning course projects and a final capstone to demonstrate program learning and provide research-based analytical skills and strategic recommendations to marketing professionals.

These valuable, resume-building opportunities are what led Julia Lombardo ’21, MAS’22 to recently land a job as an associate brand manager at multinational consumer goods company Henkel. Lombardo, a fifth-year student, originally planned to start her MBA after pursuing a double major in finance and marketing as an undergraduate student. Through Fairfield’s Marketing Club she met MAS Program Director Julie Marella who she talked to about her career goals. After Professor Marella introduced Lombardo to the MAS program, she felt the analytics-focused program would be a better match.

“Professor Marella told me about the MAS capstone project and how students not only work with real company data but also deliver insights to clients at the company as part of a final presentation,” said Lombardo. “Being able to talk about the skills I learned during my capstone in interviews was a strong driver in receiving a full-time job offer with Henkel.”

Valuable Industry Experience Before an Internship

Lombardo first worked with Henkel as part of the Pricing Strategies and Analytics course designed for students to learn the skills needed to promote, distribute, and price products. She and her classmates were asked to analyze Henkel’s 2022 laundry category promotional results by evaluating consumer and trade pricing and promotional strategies that drove sales. To conduct the analysis, students were trained to analyze Henkel’s IRI and Kantar Media data. Such analytical skills, Lombardo shared, are integral to the CPG industry and skills she uses regularly as an associate brand manager working on the Schwarzkopf Hair Color brand. Working on this real-world project, Lombardo analyzed the data to pull out strategic insights and provided recommendations to improve business results.

“Our students are working with real companies to solve current business problems,” said Professor Marella. “We have client meetings before they start their projects to gain an understanding of the business situation, identify key objectives, followed by a progress meeting prior to final presentations. I am so grateful for our partnership with Henkel and our other industry partners. They have been instrumental in providing real-world projects and granting access to data that has provided a competitive advantage and directly led to student employment opportunities.”

Following the pricing course in the fall Lombardo applied for and was accepted into Henkel’s spring internship program. With the flexibility of the MAS program, she was able to pursue her internship during the day and take courses during nights and weekends. As part of Lombardo’s final capstone project, she used IRI data to evaluate 12+ Henkel brands to provide recommendations to increase total revenue and generate cross-purchase by helping to identify which brands are commonly purchased together. She and her classmates presented their final recommendations to Henkel Consumer Engagement Team Leader Ellen Greenfield.

Fairfield and Henkel: A Mutually Beneficial Relationship

“It has been a tremendously rewarding and mutually beneficial experience working with Director Julie Marella and her Marketing Analytics and Strategy students in the Dolan School of Business at Fairfield University,” said Greenfield. “Through their analysis of the case studies I developed for them, the students have provided me with valuable business insights, and it is exciting to see them utilize and demonstrate a clear understanding of the third-party data and research tools we have made available to them. I am so pleased to see how this partnership is benefitting the students professionally and the opportunities that it has created.”

In addition to Henkel, fellow MAS graduates of Lombardo’s Class of 2022 have started working at companies including Ipsos, Walt Disney, Citgo, and more. In fact, 100% of graduates are employed within three months of graduating.

Learn more about Fairfield’s STEM-designated graduate degree program in Marketing Analytics and Strategy designed for working professionals or recent graduates available in both an online and hybrid format.

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