American students cooperating with UP students to help firms and institutions with marketing

Photo gallery: DEMS archive
Wednesday 17 April 2024, 11:00 – Text: Milada Křížková Hronová

Students of the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) work on marketing plans for firms and institutions as part of their studies. Students of the Department of Economic and Managerial Studies at the Palacký University Faculty of Arts (UP FA) have given them a large hand in this as part of one of their option courses. And because it is an option course, other UP students also have the chance to learn marketing in cooperation with UNK.

The marketing plans for the course are tailored to a specific organisation, institution, or firm, including those in the Czech Republic. “The subject is officially called International Academic Exchange Workshop. I chose it because I’m interested in the theme of marketing, as well as having an opportunity to cooperate with American university students. I was also attracted by the American perspective on the development of marketing skills plus the chance to practice conversation in English,” said Tatiana Hantáková, a second-year student in the Economic and Managerial Studies department. She spent a full day with students from UNK during their recent week-long stay in Olomouc and took part in a presentation by two firms and one organisation which expressed interest in students creating marketing plans.

“Nebraska students worked for example on SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analyses, and a marketing plan for a real project of the Brazzale company, which would like to broaden their portfolio of global activities. We helped them fulfil this goal. Together we discussed market research and target groups, and because the American students are strangers to the Czech market, we familiarised them with it and its regional connections,” she added. In addition to the Brazzale dairy firm, American students this semester worked on plans for the apiculture start-up Apis Innovation, which focusses on innovative approaches in the battle against honeybee pests via its Thermosolar Hives, and for the Olomouc Regional Museum.

“I think the subject which the department offered is excellent for practising marketing abilities. American students have a different mentality: they’re more hands-on, and they bring a different perspective on marketing to Olomouc. I would like to recommend this course to all students, even those from other majors, if they are thinking of going into business. Or even if they would like to just improve their English, broaden their horizons, and encounter different thinking and perspectives, this is an excellent opportunity,” she added.

The guarantor of the course, David Kosina, agrees. “Students learn to think conceptually in this course. It is offered in a hybrid in-person and online form and the idea is to develop students’ practical marketing skills through cooperation with specific clients. UP and UNK students work together to create marketing plans – one of the key elements of a business plan – for the participating companies. The course results can then be put into practice by those companies to realise their marketing goals,” he said, and added that the department would like to expand the project.

“We’re trying to get students away from PowerPoint slides and educate them in the real world. Thanks to cooperation with the College of Business and Technology (CBT UNK), the endeavour has huge crossover,” said Kosina.

The broader conception of the option course was emphasised by the department head, Ondřej Kročil: “It comes out of years of cooperation with CBT UNK. The principle of the course, where our students and selected companies meet students from abroad – both in-person and online – is something we’d like to expand. We’re also preparing other projects of this ilk, to which we’d like to connect other partners, for example from Slovenia, Slovakia, and Italy. We expect it to bring benefits to all parties,” he said.

This is the second time American students from UNK have come to Olomouc for the course. Last year, they visited Oracle, one of the biggest corporations in the Czech Republic, as well as local firms such as the Šufan nut processors and the Chomout brewery. The rest of this year’s course will be completed online via Zoom by students of both countries. Their results will be put to the test under Prof Tim Burkink of CBT UNK in their final presentations in May.


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