Students from the American Marketing Association share a photo with detroit business owners

By Craig Henderson
Student Life Editor

From Monday, Oct. 13, to Wednesday, Oct. 15, the University of Michigan-Dearborn American Marketing Association (AMA) hosted Marketing Week at Fairlane Center South.

According to, the AMA is a professional student organization with a mission to inspire and educate members about the world of marketing.

AMA hosts events and provides opportunities that help UM-Dearborn students build their brand through workshops, networking events, conferences and company tours.

Lastly, the AMA seeks to enhance its members’ collegiate experience by offering tools and resources they can utilize to shape their future and become successful in their internships and careers.

On day one of Marketing Week, the AMA invited UM – Dearborn Alumni, Christina Jacobs to talk about personal branding. Jacobs develops consumer insights and problem solving strategies and ideas as a Digital Planner for Leo Burnett Worldwide, a global advertising agency based out of Chicago.

Jacobs elaborated on how personal branding can be used to tell consumers how the brand can help them. For instance, Facebook’s home login page says, “Facebook helps you connect and share with people in your life.” Another example was Nike’s commercials that advertised their sportswear as clothing that helps consumers “perform at their best.”

Jacobs says. “Great brands are defined best by how they can help.”

Jacobs continued her presentation with mentioning the changes in generations. She says that today’s businesses call the young adults, who are in their 20s, millennials.

A millennial is defined by Google as ‘a person reaching young adulthood around the year of 2000.’

Considering the amount a college student takes on in their daily life, the UM-Dearborn graduate also says present students can be great assets to businesses because, “Millennials are used to juggling a lot of tasks at once.”

When applying for internships or for a job in general, Jacobs ended her presentation with saying, “Keep an open mind to where you want to work and get in as fast as possible because you may not like working there.”

The second day of Marketing Week was Business in Detroit. During this seminar, four business owners dropped by to share their experiences with owning an establishment in Michigan’s motor city as well as why they picked Detroit for their home.

The businesses were Mexican cuisine restaurant La Feria Spanish Tapas, owned by Elias Khalil, Detroit Pop Shop, owned by Hildie Haviland, The Work Inc., presented by Managing Director, Jesse Ford, and Girl Develop It , presented by Community Manager, Leeann Drees.

Each business owner or representative presented their establishment as well as listed the aspect in which helped the Detroit community or vice versa.

For instance, Girl Develop It is a nonprofit organization with 1200 members, and a leadership team of five, that helps women learn at $10 or less per hour on how to code with HTML and CSS, JavaScript, PHP and a few others. Visit for information on classes and about the organization itself.

Khalil’s restaurant received financial help from Detroit’s Development Fund and Invest Detroit. Khalil also participated in Hatch Detroit. La Feria Tapas was one of 256 contestants and won. Tapas is Spanish for ‘small plate’ or finger food. The concept of the restaurant is all based on Spanish appetizers on small plates where everyone can choose from; there is no such thing as a three course meal. Everything on the menu is no more than $7 or less. Visit for information on the restaurant.

Day three of Marketing Week featured the mock version of CNBC’s show Shark Tank. The Sharks were Business Professors Tim Hartge, Professor Tim Davis, and Professor Mike Callahan, UM-Dearborn Alumni and former 2012 President of AMA Alex Murry and UM-Dearborn Alumni and former 2013 AMA President Mason Sokana. Audience members were also able to participate with voting for the winner of Student Choice.

Students who signed up to pitch their rhetorical business ideas were Abe Alslami and Sanam Sekhom with Guys in Suits – an IT company that fixes computers. Tom Percin presented his Promethus Golf Club, Andrew Kubinski staged his Fire Theme Park, Christine Mech displayed her Table Taps made specifically for restaurants, and Adrian Andrade showed his plan on UM-Dearborn Book Exchange.

Shark Tank went to Christine Mech, who was awarded a visa gift card while Adrian Andrade won Student Choice and was awarded a gift card as well.

Student Tom Sabella says “Marketing week was very good. I enjoyed all the ideas and the three day event all together. I am thinking about joining the American Marketing Association because there are a lot of cool people to meet, events to go to, as well as many opportunities to seize.”

AMA Chapter President, Tim Brehmer says, “This year’s Marketing Week was an amazing experience. It was interesting to see students of all majors coming together and benefiting from the workshops and speakers we hosted this week. I am very grateful for the hard work our group exhibited with planning, preparing and executing these events.”

For students interested in checking out the American Marketing Association, the organization holds weekly meetings on Wednesdays 5 to 6 pm at Fairlane Center North in room 110.