Case Study: Using Library Resources to Perform Industry Research

In Fall 2015 and Spring 2016, Meryl Gardner, Associate professor in Business Administration, taught BUAD 478: Field Projects in Marketing in which students gain hands-on experience as a marketing consultants.

The subject matter of the course spans the discipline of marketing (including sales force management, competitive analysis, and promotional design) as well as the disciplines that interface with marketing within business organizations such as accounting, MIS, and management.

Students in the course can apply what they have learned at the university, from internships they have taken to any jobs they have had. One of the students’ responsibilities is to satisfy the business needs of a real client by applying their knowledge of marketing and business in a “real world” setting with local, regional, and national profit and nonprofit businesses on marketing projects funded by the companies. Projects involve defining objectives, collecting relevant data, analyzing, interpreting, and reporting results/recommendations to management.

To advise their clients, the students learned how to use library resources to conduct corporate intelligence, perform industry research, literature review, analyze annual reports, and other corporate fillings. The class met with the business librarian early in the semester, and project teams consulted with the librarian throughout the semester at all stages of their projects.

Of the collaboration, Dr. Gardner noted, “Pauly was instrumental in assisting these students to succeed this year, working both with the class and with individual project teams to ensure they had an understanding of the information resources they needed to complete their projects”. On how important the library collaboration was to her students, she added “some students told me that they wished they had had the opportunity to learn from Pauly Iheanacho earlier in their careers at the University”.

Students studying in a group study room.