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NCCU Marketing Students Work with Vets to Vets

 

NCCU Marketing Students Facilitate Service Learning Project with Vets to Vets

Durham, NC | October 2017 Dr. Yvette Bonaparte, Assistant Professor of Marketing, developed a project for her Principles of Marketing class that allowed them to experience social marketing in practice.  Veterinarians to Veterans (Vets to Vets) United, Inc., a local nonprofit organization. Vets to Vets United, Inc. provides service animals, free training, and educational activities for veterans. Dr. Bonaparte’s class met the founder and Executive Director, Dr. Terry Morris, to learn more about the organization’s efforts and performed a variety of marketing analyses and shared social media best practices to assist the organization.  Students utilized core marketing concepts from the course to make and support recommendations regarding ways Vets to Vets United could increase community awareness, and improve fund development strategies.

Students appreciated the opportunity to gain hands-on experience while learning about marketing and the fundamental needs and goals of an organization. One student involved in the project, Kelvon Keith, said “I am very grateful to have been a part of this project because it allowed me and my classmates to help an actual business owner improve their company.” Another student, Cherish Thomas, who has turned the project into an internship opportunity this Spring, felt that the project helped to prepare her for projects later in life: “In my future,” she said, “I will be more aware of the impact public events and technological innovation can have on a non-profit business when run correctly.”  As an intern with Vets to Vets, Ms. Thomas will work on a variety of marketing and public relations initiatives, and receive training on the organization’s state of the art customer relationship management (CRM) system. 

This project was a win-win for all involved. Dr. Morris found the students’ feedback constructive, practical, and invaluable for achieving the organization’s marketing goals.  She stated in a thank you letter to the students that their work had “essentially created a wonderful platform from which our charity can build a stronger marketing campaign” and would help Vets to Vets “better serve the veterans, their working animals and our community.”  

The project has also been documented as a social marketing case study.  The case study is currently under review by a peer-review journal. 

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