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Our Marketing Proteges

05 Jul 2011

Microsoft Group

(Left to right) David McLean, Regional Director of Microsoft Retail Sales and Marketing, Pip Marlow Microsoft Australia Managing Director with the Artoholics, David Graef, Anna Marie Tolic and Jaime Laird.

A group of inspiring marketing executives of the future from the University of Sydney Business School have been awarded third place in an exciting national marketing competition run by the Microsoft organisation.

Jaime Laird, Anna Marie Tolic, David Graef, and Edwin White, all Bachelor of Commerce students who are completing marketing majors, formed a group called the Artoholics and entered the Microsoft Marketing Protégé 2011 competition at the suggestion of Associate Professor Teresa Davis in the Discipline of Marketing at the Business School, who introduced her students to the competition as part of her Semester 1 course assessment.

The Microsoft Protégé competition is open to all undergraduate Australian Uni students, and sees Microsoft partner with university lecturers and faculty to help excite student curriculum through real life business case studies and challenges. The Protégé competition is now in its second year in 2011 went national, with universities in ACT, NSW, VIC and QLD participating.

The competition requires participants to develop innovative marketing ideas related to a particular product. This year the challenge set for students was to market the Windows Phone 7 (WP7) to make it the number 1 smart phone of choice for the Australian tertiary student audience.

Microsoft received more than 150 entries for the program (equating to 1800 students) from universities across Australia and seven of the most impressive were invited to participate in a grand final event last month. Grand finalists had to present their ideas to a panel of five senior Microsoft executives and a room of more than 140 excited family and friends and industry representatives at the Ivy Sunroom in Sydney.

The winning team called Winman from Monash University, Victoria was chosen for their innovative ideas and comprehensive approach to all elements of the marketing campaign. They won a money-can┬┐t-buy opportunity to live life as a Microsoft Executive for a week in Sydney and received a prize pack of Microsoft software to use as tools to help with their learning. All students also received a Windows phone 7.

Protégé Lead, Australia, Leah Cresswell, complemented Artoholics on their amazing passion, energy, enthusiasm and professionalism throughout the entire Protégé program.

"The judges were simply blown away by Artoholics presentation and ideas. They were all so proud of what you accomplished and learnt so much for your presentation."

"Protégé is just one example of how students can go above and beyond their university degrees to have an impact and learn some new and exciting skills. It is also an opportunity for us to get a first look at some of the exciting new generation marketing talent coming out of university in the coming years."

Dr Davis said she was very proud of her students and their performance in the competition. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to dip their toes in the real world of marketing and the terrific result is a testament to the learning experience we promote at Sydney. We are very grateful to the support of Boyd McGeachie who was the Microsoft representative who came into the classroom and briefed the students on the project."