From school reports
Chimerel Brewer, owner of Columbus-based Brewer Insurance Solutions, knew that implementing modern marketing techniques would help his business. She wanted to take marketing classes, but the independent insurance broker said she was too busy running her business for in-person classes.
After learning that East Mississippi Community College’s Business and Marketing Management Technology program could be taken online, she enrolled.
“The program has been a real boost for me, my company and my team,” said Brewer, who is in her first year. “I use the information I learned to train my team. I do everything online which is the only way to do it and still have time for my business during the day. »
Courses in the Business and Marketing Management program can be taken entirely online or in person at EMCC’s Golden Triangle or Scooba campuses. Shannon Miller, the instructor for the Golden Triangle’s on-campus program, said most of her students who opt for on-campus courses are between the ages of 18 and 25.
“There is a wide range of ages for students choosing to take the online courses. Typically, these students will be a bit older,” Miller said. “Some have been in the program for a while and feel they need this degree to progress to another position in their company. A number of students enter the program with the dream of owning their own business.
The program prepares students for careers in fields such as marketing, professional sales, advertising, retail management, business ownership, and human resources, to name a few. .
The program includes both business and marketing components. Business courses include management principles, the mathematics of merchandising, the legal environment of business, and human resource management, to name a few. On the marketing side, students take courses in marketing principles, personal selling, marketing management, internet marketing, and advertising, among others.
The student accommodation is located on the Scooba campus of EMCC where business and marketing management is taught by Dr. Joshua Carroll, who said the program’s on-campus classes are popular with student athletes in baseball programs. , softball and cheerleading.
“For the online component, I have students fresh out of high school and adults who want to go back to school,” Carroll said. “The online courses are really useful for those who want to learn virtually, but also for those who want to work virtually because our program trains them in this field.”
Students on both campuses are expected to practice what they have learned. For the entrepreneurship class, they create a business plan for a new business idea that includes financing, business statements, and a feasibility study of where they would locate the business. For the marketing management class, they create a marketing plan that details a small business’s marketing strategy.
There is a social media marketing component and instructions on TV advertising and direct mail marketing. A retail management class includes information about strategies for retail operations, retail pricing, and performance metrics.
Employed students can also earn three credits for work-based learning.
“The course requires a student to work at least 135 hours during the semester to earn three credit units,” Miller said. “The course can be taken twice for six credit units.
There are three exit points to the program. Students can earn a Career Certificate after their freshman year, a Technical Certificate after three semesters, or complete the program and earn an Associate of Applied Science degree, which can be transferred to a four-year college.
Some students who complete the business and marketing management program choose to take additional courses to also earn an e-commerce technology degree, which prepares them to run a business on the Internet.
Carroll’s course includes a digital media course that teaches students how to incorporate photography and videography into a business marketing plan.
“They can learn how to gain popularity through a vlog (video blog) and turn it into a revenue-generating tool,” Carroll said.
In the fall, students enrolled in Scooba’s on-campus program take a field trip to learn about a company or industry. Last fall, students in the program visited Trustmark Park in Pearl, home of the Mississippi Braves, to learn about sports marketing, as well as Renaissance in Colony Park, an upscale mall in Ridgeland, to complement this they learned in retail management.
“Travel is a great way for students to gain real-world experience in what they’ve learned from their textbooks,” Carroll said.
Gissela Perdomo, a resident of the Republic of Honduras, graduated with a technical certificate from the Business and Marketing Management program in May 2018. She attended school at EMCC’s Golden Triangle campus while staying with the Missionaries of the New Horizons Christian Fellowship Church in Starkville.
After graduating, she returned to her hometown of San Pedro Sula, the second largest city in Honduras, with the dream of starting a business that produces leather handicrafts in which she would hire women from poor rural communities. to provide them with employment and the means to earn a living. The pandemic has put that dream on hold and she is reassessing her future.
Perdomo said that regardless of the future, completing her classes so she can earn an associate degree is a priority for her.
“I would not have had the chance to continue my education without this online opportunity,” Perdomo said in email correspondence. “For that, I am heartily grateful. I received excellent support from EMCC. »