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Foster School hosts prestigious international marketing consortium

The University of Washington Foster School of Business hosted the 47th annual American Marketing Association-Sheth Foundation Doctoral Consortium, June 13-16.

The AMA-Sheth Consortium is one of the most prestigious academic events in the discipline of marketing. This meeting of the minds is by invitation only. The 2012 consortium brought over 100 of the world’s most influential marketing scholars to Seattle to interact with the field’s top doctoral students, hailing from 110 universities around the world.

Leveraging the Foster School’s motto—Think differently, make a difference—the consortium offered expert guidance and issued a healthy challenge to these promising young scholars to make important and sustained contributions to the understanding of marketing throughout their careers.

This theme was borne out in sessions exploring the research process and how to make an impact on the field, as well as opportunities to spot or create trends in different marketing areas and to discuss dissertation topics with peers and faculty mentors. The work of this four-day consortium took place in PACCAR Hall, the Foster School’s award-winning facility that opened in 2010. Consortium participants also experienced the verdant UW campus, traveled by ferry to a traditional Pacific Northwest feast at Tillicum village and dined at Seattle’s iconic Space Needle.

Invaluable experience

The AMA-Sheth Consortium at Foster created an unparalleled experience by working a simple win-win equation. The doctoral fellows had the unique opportunity to network with the top minds in the field. And the consortium faculty got the chance to know and collaborate with the next generation’s best and brightest.

No one knows this better than Nidhi Agrawal, who was a consortium faculty fellow representing the Foster School this year and Northwestern’s Kellogg School in 2008, and a student Fellow in 2003 while working toward her doctorate at NYU.

“It’s a huge honor—and a great networking opportunity—to be named a student or a faculty fellow at the AMA-Sheth Doctoral Consortium,” says Agrawal, now an associate professor of marketing at Foster. “As a faculty member, I focused on interacting with the students. It was so refreshing to see all of these fresh minds and ideas hungry for more. I learned so much from the students.”

“Meeting and learning from the leading professors in our field was a tremendous experience,” says Conor Henderson, a Consortium Fellow from the Foster School’s PhD Program. “They gave us personalized attention, advice, and feedback on our research projects. I loved seeing the friendships among these leading professors; it showed that the fellow doctoral students we met at this consortium will become long time professional friends as we move forward in our careers.”

Adding to rich tradition

The American Marketing Association has partnered with major universities across the country to host this doctoral consortium since 1966. In the mid-1990s, the Madhuri and Jagdish N. Sheth Foundation joined with the AMA to ensure the event’s future.

This year’s AMA-Sheth Consortium was co-chaired by a trio of professors in the Foster School’s Department of Marketing and International Business: Douglas MacLachlan, long-time department chair; Robert Palmatier; and Richard Yalch, a marketing professor whose prolific career at Foster spans nearly four decades.

But the entire department—faculty, staff and students—contributed to make the consortium such a success.

“I loved showcasing my home institution to the marketing field,” says Agrawal. “Numerous visiting faculty and student fellows told me that we have a gem of a school and department, citing PACCAR Hall, the quality of our faculty and Dean Jiambalvo’s ambitious vision for both the marketing department and the Foster School.”

“This was a terrific event,” adds Tom Brown, the Noble Foundation Chair in Marketing Strategy at Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business, and president of the AMA’s Academic Council. “The organizers put together an engaging program—and there was a lot of interaction between the faculty and PhD students.

“The bar has been set higher for future hosts of this prestigious event.