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By Donna Yee (November 16, 2007)

Do You Have What It Takes?

FBI Special Agent William McSalis and UAlbany student John DiGregorio

FBI Special Agent William McSalis shares a lighter moment as he conducts a defensive tactics demonstration with UAlbany student John DiGregorio. (Photo by Mark Schmidt)

BMKT 432-Integrated Marketing Communications students at the University at Albany hosted representatives from the FBI on Nov. 8 in the Campus Center Ballroom to let their peers know they were wanted by the Bureau.  No, UAlbany students weren’t in trouble with the law; rather, they were wanted to fill career opportunities within the law enforcement agency.

The event, organized by Beyond Awareness Marketing (B.A.M.), the in-class marketing communications agency formed by the students, is part of a "Do You Have What It Takes?" promotional campaign that is intended to increase awareness and consideration of FBI career opportunities.  The nearly 400 attendees had the opportunity to learn more about the FBI, participate in defensive tactics demonstrations given by an FBI agent, compete in various fitness challenges, play games of skill and knowledge, and have ample chances to take home free gifts, including an iPod, gift certificates, and T-shirts.

"Do You Have What It Takes?" is the capstone of a semester-long program with which the B.A.M. agency members have been involved.  The project, known as the FBI Collegiate Marketing and Recruitment Program, is designed to give students a unique, real-world business experience of creating a marketing campaign for a national client.

"As seniors head out into the real world, this class has provided us with invaluable real-world work experience that we are going to be able to take with us when we graduate this year," said Kaylin Connolly of the student agency’s Public Relations Department.

At the beginning of the semester, the students were challenged to create a marketing campaign that would increase awareness and consideration of FBI career opportunities in their target market.  These career opportunities include both the Special Agent and Professional Staff positions as the Bureau seeks to attract candidates with critical skills in accounting/finance, engineering, computer science/information technology, physical sciences and math, intelligence experience, law experience, law enforcement or investigative experience, military experience, and fluency in a foreign language.

"Preparing for this event has allowed these students to draw on the marketing knowledge they have accumulated over the past three years at UAlbany," said Don Purdy, the course instructor.

However, the event is not the end of the road for the UAlbany student agency members.  A post-event evaluation is being performed to analyze the success of the campaign and its effects on the target market.  This post-event research will compare results to research completed before the campaign.  The student agency members will present the results of their research, along with an evaluation of their campaign strategy, to representatives from the FBI at their Albany Division headquarters on Dec. 4.  This presentation gives the student agency members a chance to develop their public speaking and presentation skills.


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