Everyone knows it is not the best idea to go to the grocery store hungry. You run in for milk and come out with a cart full of snacks that were not on your list. Have you ever wondered why you chose certain items and passed by others?

Recently marketers from Johnson & Johnson’s consumer products division gave Fuqua students a behind-the-scenes look at the business decisions they make to influence consumers’ purchase behavior.

Experiential Learning

Johnson & Johnson invited Fuqua students to attend a retail store tour—led by some of the company’s Fuqua alumni—to learn what drives success in the retail channel. This event was part of the Fuqua Marketing Club’s Corporate Education series, one of the many experiential learning opportunities at Duke. Experiential learning offers students the opportunity to apply technical skills gained in the classroom in a multi-dimensional, real world setting.

For example, while standing on the beauty aisle at a drug store, the Johnson & Johnson team challenged us to explain the strategies behind the packaging and placement of their beauty products. During the discussion, we were pushed to come up with creative solutions for how a consumer goods company could influence the retailer to move a product to a more desirable location in the store. This experience reinforced lessons from our core Marketing class and gave students who are considering a career in consumer goods and/or marketing a better understanding of the decisions they would face as an associate brand manager.

Alumni Engagement

This event was a great example of the high level of alumni engagement at Duke. It is also a testament to the value Johnson & Johnson places on building relationships with current Fuqua students. Alumni engagement and marketing recruiting opportunities were important factors I considered when deciding which business school to attend. This event with Johnson & Johnson reinforced why The Duke MBA was a great choice for me.