Growing Globally: MBA student maximizes international opportunities

by Jeff Samoray, Published July 25, 2012

YPSILANTI - Chelsea Lockwood isn't just studying international business at Eastern: she's experiencing it first-hand.

This summer, the first-year MBA student spent several weeks in Europe, attending conferences, conducting research and refining her language skills. She spent part of her travels with Sheila Sasser, associate professor of marketing.

"International business has always intrigued me," says Lockwood, who earned a bachelor's in French at Eastern in 2011. "It's impossible to succeed in today's business world without knowledge of international business practices. And Eastern places a strong emphasis on global studies, which has helped me grow as a student and as a person."

In mid-June, Lockwood and several other EMU students attended Cannes Lions, the 59th International Festival of Creativity, in Cannes, France. The festival organizers allowed the students to attend sessions in exchange for helping with event logistics.

"Cannes Lions showcases the best TV, print and digital advertising in the world," says Lockwood, who also attended the festival in 2011. "We got to meet advertising professionals from across the globe. I saw presentations by Coca-Cola and L'Oreal about their advertising strategies. I really enjoyed the awards ceremony. We saw Chrysler win an award for its "Imported from Detroit" campaign, as well as presentations to firms from countries like Brazil and Poland."

The following week, Lockwood attended ICORIA, a conference held by the European Advertising Academy at the Stockholm School of Economics. In July, she traveled to Vienna, where she presented at the European Institute of Retailing and Service Studies conference (EIRSS). Her paper, which focuses on the use of poetic devices in social media to increase ad response rates, was co-authored by Lockwood, Sasser and EMU business student Amy Rule.

"Marketing is my specialization," Lockwood says. "I love combining statistical analysis with marketing research and strategies. A lot of advertisers don't have the data needed to support their efforts to reach their target markets."

After EIRSS, Lockwood helped Sasser with her research on creativity and global advertising.

"Dr. Sasser completed a study of U.S. and British ad agencies-now we're focusing on French firms," Lockwood says. "I'm editing the French part of Dr. Sasser's survey and helping with translation."

Lockwood gravitated toward researching French marketing tactics in part because of her language skills. In 2009, she completed a six-week study abroad program through Eastern at CIEL Bretagne, a foreign language school in Brittany, France.

Reflecting on her academic journeys, Lockwood says her experience at Eastern has provided the foundation for a successful career as an international marketing researcher or professor.

"The MBA program at Eastern has been amazing," she says. "In addition to marketing, I've learned about all aspects of running a business. The professors are world-class instructors who really care about their students.

"I'm originally from Houghton Lake-a small town where most people spend their entire lives. I've traveled to a lot of places many people will never have a chance to visit, and I greatly appreciate that. Through hard work and the help of my professors, I've come a long way."

Visit the College of Business website to learn more about the MBA program at Eastern Michigan University. Eastern's Academic Programs Abroad office can provide information about international education opportunities.

Geoff Larcom


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