Faculty in the Falls School of Business at Anderson University recognize that, in order to succeed in business, one must network and build professional connections well before graduation. Because of this, they provide students with multiple opportunities to build relationships with alumni and other businessmen and women — relationships that can lead to internships and careers. Recently, Dr. Larry Seibert, associate professor of marketing, utilized alumni connections to give his students a tour of Angie’s List.
On Nov. 12, Seibert took his Buyer/Seller Relations class to the Indianapolis-based company. Angie’s List is a membership service company with more than 750,000 subscribers nationwide. The company provides objective reviews about local service companies and contractors, such as plumbers or electricians. Upon their arrival, Advertising Sales Manager Jeff Austin, an AU alumnus, greeted students. Students toured the company’s offices and participated in a question and answer session with Austin.
[Photo: Students in the Buyer/Seller Relations class visit Angie's List. Photo credit: Haley Burger]
Although enthusiastic about the idea, Seibert does not take credit for planning this trip on his own. “They chose us,” said Seibert. “Jeff Austin wanted to give back to AU and wanted to help students get started in their careers. So he invited us for the day so students could see what it was like working at Angie’s List.”
The visit to Angie’s List allowed students to get a taste of the sales strategies used by a company that operates primarily online. Angie’s List is an “inside sales” company, meaning they conduct most of their sales and pitching over the phone, rather than in-person. “This way they could see what an inside sales position is like. None of my students has any experience working in a position like that,” said Seibert.
The students were also encouraged to apply for jobs. “Jeff invited my students to send him a résumé if they were interested in working at Angie’s List,” said Seibert.
Junior marketing major Nathan Gross was one of the many students inspired by the trip. “I feel that the trip was a good experience for our class and allowed us to see day-to-day operations in the business world. It allows us, as students, to ask the question, ‘Is this the right profession for me?’” said Gross. “We heard from people just like us, their stories, and how they got to where they are.”
Seibert hopes the experience gave students perspective on the environment and atmosphere of Angie’s List. “Seeing a company firsthand is much better than hearing about it. Overall, the trip was a success. The students enjoyed it very much, and some of the students have submitted their résumés to Angie’s List,” said Seibert. “Most of the people they met on the trip were their age range. I think they came away with the idea that Angie’s List can be a fun place to work.”
— Kristen Schaap is a senior from Chicago, Ill., majoring in communication arts. Schaap is an associate with Fifth Street Communications®, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of about 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.