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IMC graduate students flex consulting skills for major brands during Immersion Quarter Program

The 10-week program prepares students to collaborate, address challenges and seek opportunities with real companies.

Immersion Quarter students collaborating around a table.
Medill IMC students bring a high level of professional expertise to Immersion Quarter that is developed in classes throughout the IMC program.

EVANSTON, ILL. -- During Immersion Quarter, Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) Full-Time master’s students work together in small teams to solve real-world business problems for leading brands. The experience combines on-campus leadership training and guidance from Medill faculty with working on-site at a company for 10 weeks during the summer quarter.

“Year after year, The Immersion Quarter Program delivers immense value for our students and corporate partners,” said Gerry Chiaro, Medill assistant professor and director of the Immersion Quarter program. “In 2022, student consulting teams earned the highest level of satisfaction, with 88% of client partners saying their student team exceeded expectations. That is why we believe it is the premier experiential learning program for graduate marketing students."

Medill IMC students bring a high level of professional expertise to Immersion Quarter that is developed in classes throughout the IMC program.

“The Immersion Quarter is a hallmark of the IMC Full Time Master's Program at the Medill School,” said Associate Dean of IMC and Associate Professor Vijay Viswanathan. “This year we had students working on a range of projects for startups and blue chips in different verticals. Our students under the guidance of an incredible group of faculty advisors did an amazing job helping companies translate insights from data into powerful marketing and communication strategies. We recorded the highest client satisfaction scores ever and it is truly a testament to the significant changes we have made to the curriculum to help our students hit the ground running and deliver value for their clients and stakeholders.”

Olivia Lee (IMC22) worked with 3M on a customer behavior project and provided recommendations to the company on how to better grow the business based on the customer data. Lee’s role on the team was to be the data analyst, cleaning and transforming the data into helpful visualizations.

“This experience was a great opportunity for me to solve complex real-world business issues with my analytical skills, which I believe to be a great foundation to pursue a career in data analytics,” said Lee. “I also got to know myself better from this experience. During the project, I was described as the ‘glue’ of the team, and I came to realize how meaningful it was for me to become a leader.”

Katie Lahti (IMC15), global business strategist at 3M, was impressed by what the team was able to accomplish during their Immersion Quarter project. “The team delivered an incredibly clear and compelling story based on new insights gleaned from data,” said Lahti. “I was particularly impressed by the team’s ability to leverage one another’s distinct strengths to quickly learn a diverse business, ask the right questions, determine the best analysis methods, and provide truly actionable recommendations to a complex project challenge.”

Nikith Deo (IMC22) worked on the Prudential brand revitalization team. Their project was to analyze how legacy and disruptive competitors attract and retain younger, more diverse audiences and develop an IMC plan based on those insights. “I learned a lot about the financial services landscape–a market I had no previous experience with–as part of the research process,” said Deo. “I also gained experience analyzing industries, generating insights from surveys, creating a detailed IMC plan, and presenting findings in a thoughtful and compelling way to C-Suite-level executives.”

Daniel Blatt, vice president and head of market research at Prudential, was impressed by the team’s variety of knowledge and skills. “The team’s different work, academic and personal experiences brought a diversity of thought that was critical to the success of the program,’” said Blatt.

Since 2013, student teams have participated in over 200 team consulting projects with leading companies. They have received very strong satisfaction ratings with every team, exceeding or meeting sponsor expectations.

Learn more about Immersion Quarter.