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Business Bobcats seize the opportunity to learn from digital marketing leaders

Thursday, December 1 2016 12:00am

Digital Marketing and Sales Strategies students attend HubSpot’s INBOUND 2016 conference in Boston.

Tags: Marketing

By Mackenzie O’Dwyer 

“We couldn’t pass up an opportunity like this,” said Cat Stolar, current junior studying marketing and international business. “Sam’s mom owns a van, so we all piled in and made the 12-hour drive to Boston!”

Nine College of Business marketing students, including Stolar and her peer Sam, didn’t waste time after receiving free admission to INBOUND 2016, HubSpot’s annual digital marketing conference, a value of $500 per ticket. They set up a GoFundMe account for travel expenses, chipped in to book an Airbnb vacation rental, packed up the van and went off to Boston.

“I'm incredibly impressed that the students had the desire and passion to get outside of the bubble and make the trek for the experience,” said Nate Riggs, professor of Marketing and founder and CEO of NR Media Group. “They paid their own travel, lodging and everything in between.”

Riggs is a professor of the Digital Marketing and Sales Strategies course in Ohio University’s College of Business. His course teaches Inbound Methodology to students interested in digital marketing sales. He also uses an enterprise license of HubSpot to prepare Business Bobcats for careers after graduation.

“I think it’s incredibly important that colleges are aware that software like this exists and can help close the digital skills gap so agency owners can hire talented students right out of college that don’t need on-the-job training and development,” said Riggs. “The HubSpot Education Partner Program merges professionals and professors to give students the skills they need to be effective in the workforce.”

As an education partner, Ohio University professors and students have access to HubSpot’s marketing and sales educational resources. Not only does Riggs incorporate these resources into his course, but he gives students an opportunity to earn their Inbound Certification and HubSpot Marketing Software Certification before the end of the semester. 

“HubSpot is dedicated to helping students obtain the skills they need to flourish in their careers, and we're dedicated to providing their professors with the resources they need to teach as effectively as possible,” said Isaac Moche, manager of HubSpot’s Education Partner Program. “We created our Education Partner Program to support the professors who are rethinking the way the world learns marketing and sales.” 

HubSpot is addressing the skills gap that exists across industries through their program. As part of this effort, HubSpot decided to offer free INBOUND 2016 admission to students who completed the Inbound Certification.    

“We wanted to celebrate the students who took that initiative to get Inbound Certified, so we invited them to HubSpot to experience the INBOUND event. Our hope is that it inspired them to take control of their career and continue down a path of continuous learning and development,” said Moche.   

At the conference, students listened to everyone from Pitch Perfect star Anna Kendrick and tennis champion Serena Williams to the co-founders of HubSpot and several industry experts such as Professor Riggs. They learned about the fundamentals and the new trends in digital marketing, sales and business. They also had an opportunity to network with Ohio-area professionals.

“You can learn so much outside the classroom and INBOUND 2016 was certainly eye opening,” said Stolar. “I discovered my passion and job opportunities that would allow me to pursue that passion. I don’t think I would’ve gotten that from sitting in the classroom.”

Moche had the opportunity to meet the students at this year’s conference and will be attending their final class presentations on the Athens Campus this December.   

“They fund-raised their way to Boston, and were there to support their teacher as he shared his experience with the community,” Moche said. “What a great group of future business leaders.”

INBOUND 2016 didn’t count for class credit and it didn’t need to. These Business Bobcats took initiative to continue their education beyond the classroom and will remember the experience long after graduation.  

“This shows how passionate, professional and hard Business Bobcats hustle to drive their careers,” said Riggs.