The Master of Science in Marketing Research (MSMR) program at the University of Texas at Arlington is one of only a handful of such programs in the world. The common goal of the Advisory Board and the University is a world-class graduate program in marketing research at UTA. We believe we have achieved that, but we also believe we can be even better.
We have steadily raised our entrance requirements, and this progression will continue. Our students are averaging about 600 on the GMAT admission test. The faculty is outstanding. The curriculum includes a solid mix of marketing and research theory and practical, project-oriented experience. MSMR graduates are highly competent, practically trained, ready-to-work professionals who can be quickly productive in today’s global business environment. We are placing our graduates in the best marketing research firms and departments around the country.
The Advisory Board came into existence in 1994 under the leadership of Jerry Thomas, founder and CEO of Decision Analyst in Arlington, TX, who was the chair until 2007. It includes recognized leaders in marketing research from major corporations around the world. Board members represent a broad cross-section of businesses and organizations, and include internationally recognized manufacturers of consumer packaged goods, marketing research firms, telecommunications service providers, energy companies, high-tech firms, automakers, industry associations, and many others. Board members come from United States, Mexico, South America, and Europe.
The purpose of the Advisory Board is to provide strategic guidance to the MSMR program and to bring real-world perspective and experience to the faculty and to the classroom. The Board, which now has 22 members, is projected to grow concomitantly with the student body. It is largely a roll-up-the-sleeves working Board, not an honorary club. Typically, about 60% of the Board is able to attend each of the two annual meetings (one in fall and one in spring). The term of office is two years. Most of the current members have opted to serve beyond their initial term.
Because of the nature of the guidance we seek from Board members, we try to have the most senior marketing research person represent the member firm. For a supplier, that would typically be the president of the firm. For a very large supplier a VP in charge of a service division would be appropriate. For a client firm, it would be the director or vice president of marketing research.
At the Advisory Board meetings, part of the time is spent interacting with students, part in listening to presentations by various Board members, and part in formal sessions to provide guidance to the program itself. Advisory Board members are invited periodically to spend a day on campus, to present seminars to students, and to serve as mentors to one or two students.
Benefits of Membership
What does a member firm gain from its involvement in the MSMR program? Perhaps most important is the opportunity to develop strong relationships with several of our students and have an inside track on recruiting those who you think would be great additions to your firm. Board firms can also use the internship program to take a closer look at students as potential employees. You also have a real opportunity to shape the education of these young professionals by advising the faculty and program director on curriculum and course content. There is also the satisfaction of giving something back to the profession of which you have become a leader. You also benefit from your interaction with the other members of the Board, who are also highly placed leaders in the field.
Membership Also Has Its Obligations
Being a Board member would take some of your time, but we try our best to limit the time requirement. Advisory Board meetings consume one to two days twice a year. Participation might also mean some work in preparing for a class visit. Mentoring involves periodic communication, by email or telephone and occasional personal visits, with two students throughout the year. Topics covered range from how to find a good internship to what different companies are like to work for to whether it is better to work for a supplier first, etc.
Board membership also takes some money. Advisory Board members are expected to contribute $2,750 per year to the MSMR Sustaining Fund. These monies go to provide student scholarships, to pay for the activities of the Advisory Board itself (receptions, meetings, conferences), and to help support student recruiting efforts and the management of the program. This money is deposited directly into the MSMR Sustaining Fund under the control of the University.
Additionally, Board members are expected to pay a one-time fee for each MSMR graduate whom they hire as a permanent full-time employee directly out of the program. We understand that not all organizations will be able to pay this fee all the time, but we urge Board members to strive to do so. As we increase the number of graduates, this could become an important source of funding for recruiting new students and providing scholarship money.
Becoming a Member
For firms that are interested in being represented on the MSMR Advisory Board, the first step is for a representative to contact Dr. Robert Rogers, the Director of the program. After that contact, if both sides wish to continue the process, the candidate firm should contact the Board Chair to discuss membership. If the Chair approves of the candidate, he or she would then nominate the firm for membership. The final decision on the appointment would rest with the full Advisory Board and The University of Texas.
A condition of serving on the Board is that you allow the MSMR program to use your name and your company’s name in advertising, publicity, and brochures. Naturally, we would give you a chance to approve any such use in advance, to make sure it conforms to your company’s standards.
Robert Rogers, Ph.D.
If you would like additional information about becoming a board member and what it entails, you may contact Chris Hauck at firstname.lastname@example.org. Chris has been a board member for several years and functions as the advisory board liaison to the MSMR Alumni and the Director of the MSMR Program, Dr. Robert Rogers.