WT Student Duo Places Highly in National Competition

Chip Chandler Mar 28, 2024
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WT Student Duo Places Highly in National Competition

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CANYON, Texas — Two West Texas A&M University graduate students recently ranked highly in a national marketing competition.

The duo of Mehrdad Samimi, an MBA student in the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business from Keraj, Iran, and Kyndall Hill, a graduate student in the Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences from Canadian, ranked fourth among hundreds of entries in the Digital Marketing Competition hosted by Purdue University Northwest’s College of Business.

Samimi and Hill, both students in Dr. Mary Liz Brooks’ Emerging Media in Advertising course, developed a digital marketing campaign for LuvSeats, an event ticketing platform based in Las Vegas.

The students created their campaign for this competition in less than two months, beginning in January. Their campaign ideas could only incorporate digital marketing techniques and tactics and included research, a specific target market, a campaign strategy, timeline and budget, and methods to measure the campaign’s success, said Brooks, WT’s Barbara Petty Professor of Business Communication in the Engler College of Business.

Brooks said the competition is valuable for students for numerous reasons including the chance to work with a real client, collaborating with others in various disciplines across campus and staying on top of trends in the digital marketing industry.

“The work these graduate students put into this campaign is admirable,” she said. “The two of them were strangers before they took on this project together and had to jump in quickly and learn how to trust each other and lean on each other’s knowledge and skills to produce a very solid campaign.”

Dr. Amjad Abdullat, dean of the Engler College of Business, said the team’s success speaks volumes about the caliber of WT students.

“This team’s fourth-place ranking is a testament to the practical, real-world education provided in WT’s Engler College of Business,” Abdullat said. “This achievement highlights the college's significant role in developing future leaders in the digital marketing industry.”

The contest ran Jan. 2 to March 8. Results were announced March 20.

This is the second time this competition has been incorporated into a course in the Engler College of Business. In the fall, a team of four undergraduate students placed in the top 25 out of 271 teams. Their client was Sole Search, a GPS tracking device to help aid in the reduction of childhood abductions.

The Digital Marketing Competition first began in 2019 to provide students with practical experience in the growing field of digital marketing. The competition is offered in both Fall and Spring semesters and offers an undergraduate and graduate level competition. Typically, 250+ collegiate teams from around the world participate in this competition each semester.

Focusing graduate academics on regional opportunities, such as developing strong digital marketing skills, is a key maxim of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic One West comprehensive fundraising campaign, which reached its initial $125 million goal 18 months after publicly launching in September 2021. The campaign’s new goal is to reach $175 million by 2025; currently, it has raised nearly $160 million.



About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. WT, a Hispanic Serving Institution since 2016, boasts an enrollment of about 10,000 and offers 59 undergraduate degree programs and more than 40 graduate degrees, including two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 14 men’s and women’s athletics programs.