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Procter & Gamble Pre-MBA Marketing Summer Camp Accepting Applications NOW

Proctor and Gamble (P&G), a giant in the consumer packaged goods industry, is currently accepting applications to its P&G Marketing MBA Summer Camp, a unique opportunity for students scheduled to enter business school next fall to get a crash course in marketing and an intimate introduction to P&G before even setting foot on their MBA campus.

The six-day, all-expenses paid camp provides an in-depth introduction to P&G Marketing for high-potential students from a range of backgrounds headed toward top-tier MBA programs. The week is filled with activities designed to teach participants all about P&G’s Corporate Strategies and Brand Building and how those brands and products touch the lives of consumers not only in the United States but around the world.

Mike Droessler, a summer 2009 alum of the P&G camp, learned about it from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, where he was scheduled to enroll that fall. He completed what was a pretty rigorous application process, including submitting an application and resume, taking both a logic test and an ethics test, and participating in multiple interviews. “It’s really competitive to get in,” he says. “On average they have about 550 applicants for 40 or so spots.” But it’s well worth the effort up front, Droessler says. “It’s a pretty amazing experience at a huge expense to P&G that they see is well worth it.”

What should campers expect when they arrive? “Every 15 minutes is full from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every single day,” Droessler says. “They try to expose you to all aspects of the company and all aspects of brand management,” he says, through panel discussions, presentations by the CEO and other top leaders, lunches and dinners hosted by different business units and lots of interaction with everyone in the company so you can know truthfully what the job is like. Participants also go on store visits – walking through a Target or a Walmart with an Assistant Brand Manager (ABM) to talk about what’s happening in the stores from packaging to placement to pricing. And toward the end of the camp week, campers are given a P&G problem as a type of case competition, which they work on in teams and present.

Droessler returned to P&G after graduating from USC and is now an ABM for Gain. “I felt that it gave me the best MBA experience anyone could possibly have,” he says. He knew that he wanted to come to a top company and work in marketing, so by participating in the pre-MBA camp and having a summer internship offer in hand within days of starting his MBA program, he could breathe easier and get more out of the actual MBA experience. “It’s not like I went into classes and had extra knowledge based on the six days I spent at P&G before school, but it saves you so much time, saves you a lot of money traveling and a ton of stress,” he says, which meant he could focus on work, take part in a lot of extracurricular activities and have more fun as well.

Felix Olmo, who participated in the brand camp in 2003 before attending business school at Cornell’s Johnson School of Management, echoed many of Droessler’s sentiments regarding the merits of the camp, including reduced stress around securing an internship during the first year of the MBA. But another significant highlight of the experience for him was something called “a day in the brand,” during which the camper gets to watch every detail of an ABM’s day. “They get complete visibility of what that day-to-day work is and what it looks like,” Olmo says. “In school you learn all the case studies but you don’t know what the steps look like in the real world.”

Olmo also notes that the experience gives summer campers a flavor of what Cincinnati is all about. “You go to every hot spot in the city, restaurants, clubs – and all of P&G comes out to spend time both formally and informally with you.” Finally, it also helped him create an inportant network that was ready to support him and answer questions when he returned as a summer intern and ultimately when he took a full-time position after graduating from Johnson. “I also had a degree of what to expect so I could hit the ground running,” he added. Olmo, P&G North America Pampers brand manager, also helps organize the annual summer camp for future campers.

P&G Marketing MBA Summer Camp will take place this year from July 22nd through 27th at P&G’s World Headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. Application materials are due June 30th.