Marketing Challenge Finalists Visit Googleplex

From: Public Affairs

JMU Students and Faculty at Googleplex in California

Oct. 1, 2008

Harrisonburg, VA – Four James Madison University business majors recently traveled to Googleplex, Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, as part of their award for being finalists in the 2008 Google Online Marketing Challenge.

The challenge is an online competition in which students used Google AdWords to create and run an online marketing campaign for a local business. Five teams from JMU participated in the 2008 challenge, and one team was one of two finalists in the Americas region, which includes North, Central and South America. The JMU finalists placed in the top 10 out of 1,670 teams.

Four of the five team members, Ryan Farrell, Bethany Kent, Katie McGinnis and Renee Montmeny (team captain), flew to the headquarters in Mountain, Calif., to meet the team that created AdWords and to be recognized in an awards ceremony. Theresa Flaherty, professor of marketing at JMU, asked students to enter the challenge as part of a class assignment. She accompanied the winning team to the Googleplex.

One of the finalists, Bethany Kent, described her trip to the Googleplex as surreal. Team leader Renee Montmeny said the Googleplex was not what she expected but "better in every way."

The Googleplex is called a campus because it resembles a real college campus rather than a typical corporate office. Montmeny says Googlers have "19 different places to eat, a pool, a gym, a doctor’s office, a hair salon, tennis courts, volleyball nets, and plenty of areas to rest, relax, work and enjoy your day."

The visit included breakfast with the Googlers and a tour of the Googleplex campus. During an interactive presentation, students learned about the history of Google, the function of sales and markets and the career opportunities at Google. They also received constructive feedback about their performances in the Google Online Marketing Challenge. Later, the teams were recognized in an award ceremony.

For more information, contact Toni Mehling, communication director in JMU’s College of Business, at 540-568-5169 or mehlintd@jmu.edu

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