Mentor-for-a-Day: Designed for Professors, Students, and DM Managers

Are you a PROFESSOR at a college or university in the Mid-Atlantic area with a few exceptional students who might benefit from the EF’s
Mentor-for-a-Day program?
or …
Are you a STUDENT looking to make professional contacts?
or …
on the outlook for talent?

Here’s a thought: The DMAW Educational Foundation’s Mentor-for-a-Day program brings talented students and prospective employers together for a day. The students visit the sponsoring firm’s facilities for an eyes-on look at the various dimensions of direct marketing.

Everybody wins.

For details on who should apply, why, and how — along with success stories from students and employers alike, read on.

For Students

Students Ask Professors for a Recommendation and Then Sign-up!

In addition to a professor’s recommendation, students should have a specific interest in the direct/integrated marketing industry and be looking in the greater Washington area job market. Students who have contributed significantly to a team’s Collegiate MAXI competition are highly encouraged, as are students who have won recent MAXI or ECHO competitions.

What are direct marketing firms looking for?

D13_193_Oct_OS_Faculty nfs Michael_Clayton, KSB, faculty

Michael Clayton, Ph.D., Professorial Lecturer and M.S. in Marketing Program Director at American University talks about why a direct marketing career might appeal to Millennials.

“Ultimately, I’ve found over the years that most direct marketing professional are attracted to DM for its rare blend of art and science. Even a left-brain thinker like me – who doesn’t have a creative bone in his body, believe me – appreciates and admires the creative side of our industry.

Ideas definitely flow from the pens and lenses of copywriters and art directors. But, make no mistake, innovation and out-of-the-box thinking also circulates throughout the science of direct marketing. When the art and science collide, we get measurable success. That’s powerful. It’s also a lot of fun.”

Read Michael Clayton’s full article here.

Check out student application specifics here.

Download the Mentor-for-a-Day-Student-Application here.

Meet four students who took advantage of        Mentor-for-a-Day

LeighAnneDoylePhotoLeigh Ann Doyle via Salisbury University
The Production Management Group/PMG 

“I liked that the Mentor for a Day program provided the structure for me to experience and learn about the direct marketing/mail industry in a way that I would never been able to experience otherwise. PMG went above and beyond by taking me on a tour of a print shop so that I could better understand what they do and see it firsthand. I was able to immerse myself into the ‘real world’- before actually entering it – and capture a glimpse of what it might be like to work in direct mail.

LucasHerndonLucas Jarvis Herndon via Southern Virginia University
The Colortree Group and Royall & Company 

“The most enjoyable feature of the program was that it provided myself with an overall understanding of the specific niche that the various companies operate in. This feature allowed for my experience to broaden instead of being centralized on a specific operation that the company does well. I also developed a large interest in the marketing field with the help of both Colortree Group and Royall & Company representatives.”

Danielle-HartDanielle Hart via Salisbury University
The Engage Group/PMG 

“The Mentor for a Day program allowed me to see what a real-life marketing job is all about. For most of my college career I had envisioned – I’m sure like most other marketing students – that a typical advertising agency summed up what everyone in the Marketing realm did for work. Boy was I wrong. After I toured a printshop, heard from expert direct marketers (like Chip Heartfield), and learned about four entirely different business models that go into making fundraising for nonprofits successful, I had an entirely different perspective. Not only did I realize that marketing can be applied to nonprofits, but also that there are many different specialized fields within fundraising that are all options for employment.”

Tasheika Box via the University of the District of Columbia
Quad Graphics 

“I enjoyed shadowing Carrie Schweikart at Quad Graphics sales office in Alexandria, VA. Mrs. Schweikart showed the library where all the previous catalogs were printed out and the direct mailing system that’s being utilized with various clients. I was also shown how the bridal catalogs are created (selection of models, wedding dresses and colors that are chosen for the catalog). Seeing the equipment that is used on a daily basis was great to see and how it’s applied was exciting! The afternoon was spent in Martinsburg, WV where catalogs and magazines are printed for many of their clients. I was able to examine the beginning and final stages of a magazine. This experience gave me an inside view of how Quad Graphics markets to their individual customers/subscribers utilizing the tools they have to minimize their costs while doing so.

I would recommend the Mentor for a Day Program because it gives you the opportunity to see Marketing up close and personal. I believe this program gives you the opportunity outside the classroom to gain a better understanding of the direct marketing process. Now that I have participated in this program I have a greater appreciation for what direct marketing is all about.”

Read the full article on student success stories here.


For Employers

We Mentored, We Won!

Rick-Powell-Linkedin-214x300Rick Powell, president of PMG, has hired TWO students via Mentor-for-a-Day!

“Our business model has typically relied on hiring individuals with at least five years of experience in some aspect of direct response. Some of our team comes from print and mail shops, others from creative agencies or data processing firms; it had been many years since we hired right out of school.

That all changed when our first DMAW/EF Mentor-for-a-Day student, Danielle Hart from Salisbury University, came to the office. The next year – same song, different student. Leigh Ann Doyle, also from Salisbury, came for a day, then a summer, then part-time until we could figure out how to afford her full-time. “

Read Rick Powell’s full article here.


Today’s Students May Not Be Who You Think. 

Michael J. Clayton. Professorial Lecturer and M.S. in Marketing Program Director at American University and the eighth recipient of the O’Hara Leadership Award describes what’s happening with direct marketing at the collegiate level.

“The most common inaccuracy is that direct marketing equals direct mail. The focus on “Big Data” in the news has certainly helped with this. Now students are beginning to recognize all the value and opportunities created through customer databases.”

Read Michael Clayton’s full article here.

 Here’s the Best Way to Meet Today’s Students.

Theresa B. Clarke JMUTheresa Clarke, Ph.D., recipient of the 2015 DMAW/EF O’Hara Leadership Award and a professor at James Madison University (JMU), teaches marketing to undergraduate and MBA students. Dr. Clarke has this advice for direct marketing firms looking to attract talent.

“First, get involved with the Collegiate MAXI competition. Come to watch the presentations or come and volunteer as a judge. Talk to the students and see how they perform. The MAXIs are where the best students go. They compete because they want to and because the field intrigues them. Also, the competition provides opportunities to interact with the students during downtimes while the judging is going on. With this generation, it’s important to make a personal connection and this is a great way to get to know the students.

Also, connect with professors, especially as a guest speaker in the classrooms. When I tell students a fact, and a guest speaker tells students a fact, guess which fact the student remembers? The guest speaker, of course.”

Read more from Dr. Clarke here.

Remember …

Download the Student Application Here.

Or click here to fill out the Application Online: 

Download the Employer Application here.

Please contact Krista Sassaman at