In Professor Radich’s Marketing Strategy course, students are instructed to plan an event for their final project. While many students plan marketing strategies for the project, one group of students elected to plan and execute their marketing plan and facilitate a career fair for individuals with mental disabilities.
Seniors Gabriel Cuevas-Iraheta, Bernadette Launi, Leah Szews, and Breanna Molinaro organized the Special Works Career Fair in Heritage Hall on Saturday, April 1. Multiple organizations and businesses that hire individuals with disabilities organized display tables at the Special Works Career Fair. Organizations in attendance included Goodwill, Easterseals, Catholic Charities, and Best Buddies. With a headquarters located in Silver Spring, Easterseals is an international charitable organization committed to assisting people with disabilities both find and maintain jobs. Goodwill, Catholic Charities, and Best Buddies all have locations in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, and also offer employment opportunities to people with disabilities.
Professor Radich, of the Busch School of Business and Economics, focuses on ethics, international marketing, consumer behavior, selling and sales management, and benchmarking marketing investment and impact. Professor Radich is experienced in consulting training; he has advised Fortune 500 companies and government agencies on effective communication and marketing.
The Marketing course focuses on analytical and strategic dimensions, offering students general marketing knowledge of different product types. A unique feature of the class is its final project: the opportunity for students enrolled to plan and facilitate an event.
As the four seniors culminate their academic experience at the Catholic University of America, they decided to plan an event that they strongly believed would benefit others.
“We really believe that everyone deserves the chance to have a career and find a place where they belong,” said senior media and communications major Leah Szews. “This is something that can help with personal development and allow people feel like they’re part of the community.”
The group recognized their desire to contribute to the community and combined their dedication to altruism with the marketing strategies which they acquired from the course.
“We decided we wanted to do something that bettered other people,” said senior Bernadette Launi. “We could use what we learned in marketing and actually create an event that would do something for someone who needs help.”
The two hour Special Works Career Fair was the first event of its kind at the Catholic University of America. With development, the students hope that the event can flourish in the years to come.
“We want to pass on our notes to someone for next year,” said Launi. “We had to break down a lot of walls of communication because this is the first time that an event like this has occurred. We definitely want this to be something that should continue after this year.”
Although they are seniors, the students hope that the event will thrive and develop in the future.
“I really do think that this is a good event,” said Szews. “We’re trying to create a format for other classes or other groups within the school that can take on this type of project and make it a CUA event.”