FREDERICTON – When The Ville Cooperative, a community organization promoting health, sustainability and partnership, needed help with market research, it didn’t hire a marketing firm. Instead, it looked to the Business Administration: Marketing program at New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) Fredericton.
The Ville recently charged the second-year marketing students with the task of determining the viability of “intergenerational housing” – where older adults live under the same roof as young adults. Nine groups of marketing students answered the call and conducted real world market research, which they then compiled and presented to The Ville.
“We were basically hired by The Ville to gauge interest in the community in senior adults and students living together,” said Business Administration: Marketing student Kaitlynn Arbeau. “We carried out some focus groups and surveys and got a lot of good insight.
“It’s given me hands-on experience in my field, with all the related processes and deadlines,” she added. “I feel like I’m in the workplace.”
Arbeau’s group found, through its research, enough interest for intergenerational housing in the community to warrant more in-depth research. Arbeau and her “colleagues” recommended more data collection, with targeted questions and a larger sample size, to determine the viability of intergenerational housing in Fredericton. The finding was a common one amongst the nine groups.
This collaboration with The Ville is just one of the many applied research projects being undertaken by NBCC learners across six campuses. NBCC actively engages staff and learners in applied research with the goal of enriching the learning experience for students while helping advance industries and communities and supporting economic development in New Brunswick.
For student Valeria Gutierrez, the real-world experience gave her additional insight on her chosen field of work.
“A lot of the time, we work on fictional companies. When it’s a real company, it’s a much better experience,” she noted. “When it’s real, you get to see all the good and all the bad.”
Student Miruna Timotin agreed.
“This project gave me assurance that this is what it’s going to be like in the workplace,” she said. “When you look at job descriptions, a lot of them require experience. We’ve already acquired experience, while still in school.”