You (each student) are to visit (meet with, interview) a person outside your own company (no relatives or personal friends allowed) who is engaged in a business-tobusiness purchasing, marketing or channel activity covered in the course. Examples of
B2B activities or positions include (remember the course concerns the B2B market not the B2C market):
B2B agent or broker (e.g. customs broker, commercial realtor)
B2B buyer (e.g. Kroger or Macy’s employee who purchases product from manufacturers or distributors)
B2B distributor (e.g. channel distributing, trucking, shipping, warehousing, etc.)
B2B Internet marketer (Internet site tailored to business market)
B2B market researcher (researching the business market)
B2B purchasing agent or representative
B2B sales force manager
B2B service representative
B2B trade show organizer
Government or institutional purchasing representative first, to prepare for the interview, develop a list of questions or topics you would like to discuss with your contact. A Discussion board session (starting in late June) will be devoted to a student discussion of possible interview questions. The interview should cover appropriate material (depending on the interviewee) that is in the course. Read ahead the material in chapters not yet covered in the course if this material is appropriate to discuss with your chosen interviewee.
Second, write up the interview by answering the following 7 sets of questions: (remember to make each set of questions shown below (#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6 and #7) a section with heading in your paper). As an option, in section #8 students can include the actual questions used in the interview (note that section #8 does not count in the paper word total of 3 pages. Also, remember, this project is an application of the course material and, as such, students need to weave course material into the interview and the interview write up.
#1) Summarize (do not give a word-for-word account) the more interesting responses to your list of questions plus any other interesting topics discussed in the interview. Were there any surprises? Explain.
#2) Critically analyze the responses. What is the interviewee doing well and not so well? Do you feel your contact really understands his/her field? Explain. Did your contact reinforce points in the text or contradict the text? If so, in your opinion, which is correct? Be convincing.
#3) Did you learn anything from the interview? Explain. Be specific.
#4) Develop a rating scale before the interview and rate the interviewee (after you have left the interview) on job performance and any other category you feel is appropriate given the course material and the interviewee’s job activity. Give your results in the paper and explain. (I would suggest you do NOT mention this aspect of the write-up to your interviewee). [Note: rating items are not ranking items. With ratings, one uses a scale such as 1-5 where 1 is poor and 5 is very good. Ranking is where one lists the items in some type of order such as from bad to good.]
#5) Given what you have learned in this course, what concepts or techniques covered in the course would you recommend your interviewee adopt? Explain. Be specific and convincing. This part as if you were a consultant hired by your interviewee to review his or her work and make recommendations.
#6) Would you recommend this type of B2B activity (the job activity your interviewee discussed) to a fellow undergraduate seeking employment? Explain.
#7) Give the name, company and location of your contact.
#8) Optional section – a list of the actual questions used in the interview.
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