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Consumer Innovation Consortium Scholars bring consumer research methods to partner companies

Three Jenkins MBA students have been delivering top academic research techniques to industry leaders in consumer-centric innovation this year through their role as 2014-15 Consumer Innovation Consortium Scholars in the Poole College of Management.
The CIC Scholars – first-year MBA candidate Catalina Aguirre Burneo and second-year MBA candidates Janelle Tracy and Jared Whitehead – each have advanced consumer research experience and each brings different elements of consumer behavior knowledge and a different range of experience to benefit the CIC’s partners, said Colbey Emerson Reid, director of the Consumer Innovation Consortium.
“These Scholars exemplify the dedication and the unique knowledge and experience of Consumer Innovation Practicum students, whose work assists partner companies with understanding trends and better serving their clients and stakeholders,” Reid said. Whitehead is in his second year as lead coordinator for the Consumer Behavior Lab at NC State.
“Jared and Janelle bring experience working with AmerisourceBergen, Burt’s Bees, Cotton Incorporated and Quintiles using qualitative and quantitative strategies,” she said, “and Catalina has experience practicing both clinical and experimental psychology in Ecuador and the United States.”
“Being a CIC scholar is providing me the tools to be ready for the type of positions and companies that I would like to join in the future,” Burneo said.
“As CIC Scholars, we have a unique glimpse into the future of a business and industries,” Tracy said. “We get a ‘sneak peek’ at the challenges they want to prepare for, the innovations they are considering and the new strategic directions they’re considering.”
“The CIC has been a valuable tool, as well as a strong differentiator, in my professional roles,” she said. “I’m beginning to find that my research and behavioral studies experience is extending beyond marketing functions, as various other teams and departments are seeking innovative ways to learn more about the consumer side of their output or roles.”
Stacy Wood, Langdon Professor of Marketing in Poole College and CIC’s executive director, said this year’s CIC Scholars accomplish exceptional work to support the program and the CIC’s partner companies.
“Everyone involved knows that work of the highest professional caliber was accomplished and that our partner firms will be using the knowledge generated immediately,” Wood said.
“Consumer Innovation Scholars are dedicated to forwarding the CIC goal to generate industry and interdisciplinary academic excitement for consumer research,” Reid said. “They’re thought and methods ambassadors for our enterprise, both during their time as students and, hopefully, long after graduation.”

In the photo

Catalina Aguirre Burneo, Jared Whitehead and Janelle Tracy

About the 2014-15 Consumer Innovation Consortium Scholars

Catalina Aguirre Burneo
Burneo is a first-year Jenkins MBA candidate concentrating in Marketing. A native of Ecuador, she earned her undergraduate degree in clinical psychology from the Universidad San Francisco de Quito.Catalina’s research interests include consumer behavior and organizational psychology. Prior to entering the Jenkins MBA program, Catalina had four years of experience in research, working in consultancy, academia and non-profit organizations. As a CIC Scholar, Catalina assists Stacy Wood, CIC director, with consumer behavior research to support her academic research and the goals of CIC partners.
Janelle Tracy
Tracy is a second-year Jenkins MBA candidate pursuing a concentration in marketing. She received her undergraduate degree from James Madison University, where she majored in marketing and minored in human resource development. Prior to entering the Jenkins MBA program, Tracy was marketing manager for a regional retailer, where she oversaw development and implementation of the company’s strategic marketing and communications plan. In addition to her work as a CIC Scholar, she serves as the MBA University Graduate Student Association Representative and a Peer Coach for first year MBA students.
Jared Whitehead
Whitehead is a second-year Jenkins MBA candidate concentrating in marketing. As a CIC Scholar, he coordinates the Consumer Behavior Lab at NC State. He is a 2012 graduate of Austin Peay State University’s School of Business, with a bachelor’s degree in business administration concentrating in marketing and finance. As a CIC Scholar and a Consumer Innovation Practicum team member, Whitehead leads survey and research initiatives, as well as specialty marketing campaigns related to consumer psychology. He currently works as a marketing research intern for Bandwidth, where he monitors website traffic, email campaigns and CRM software activity for trends and opportunities.