Breaking News

Western launches food marketing graduate certificate | WMU News

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University’s food and consumer package goods marketing program is now offering a graduate certificate aimed at helping industry professionals take their careers to new heights. Available as a standalone program or in conjunction with an Master of Business Administration, the graduate certificate helps professionals grow their knowledge and leadership capacity through a curriculum developed by faculty members who have made Western’s food marketing program the best in the nation.

“It’s an exciting time to be in the industry, with customer connection, category management, food marketing and supply chain front and center,” says Dr. Russell Zwanka, associate professor of marketing and director of the food marketing program. “At the Haworth College of Business, we want to make sure those we serve in the industry are prepared with the best tools to move their careers ahead.”

The program is designed with the student in mind in terms of course content and course format. All courses are HyFlex, enabling either in-person or online participation. “This program will catapult students’ careers, giving them the flexibility to complete the certificate from wherever this industry takes them,” says Zwanka. The flexibility of the program is particularly critical as the students in this program will often experience promotions and career moves as they gain opportunities in the workplace, and can maintain progress toward the MBA no matter where their careers take them.

“The curriculum emphasizes experiential learning,” says Dr. Marcel Zondag, associate professor of marketing and the director of the Food Industry Research and Education Center. “Students will be working with real data on issues that affect the global food industry today. Also, in collaboration with our research center, students can earn credit for marketing, continuous improvement, or supply chain projects completed for their employers.”

Program highlights

  • The 15-credit-hour food marketing graduate certificate can be earned on its own or in conjunction with an MBA from the Haworth College of Business, with the certificate credits counting toward an MBA degree.
  • The program focuses on global food marketing strategy and category management, with hands-on projects that allow for experience in a professional position to count toward the program.
  • All courses are offered in a HyFlex format where students can attend in-person, online or switch up how they attend. Ninety-six percent of students say the flexible course format maintains work-life balance.

“We anticipate that many students will be interested in earning the Food Marketing Graduate Certificate as part of their MBA, since credits from the certificate count in the program,” says Dr. Steve Newell, associate dean for graduate programs and operations at WMU Haworth. “Essentially, students can customize their MBA by taking special classes focused on topics related to food and consumer packaged goods. As a result, students will gain more concentrated, value-added knowledge and skills that will bring immediate value to their current positions, while providing future opportunities for career advancement.”

Those interested in the food marketing graduate certificate may visit the website or contact Dr. Russell Zwanka.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.