Last semester, four teams of students from Klein College's Department of Advertising competed in the annual Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC), and placed 7th in the nation.

This challenge, which was conducted as a class and offered as an elective, allowed students to collaborate in a professional group setting, discuss the benefits of targeted advertising, illustrate how technical and cultural factors affect the success of an online advertising campaign and more. The course was broken up into two sections, with one taught by assistant professor of instruction Alison Ebbecke and another by assistant professor of instruction Rayce Rollins.

"GOMC was hands down the best educational experience I had in college," Zoe Rasmussen, KLN '17, said. "It gave me practical hands-on experience that not many other college students had, which ultimately gave me the confidence I needed to nail interviews and get the job I have today."

Teams in theĀ  GOMC competition were made up of three to six undergraduate and graduate students. All students who take the class and compete have to register through a verified faculty member or instructor employed at the university, according to the competition's website.

The students who competed got to work with real clients such as Matt Paton of Urban Axes and Kathy Jordan of Le Cat Cafe.

"Our client was a pleasure to work with," said Rachel Pease, KLN '17. "We worked with a local Cat Cafe, and so our mutual love of fuzzy felines and our shared passion for helping find kittens good homes made for an open and constructive agency-client relationship."

There were about 12,000 students who competed in this year's challenge and over 600 professors from over 65 countries.

"Working with my classmates was a blessing in disguise," said Briana Lafferty, KLN '17. "I was paired with the best possible team who inspired and motivated each other to produce our best work. Placing 7th in the entire country wouldn't have been possible without each one of them"

According to those who participated, the student-to-student and student-professor partnerships were positive across the board.

"Alison [Ebbecke] was by our side throughout the whole competition," said Caley Pantalone, KLN' 17. "She was merely an email away for anything we needed, and brought in some awesome speakers that showed us so much about this field."

The GOMC 2017 competition will cease to exist after this year.

"Effective 2018, Google has decided that they will no longer host the GOMC. Our department is committed to continuing to offer this course to our students," said Ebbecke. "We are excited to share the details for a new SEM [search engine marketing] challenge later this fall."