Getting Ready for Fall Rush

While a key period in the academic year, Rush represents only one phase in the bookstore’s year-round commitment to the college campus.

Long before the season starts to change, the college campus rouses from the summer break and explodes into the busiest time of the college calendar — Rush.

Even discounting parents, friends and well-wishers, the sheer numbers on campus are staggering. This fall semester, some 20.2 million students are expected to attend American colleges and universities, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Digest of Education Statistics, and perhaps in a nod to an improving economy, that number represents an increase of about 4.9 million since fall 2000.

For Barnes & Noble College, Rush raises the stakes at its 724 campus stores nationwide, as an intense period when resources are particularly tested. In the clamor for back to school, bookstore staff need to be ready for everything from producing school supplies, textbooks and even directions to their students’ first class…continue reading…

From One College Intern to Another

It’s hard to believe that five years ago I was in my senior year of college, Marketing Major, Advertising Minor.

I was the VP of my sorority.

And I was starting my internship at Barnes & Noble College.

It was my first time in a large corporate setting – I had not a clue where to start. Fast forward to 2015, I am now the Senior Marketing Specialist in the very same department where I started as an intern.

Time to pay it forward: I was asked to mentor our college interns this summer.

When this opportunity was first presented to me, my immediate thought was “Yes! This is amazing, I have a lot of advice to give!” Then my wheels started turning and I thought, ‘What if I give them the wrong advice?! Do I really have anything valuable and interesting to share???’

I prepped for the first meeting the night before. I wrote out exactly what I would say. I confirmed the topic we were covering.

The moment we sat down, all that prep seemed useless. It became very clear to me what I had to say that was valuable and interesting! Our college interns weren’t looking for some formal sit-down, they wanted real world experiences. They were hungry for knowledge and guidance and that is exactly what I would gave them this summer.

So what advice did I share?

Never give up and stay hungry for more. I know it seems cliché, but there been points in my career that I felt defeated, and wanted to take myself out of the game. Looking back at how my former college intern self has grown, it was those points that have molded me into the professional I am today.

sameSamantha is a Senior Marketing Specialist. She graduated from Fairleigh Dickenson University with a major in Marketing and a minor in Advertising. She began her career at BNCM as a college intern, and enjoyed it so much, it grew into a permanent position. Outside of the office, Samantha enjoys cooking, hosting dinner parties for friends at home, hiking with her husband and 2 pups, and doing anything adventurous outdoors.



“The Real Scoop” on College Marketing: The Final Installment

Our summer interns, Lindsey & Cayla, share “The Real Scoop” on college marketing and what they really want brands to know.

As college students, we can tell you first hand that we want brands to connect with us.  It’s the first time we can decide for ourselves what we want to buy without the input of our parents/guardians.   When we get to discover who we want to be, how we want to dress, what we really like to eat for breakfast and decide which brands we want to identify with.  We are excited to try new things, make our own decisions and buy what WE want.

What do we want brands to know?


Just as we are getting into the swing of things with classes and can finally get around campus without getting lost, all those awesome brand activations are nowhere to be found!  It’s like, “Where did all the cool events & samples go?!”

Wouldn’t it be nice to activate on campus in October or March, when it’s cold & grey?  What better way to show us you care than by helping us out when we are studying for exams.

 College students


Trust us – any type of promotion would be highly appreciated by students who have been sitting in the library studying for days.  Here are some back to basic ideas that will still give us the “warm & fuzzies”:

  • Coffee – We’ll never turn down a little extra caffeine
  • Granola Bars – Easy to snack on while you’re studying or in between exams
  • 5Hour Energy – when you just need a little boost
  • A healthy alternative to junk food – because who doesn’t look for a chocolate bar when they’re stressed
  • An extra pencil or eraser never hurts

Thanks for Following “The Real Scoop” on College Marketing!  Until next year…


Redine the Internship

Experimenting Professionally in College

How Brands can Redefine the Internship

College is a period of incubation.

We all know this story from the social perspective, and even the educational perspective: how you can meet more friends and learn more subjects in four years than you can repeat in the next 10 years.

Often overlooked, though, is the opportunity for professional experimentation that college permits.

At colleges across the nation, there is a world of resources at student’s fingertips – financially, in infrastructure, and otherwise. A small team or just one student can build projects or companies that last well beyond their academic tenure.

In my time at college, I was able to start a small business connecting local restaurants, retailers, and service providers with the college students at my school. I was able to dip my feet into marketing, sales, market research and HR – all in a professional setting that wasn’t for grades, but for real money from real people.

This experience was, of course, extremely rewarding and a great resume-builder, but it furthermore gave me a breadth of ideas for where I might want to move forward with my professional career.

My own opportunity fell into my lap, and I took advantage. But as a brand, there is an opportunity for you to give students their own chance to own a project that will change their lives, and possibly the future of your brand.

A few tips for brands considering this:

Think BIG

  1. Surely anyone could use some extra help around the office: filing papers, entering data – the usual. But today’s college students are being pulled in a hundred directions, and you’ll need to sell your project to students.
  2. This is your chance to delegate that cool but disconnected project that you never could get around to. Students will respond to a real challenge, and the results might just change the course of your brand’s future.

Make it real

  1. Just as authenticity is important in your college marketing strategy, the projects that these students are working on should have some real-world implications.
  2. You don’t have to implement the project, but – but busy work will not fly for this increasingly entrepreneurial generation of college students.


Remember to see things from the student’s perspective. Now is not the time to micro-manage. These students are going through a whirlwind of new ideas and emerging topics through their everyday classwork and experiences. Let their creativity shine through.

Try it out! It may not be an instant hit at your company, and it may never evolve into a life-changing, groundbreaking success. But at the very least, you’ve recruited a forward-thinking student who is more than just a brand ambassador, and the possibilities that could come from this exist far beyond what can be expressed on this page.

“In the Trenches” with the College Marketing Experts

We are experts in College Marketing – in the simplest terms.  But did you know, that each of us is a former NCAA gymnast…a twin mom…a fine wine connoisseur…a crafting enthusiast…a former college entrepreneur…and an amateur chef-in-the-making?

This month, we got “in the trenches” with  Senior Marketing Specialist, Samantha Evans to get her take on College Marketing.

college marketing and marketing to millennials expert What is your role at Barnes & Noble College Marketing?

I am the Senior Marketing Specialist.  In my role, I oversee programs from ideation to field execution.  I work with our sales teams on new programs so that they can leverage our numerous marketing elements and select the most appropriate stores for our partners’ goals. Once a program is sold, my job is to ensure that our programs are properly communicated to our bookstore managers, so that they can educate our bookstore employees about it, and successfully execute the program, in-store.  

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

You would never guess this one – First I wanted to be a tornado chaser, because I saw the movie “Twister” one too many times!  Then, as I got older, I wanted to be a wedding planner.

How does one go from Tornado Chaser to working at Barnes & Noble College?

I was a marketing major and advertising minor at Fairleigh Dickinson University – Madison Campus.  I interned within the BNCM department in 2010, and ended up making this my permanent home!

What is the best advice you would give brands as they begin planning a marketing program for millennials?

A great product or service is not enough anymore.  Brands must directly engage with students in such a way that students feel connected with them.  Up until this point in their lives, students haven’t been making their own brand decisions, but rather they have been using what mom and dad purchased.  College is the first time when purchasing power is directly in their hands.  That is why the college years are a critical time for brands to establish and build a lasting relationship.

Never talk at your audience – engage with them.  Our event marketing is a great way to do this because brands are able to have real conversations with students on campus.

What has been your favorite program to work on at BNC?

I have two favorites, both of which involved experiential marketing on campus.  The first program was the “Chevrolet Ride and Drive Graduate” program which included an array of in-store and digital marketing on a national scale that promoted their graduate discount.  The best part of the program was the “Ride and Drive” event.  We were able to bring a Chevrolet dealership to the students on campus, allowing them to test drive different Chevrolet cars, enter to win cool prizes, and get additional information about the graduate discount.  This gave our students a real “hands-on” experience with the brand.  

The second program was the “Cosmo on Campus Tour”.  At these in-store events, our female students had the opportunity to get make-overs, hair consultations and mini-manicures from beauty professions from L’Oreal.  Cosmo also partnered with Ann Taylor for some great discounts on their stylish collection.  Our students had the chance to win a scholarship on behalf of L’Oreal and Ann Taylor!

What is your favorite past-time / hobby?

I love crafting, cooking, and entertaining.  My husband and I have people over often just so I can throw a dinner party!  I also love being outside, hiking with my pups, biking, anything adventurous.

As a whole, the Barnes & Noble College Marketing team brings a wide range of industry knowledge and job experience to the table.  Our ultimate objective is to give our partners direct access to college students, so they can begin to build a successful, long term relationship with their Millennial customers.  

Yes, we are the College Marketing experts, but we are so much more!

Welcome to Barnes & Noble Education!


Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), today announced that it has completed the separation of its Retail and College businesses. Barnes & Noble Education, Inc. is now an independent public company and the parent of Barnes & Noble College, trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol, “BNED.” The Company’s leadership team joined with store managers to ring the opening bell at the NYSE this morning to mark the milestone.

“This is an exciting day in the history of Barnes & Noble College,” said Max J. Roberts, Chief Executive Officer, Barnes & Noble Education. “We are an industry leader with 724 campus stores serving colleges and universities and more than 5 million students and their faculty across the country. As a separate public company, we believe we are well positioned to take advantage of future growth opportunities and enhance our services for our current and future customers.”

Following today’s spinoff of College, Michael Huseby, former Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble, Inc., became Executive Chairman of Barnes & Noble Education, which will have a separate Board of Directors. As previously announced, Ronald D. Boire will take over as Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble, Inc. effective September 8, 2015.

Under the terms of the separation, stockholders who held BKS common stock on July 27, 2015 (the “Record Date”) received a distribution of 0.632 BNED common share for every one share of BKS common stock held as of the record date.

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