Marketing to the
College Crowd

Our thoughts on everything college

How to Land that Coveted Internship

Landing an internship is important step to every college student and can become quite stressful.  Our #universitychat this week focused on what’s important to students when looking for an internship and what personal tips they have for the internship search.

How do you typically go about finding an internship?

Our students almost all start at their respective career services centers.  These places are great because there are a lot of options of industries and types of internships, plus many career services centers offer resume critiques and mock interviews!  Also, internship opportunities forwarded to you through organizations are a great way to get contacts.  Companies send these emails because they want to recruit students who participate on campus in worthy organizations and many students don’t take advantage of these opportunities!

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*UQ TIP: Networking is key. Don’t be afraid to ask your contacts (professional or personal) for help finding an internship.


What’s most important to you when choosing an internship?

First and foremost, our students want internships that relate to their majors or intended career fields.  Hands-on experience and the ability to make a meaningful impact on the company are also important.

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*UQ TIP: Don’t choose an internship solely because you think it will “look good” on your resume.  The experience and skills you gain are going to be what’s valuable in the long run, not that you spent the summer working at the largest corporation in the world fetching coffee.

 

What do you expect to learn in an internship (regardless of industry)?

Students want to learn in an internship what they can’t in the classroom.  Field experience is important to be able to apply the skills learning in the classroom to real-life experiences.

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*UQ TIP: In an interview, ask questions about what past interns have done.  This way, you can get a good feel for what your responsibilities might be and if the internship is a good fit!

 

How do you define a “good” boss? What qualities does that person have?

Across the board, our students defined a good boss as one who is authoritative, helpful, knowledgeable, dedicated, and most importantly, accessible.

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*UQ TIP: A good boss should take the time to mentor and teach you.  It’s a two-way street: if you want to be mentored, take the time to express that to your boss and he or she will most likely reciprocate.

 

Would you rather have a paid internship at a boring company, or an unpaid internship at a cool company? Why?

Our students all chose an unpaid internship at a cool company.  They cited how passion, experience, and learning from relatable people can all benefit your career in the long run.

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*UQ TIP: Choose an internship for the experience you will gain, not the money you will make.

 

Would you rather intern for a large corporate company or an up and coming startup? Why?

The question was split down the middle.  Smaller startups may provide more opportunity to impact the business, but a large corporation could give you more room to get a full-time position post-internship.

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*UQ TIP: Both types of companies have their benefits.  A corporation will most likely have a more structured intern program, whereas a startup will allow for more flexibility.  If possible, get experience with both types in order to make an informed decision as to where your personality best fits.

 

What advice would you give to someone looking for his or her first internship?

The resounding advice for this question was to be persistent!  University career services centers can be extremely helpful and might even put you in contact with alumni at a company you are looking into.

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*UQ TIP: Set a goal to apply to a certain number of jobs a day.  By splitting your applications into a reasonable number and making it a part of your daily return, the applying process will become less stressful.

 

What’s the most difficult question you’ve ever been asked in an interview?

A few favorites from our students:

  • What type of animal would you choose to describe yourself?
  • Have you worked with someone you didn’t get along with and if so how did you handle it?
  • What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken?

*UQ TIP: Don’t fret over hard questions – they’re meant to show an interviewer how well you think on your feet.  Take a few seconds to breathe and compose your answer, and back up whatever you say.

 

Thanks to all of the students who joined us for #universitychat this week! Next #universitychat is Tuesday, April 2 at 9pm EST on Twitter. To join, follow the hashtag #universitychat.

 

All About Apps

For this week’s #universitychat, we delved into the wonderful world of apps and how they affect college students’ lives.

What apps can you not live without?

No surprise here - InstagramFacebook, and Twitter are all the most popular apps with college students.

Apps that help with classes

StudyBlue is a great tool that allows students to upload flashcards and lecture notes by university, professor, and class and then share those with fellow classmates!

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Favorite apps for music

Pandora and 8tracks are classic favorites with the college crowd.  Pandora introduces students to new music similar to artists and songs they already enjoy and 8tracks has awesome playlists for any mood imaginable!

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Here at UQ, we are partial to Songza. This website allows you to choose a playlist based on the time of day and what activities you’re performing – check it out!

Are you willing to pay for apps?

Our students said that although they would spend up to $5 on an app they can’t live without, there are so many free options that many times paying for an app is not necessary.

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What are the most useful apps when travelling?

Google Maps – we all hate to get lost!

How important are reviews?

Ours students were split between relying more on word of mouth feedback and reviews when they decided which apps to download.

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If you had to delete all your apps and could only keep one, what app would it be and why?

The responses to this question proves that college students need to stay connected to their peers. Email, Instagram, and Facebook were the top 3 can’t-live-without apps.

 

Thanks to all of the students who joined us for #universitychat this week! Next #universitychat is Tuesday, March 26 at 9pm EST on Twitter. To join, follow the hashtag #universitychat.

 

Brand Wars

For this week’s #universitychat we pitted two competing brands against each other to see which students like more.

Face-Off #1: McDonald’s vs. Wendy’s

McDonald’s barely beat Wendy’s in the first face-off.  Our students raved about McDonald’s fries compared to Wendy’s and appreciated the seasonal Shamrock Shake!

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Face-Off #2: Coca Cola vs. Pepsi

Coke was the clear winner for this face-off.  Diet Coke is a staple among college girls and our students agreed!  Pepsi tends to have a sweeter taste than Coke which not many students prefer.

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Face-Off #3: Chipotle vs. Taco Bell

No question, Chipotle was the winner (although we do love late night Taco Bell runs).  Our students love the fresh ingredients Chipotle offers while still being fast and delicious!

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Face-Off #4: How I Met Your Mother vs. Friends

This was a close competition, with Friends barely edging out HIMYM in the end.  Our students made a good point – HIMYM is like the modern-day version of Friends!

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Face-Off #4: Drake vs. Kanye West

This face-off got into a heated debate.  Students either hated Kanye for his cockiness and attitude or loved him for his devotion to his craft.  This ended in a dead tie between Drake and Kanye.

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Face-Off #5: Kraft Mac n’ Cheese vs. Velveeta

The original won! Student’s favored the original Kraft Mac n’ Cheese over Velveeta almost exclusively.  Our Virtual Intern from University of Virginia had a funny reason:

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Face-Off #6: iPhone vs. Android

The iPhone was the clear winner for our last face-off.  Students cited the simplicity of the design along with the ease of use as why they like it better than Android devices.

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Thanks to all of the students who joined us for #universitychat this week! Next #universitychat is Tuesday, March 19 at 9pm EST on Twitter. To join, follow the hashtag #universitychat.

 

Oscars Recap, UQ Style

For this weeks #universitychat we asked our students everything about the Oscars and celebrities.

What was your favorite moment from the Oscar’s this year?

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In your opinion, who should host the Oscar’s next year?

Popular choices included Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Steve Carrel, and Anderson Cooper.Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 11.46.31 AM

 

Did you post on social media during the Oscar’s?  If so, which outlets did you use?

Most of our students were too busy multitasking with homework and studying to post on social media during the Oscar’s so they chose to read friends’ posts instead.  Popular social media outlets were Facebook and Twitter.

Who wins best dressed woman?

85th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Jennifer Lawrence

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Naomi Watts

 

Who wins best dressed man?

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Jospeh Gordon-Levitt

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Chris Pine

What upcoming movies in 2013 are you most looking forward to seeing?
Overwhelmingly, the answer to this question was The Great Gatsby.

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Thanks to all of the students who joined us for #universitychat this week! Next #universitychat is this Tuesday, March 5 at 9pm EST on Twitter. To join follow the hashtag #universitychat.

 

Campus Traditions

This weeks #universitychat focused on college traditions.  We aimed to find out the inside scoop on universities across the country and were surprised by some of the answers!

Q1: If you could take a photo of just one landmark on campus to describe your university, what would you take a photo of?

University of Maryland’s mall has the largest fountain on a college campus, the mascot Testudo, and McKeldin Library at the top.

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The Rotunda – designed by Thomas Jefferson – is the most iconic spot on UVA’s campus, regardless of the construction it is undergoing at the moment.

NYU has the Arch at Washington Square Park, referred to as “NYU’s pride and joy” from our NYU VI Sharleen.

Q2: What are some of the big events that alumni come back for every year?

Football games were the top event that alumni came back for at each school.  The Ohio State-Michigan game at The Ohio State University, Virginia-Virginia Tech game at UVA, Texas-OU in Dallas, TX, and all the Homecoming games are all popular games.

Q3: True fans of your university know to do this _______ in the stands…

Singing the fight song and taunting the opposing team were all popular answers for this question.  At University of Pittsburgh, the students put a Pitt-twist on classic songs.

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Q4: Are there any superstitions about your university?

This question received some interesting answers.  From swimming in the fountain on the mall at UMD in order to graduate to walking on the old stadium’s home plate in Posvar Hall for good luck at Pitt to walking underneath the Sun God statue only once at UCSD to the haunted 6th floor of Bird Library at Syracuse, superstitions are abound at each university.  Indiana University and Miami University both have superstitions about kissing significant others.

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Q5: What is the biggest or best campus tradition at your school?

A few of our favorites:

  • Singing The Eye’s of Texas at a UT game
  • Yelling OH- and receiving an -IO back from a fellow Buckeye no matter where you are
  • The music, laser, and firework  show outside the Cathedral at Pitt during Homecoming weekend
  • Streaking the lawn at UVA
  • Little 500, the largest college bike race in the US, at Indiana
  • Rubbing Testudo’s nose at UMD for good luck during finals week
  • Never stepping on the University Seal to respect Miami University’s history and values

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Each university has traditions and places that make it unique from any other.  We loved hearing about all the insider secrets at each university.  We’ll throw a Hook ‘Em the next time we’re in Texas and yell out OH in the middle of the crowd in hopes of hearing an IO in return!

Thanks to all of the students who joined us for #universitychat this week! Next #universitychat is this Tuesday, February 26 at 9pm EST on Twitter. To join follow the hashtag #universitychat.

 

Would You Rather…?

For our #universitychat this week we played a game of Would You Rather…, UQ Style.  Our participants had a lot of interesting insights on different topics!

Would you rather watch the news on TV or see it on Twitter?

Our students overwhelming chose to watch the news on TV.  A lot of them said they become informed of current events through Twitter but choose to go to the TV to get more in-depth information.  Twitter seems to be too biased and concise to get the full picture for many students.

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Would you rather fly on Air Force One with the President, or have a minor recurring role on a popular TV show? Why?

This question was split down the middle between flying on Air Force One or have a role in a TV show.  A lot of students said that being able to talk with the President one-on-one in a casual setting is a chance you can’t pass up while other students thought meeting the casts of their favorite TV shows (Modern Family was mentioned) was too cool to not take advantage of.

Would you rather have a job you love making $30,000 or a job you hate making $100,000? Why?

2/3 of our students chose to have a lower-paying job that they love over making $100,000 at a job they hate.  The students who chose the high-paying job cited the benefits it would give them, such as earlier retirement and less stress over paying bills.

Would you rather write a best-selling novel or be an expert at picking stocks?

1/3 of our students would love to be a best-selling novelist, while the other 2/3 chose to be good at picking stocks.  One student mentioned that having a best-selling novel could put a curse on your career.  Another student said that a novel will put your name in print for history whereas stocks fluctuate from day-to-day.

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Would you rather only text or only talk on the phone for the rest of your life?

Surprisingly, most students would rather only talk than text for the rest of their lives. Students chose talking because you can express emotions easier and communication is clearer.  Texting is quick and convenient but can be misconstrued at times.

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Would you rather volunteer abroad or in your own community?

Volunteering abroad was the clear winner in this face-off.  Students love the idea that they can travel and experience different cultures all while helping in that same culture.  One of UQ’s clients, Cross-Cultural Solutions provides the perfect opportunity for people to do just that! Check out CCS’s Twitter and Facebook to learn more about this amazing opportunity.

Thanks to all of the students who joined us for #universitychat this week! Next #universitychat is this Tuesday, February 19 at 9pm EST on twitter. To join follow the hashtag #universitychat.

 

Students <3 College #universitychat

This week UQ hosted our first #universitychat of the semester.  We talked with college students across the country about why they love their universities and what makes them unique.  The biggest thing we took away from this discussion is that students are extremely passionate about their universities and love to share why!

We wanted to find out what criteria students look at when deciding where to spend their college years. According to a study done at UCLA, almost 64% of students attend a college because of its academic reputation.  While academics are very important, campus culture and fit proved to be important to our students as well.  Our chat revealed that academic rigor, location, and school pride seem to be why students choose a particular university.

When asked what three words best describe their school, fun was the overwhelming favorite.  However, a close second were words relating to academics – scholarly, rigorous, challenging, and engaging.  The popularity of these two words shows how students view their school culture, in essence “work hard, play hard” (a motto at UQ as well!).

Many schools use this motto to combine academics and fun into interesting classes.  We asked our students what the best class at their universities were and received a wide range of responses.  African Drumming, Harry Potter English, Chinese Folk Dancing, and Defense Against the Dark Arts were all thrown out as interesting classes.

Spring semester is an exciting time as the ice melts and summer approaches.  Our students told us that spring is filled with huge events that keep the campus unified and active.  Some of these events that were popular across most campuses include St. Patrick’s Day, Greek Week, Fests, and Fraternity Formals.  Each university also had unique events that are popular.  Columbia University hosts Bacchanal, a free spring concert on the steps (artists that have performed in past years include Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Vampire Weekend, and Kanye West).  University of Virginia students head to Foxfieds, a horse race where students dress up and tailgate.  Spring break is also part of the quintessential college experience.  Popular destinations include ones you’d expect like Panama City Beach, Miami, and Cancun, and some surprises (Gulf Shores, AL).

We really enjoyed learning about our students love for their universities and what makes them unique and special!  Our students even gave us some insider facts about their schools!

Did you know?

  • Ohio University is the 13th most haunted place in the world.
  • University of Maryland’s buses don’t start running until 5:30 PM so students always have to walk to class!
  • University of Georgia’s mascot was the Goats before turning into the Dawgs
  • Parts of the movie Ides of March were filmed on Miami University’s campus (we wouldn’t mind seeing Georgia Clooney and Ryan Gosling on the walk to class).
  • Secret societies are abundant at University of Virginia; they have the second most in the nation!

Thanks to all of the students who joined us for #universitychat this week! Next university chat is this Tuesday, February 12 at 9pm EST on twitter. To join follow the hashtag #universitychat.

 

College Students are “Shopping Detectives”

In UQ’s #universitychat last Tuesday we spoke with college students across the country to learn more about their shopping habits this holiday season. According to our research US college students are expected to spend $6.8 BILLION this holiday season, but their shopping habits differ from past generations and if you want their business, your strategy needs to be different as well. 

 

ONLINE vs. IN STORE

Most millennials prefer to make their holiday purchases online because they can:

 

-Read product reviews

-Research discounts

-Ship for free

 

College students almost act as “shopping detectives” – researching everything before making a final decision. Some may call it non-committal; we like to think of them as well-informed.

 

THOUGHT PROCESS

When talking to some of our UQ Brand Builders about the steps they take when buying gifts we spotted a trend, 90% of students:

 

FIRST Find reviews on the product

THEN Ask friends who know a lot about the product

THEN (SOMETIMES) Make sure it is what the person wants

AND FINALLY Buy

 

Millennials love Amazon, ModCloth, UrbanSpoonAirbnb, Getaround and Yelp due to the high level of transparency and the extensive reviews that are readily available.

 

84% of millennials use online reviews to make a final decision about a product. Thanks to smart phones, some research products online while they are shopping in store. Millennials are three times more likely than baby boomers to turn to technology to help them with their decisions; is it any surprise that this is called the Information Age?

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

If you want to appeal to the millennial consumer, you need to have a strong online presence. But more importantly, you need to know how to use it.  Customer feedback and reviews are a strong influence on student purchases, and must be capitalized upon.

 

Listen to what people are saying about you online and most importantly be open to change! Connect with reviewers who have had a bad experience and either make it up to them personally or adapt your product/service.

 

We love our Jambox here in the UQ office – but when the battery stopped working we were a little peeved… Jawbone sent us a new one no questions asked – so instead of a negative review they got a standing o from our team. Customer service can go a long way and in most cases one bad review cancels out ten good reviews.

 

To appeal to the millennial consumer, brands need to go deeper than basic advertising.  Millennials are more socially connected and are constantly searching for more information. To successfully market to this group you need to have all your bases covered or these so-called “shopping detectives” will move on.

(Thanks to our rock star intern Nupur Gambhir for this post!)

 

What Motivates Millennials?

Every week we host #universitychat on twitter with college students across the country. This week we discussed what is on our students bucket lists. Talking about big goals helps provide some insights into what truly motivates millennials.

 

The main takeaway from our chat this week is that millennials place greater value on breadth of experiences rather than material goods.

 

In a recent blog post, Mullen strategic planner, Stephen Hahn Griffiths, describes this as a shift toward a ‘we’ orientation. Hahn-Griffiths calls this striving for life enrichment increasing ‘personal currency’:

“Millennials are looking to make their mark on the world and work towards enhancing their net-worth and self-worth. To them, money is more likely to be the means than the end. They recognize financial security yields opportunity, and thus, take an active interest in financial strategy. They’re looking to take control of their finances, and meet their financial goals – so they can become “enriched” in a broader sense. …In contrast to the dog-eat-dog Gen X’ers that came before, Millennials are more “we-driven” and collective in their definition of success. For them, “making it” doesn’t simply equate to the tangible rewards of a luxury car, or owning a McMansion. Success is more likely to be defined by sampling a rich array of life experiences – including culture, travel, innovation, sustainability and the environment.”

Here are some highlights from the chat:

Who students want to meet (in no particular order)

  • Beyonce Knowles
  • J.K. Rowling
  • Barack Obama
  • Taylor Swift
  • Tiger Woods
  • Lea Michele
  • Chelsea Handler
  • Johnny Depp
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Emma Watson
  • Michael Bloomberg
  • Steven Gerrard

 

Majority of the students we spoke with were interested in meeting with celebrities from the entertainment business. Only two students reported they wanted to meet with politicians, and only two students stated they would like to meet a professional athlete.

 

We believe that the high level of connectivity to music and media among millennials contributes to celebrities connected to the entertainment business being top of mind.

 

Where students want to travel (in order):

  1. Australia
  2. Europe
  3. Greece
  4. Tokyo, New Zealand, Africa, Brazil, Ireland

 

According to TIG Global, a hospitality research firm, millennials account for 12% of the travel and leisure industry. It was obvious after the #university chat that all of the students we spoke with had a great appetitive for travel and desired to see the world.

 

Traveling new places is easy in today’s age, with services like Hostel World, Airbnb, Wikitravel, Lonely Planet, Student Universe (and countless travel apps available on smart phones), millennials literally have the world at their fingertips.

 

Accomplishments that would give the biggest confidence boost:

  1. Score a great internship / job
  2. Overcoming fears
  3. Physical feat (1/2 marathon, climbing Mt. Kiliminjaro)
  4. Starting a business
  5. Writing a book

 

The students we spoke with had very short term goals that were very career-oriented. Almost every student referenced a big goal for them was to achieve great grades in order to secure a good internship or job. Goals were very intrinsically motivated, no one referenced monetary rewards in their responses.

 

If a genie granted students three wishes:

  1. Happiness
  2. Wisdom
  3. Money

 

 If they won the lottery they would spend it to:

  • Pay off loans
  • Pay back parents
  • Travel / purchase homes around the world
  • Buy a dream car

 

Students by far valued happiness over anything else, followed by knowledge and wisdom, and then money. When we asked them what they would spend money on, the students we spoke with were very practical – many saying they would pay off student loans, pay their parents back for their college educations, or save the money. A few students did dare to dream big such as traveling to different planets and buying a home on every continent.

 

What students want to learn:

  1. A new language
  2. Arts (music, drawing, culinary, etc)

 

The responses were overwhelming when we asked students what they wanted to learn. The two categories that were most relevant were in the arts and languages. This reminded us of a Ted talk from Sir Ken Robinson highlighting how schools kill creativity. Isn’t it interesting how most of these business students, when asked in a context outside of school, share that they desire to learn arts and languages most?

 

 

 

 

 

 

#universitychat Brand Wars!

Every week we chat with college students from across the country on our twitter #universitychat.

Last week we held a brand face-off, asking students to pick a side and argue why they like each brand better. Here are some of the highlights:

Face-off #1: Apple vs. PC

Team Apple was the clear winner after the discussion. The arguments for apple were very design driven while Team PC argued value and price.

Faceoff #2: McDonald’s vs. Wendy’s

Team Wendy’s won by a close margin. McDonald’s beat Wendy’s when it came to french fries, breakfast, and promotions – however Wendy’s overall quality and healthy options made it a winner among the college students participating.

Face-off #3: Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi

Team Coke stole the show with 100% of respondents voting for Coca-Cola as the brand of choice. Reasons ranged from Polar Bears used in advertising to the taste they know and love.

Face-off #4: Red Bull vs. Monster

Many students choose not to drink energy drinks because they view them as unhealthy (especially after the scare Monster had last week when there were reported deaths linked to the beverage). Students who do like energy drinks chose Red Bull and were very familiar with the slogan “it gives you wings!” Red Bull’s on campus marketing efforts and brand ambassador program also came up frequently. Monster Energy fans liked variations of the drink (like coffee or lemonade), and said Monster reminds them of their high school days.

Face-off #5: Kraft Mac & Cheese vs. Velveeta Shells & Cheese

The nostalgia of Blue Box Mac & Cheese helped classic Kraft Mac & Cheese win this face-off. Surprisingly the shapes and designs of the noodles seemed to play a big part in college students decisions, the students we spoke with are kids at heart.

Face-off #6: XBOX vs. Playstation

The final Face-off went to XBOX due to their high quality graphics, however students seemed more loyal to the actual games rather than to gaming systems. Like Kraft, nostalgia went far with the college students we spoke with – they even referenced N64, some claiming they still have all of their old games and love playing them still at college (even if the graphics are lower quality).