Did you know that I taught my first marketing class just over 25 years ago?
It’s true! As a doctoral student at the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) I worked with two faculty members and two other grad students to create our spring semester undergraduate intro to marketing class. We divided up the lectures… I believe I wrote the lectures on advertising, consumer behavior, and brand management (not certain about that last one), and my colleagues divided up the remaining marketing topics. Together, we created the entire course and delivered the material to our own sections of the class.
This experience taught me a great deal about teaching marketing, of course, and also many other important lessons, like:
- When you speak, believe in what you are saying. Whenever you have an audience, you have to know that you have something important to say, and you’re the right one to say it
- When you’re part of a team, take time to learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Our team of five divided up the semester’s worth of lectures according to our strengths and preferences
- With that said, remain aware of the big picture, the overall project goals and not just your role. Among my mistakes that semester was remaining ignorant of one of the lectures until the night I taught it. That was not an enjoyable lecture for anyone involved
- And with THAT said, accept happy accidents whenever you find them. Specifically, while I was struggling with a lecture on logistics and distribution, two graduate students who happened to be auditing the class told me, during a break, that they just heard a graduate level lecture on the topic and coached me through the rest of the evening’s material
- It’s not “fake it ‘til you make it,” it’s “be it and you’ll see it.” And that was my first time being a marketing professor.
How about you? Do you have any lessons from long ago that you still turn to even today?