A Letter to Marketing Professors

Dear Business School Marketing Professors–

First of all, I want to thank you again for all the kids you keep sending my way. So don’t take my letter out of context — I appreciate our relationship, and your work and dedication to education is what keeps me going every day.

It’s probably been a little while since I’ve written. I apologize, I know candid feedback is something you need to educate your kids properly. And apparently, some important information hasn’t gotten back to you about what these kids need to succeed out here.

These marketing graduates you’ve sent recently — and communications and management grads too — really need some additional grooming in order to have what it takes to succeed. It seems like they’re lacking both tangible and intangible things that are important to success.

Now, let me be clear, it’s not all of them. There are some definite winners in the bunch. Yet ALOT of them would benefit from some additional schooling on the following points:

  • Please tell them that a career in marketing means a parallel career in sales. If you’re in marketing, you’re in sales. You need to sell things — that may include products, or your own ideas. In many cases, the latter is just as important to your career as the former. You need to be adept at dealing with all kinds of people, networking with people you’ve never met, and convincing people you don’t know.
  • Please help them focus on the different facets of time management. It’s important — and I don’t just mean being able to update Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Myspace all at once. Out here, you need to manage multiple projects, all with the same deadline: yesterday. You need to figure out how to prioritize and make progress on everything, all on the fly. Help them get ready to manage their day and their workflow.
  • Please help them focus on managing expectations. Don’t go into work thinking about what’s on tap for that day. Don’t wait for something to become a problem. Work with some perspective, work with strategic purpose — think how your boss thinks. See when something could be a problem, and manage it in advance so it doesn’t become one.
  • Please tell them that appearance matters. Yes, I partially mean you need to dress appropriately. But I also mean it’s important to appear like you’re giving your all, like you’re focused and motivated. Like you work with passion and purpose. Like you want to get ahead.
  • Anyway, I’m going to stop there for now. I need to get back to breaking in the latest batch of newbies you sent last quarter, and making business a little harder for everyone in general over the next few months. I’ll make sure I write again soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Real World

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    5 Responses

    1. Couldn’t have said this better. Especially the selling part. Let me add a couple of items:
      Send me people who can spell and speak the English language appropriately. If I hear them say, “I seen” or “like, ya know”, I will fire them on the spot.
      Teach them to not bullshit me or God forbid, a client…if they don’t know, tell them to say so.
      Teach them what empathy means.
      There. My intern starts May 18th…we’ll see how it goes!

    2. I worked in a top 10 MBA program for two years, and I can speak from experience when I say… AMEN, brutha!

    3. […] world. You have to sell yourself and your ideas to your peers and your customers (cause if you’re in marketing, you’re in sales), you have to sell your experience to potential employers, you have to connect with peers at in […]

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