Dispatches from Inside the Classroom: Day 5

Today marks the second week of Liz Sara’s Business to Business Marketing course in the Smith School’s part-time MBA program. One reason the Dingman Center is so excited to have a member of our community teaching this course is that we don’t get to interact with part-time MBAs as often as we do with students that are on the College Park campus everyday. Through this course, we are able to extend our reach even further and gain more insight into what is valuable for part-time MBA students.

The most recent class focused on the use of PR and advertising in B2B marketing. Guest speakers included: Tim Weinheimer, SVP, Ketchum; Joshua Konowe, CEO, Uppidy; and Chuck Ludmer, CMO, CohnReznick. That’s right — three executives in one night. One from a leading PR firm, another from a successful DC tech startup, and the third from the 11th largest accounting, tax and advisory firm in the United States. Arguably the most valuable part of this course is this type of face-to-face interaction with regional companies used as real case studies.

Weinheimer talked about the $21M, three-year campaign that Ketchum developed to get doctors across the country to adopt electronic medical records. Ludmer discussed the challenges in building company awareness and how former NY Yankee Joe Torre fit into the picture.

“Hearing first-hand about the actual plans and executions of two very large, very different and very challenging B2B PR and ad campaigns adds a learning dimension that a textbook simply lacks,” Sara emphasized.

We wanted to know what the students thought so we asked them, how Lecturer Liz Sara’s approach to bringing in local startups as presenters impacted the learning experience?” Second-year MBA student Havish Kakumanu had this to say:

 “In my one and a half years of education at College Park, I never had an opportunity to listen to entrepreneurs who presented their story as part of a course. Liz’s course was the first of its kind where we as students had a great opportunity to hear and understand the learning experience of these entrepreneurs, especially in the field of marketing. The speakers were very insightful and informative and this gives us a wholesome perspective of how small successful firms carry out B2B marketing. I personally feel that this a great teaching methodology and should be practiced more often.”

The class continues today with two more entrepreneurs who will compliment Sara’s lecture by sharing their experiences. Stay tuned for more dispatches from inside the classroom.

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