ANNA MICHAEL GRISHAM
MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER, FCBE; INSTRUCTOR, DEPARTMENT OF MARKETING & SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT
I am the full-time marketing manager for the Fogelman College of Business & Economics. My role includes the creation, execution and distribution of all marketing materials including, but not limited to writing press releases, magazines, e-blast communications and fliers; the development of marketing strategies and creation of integrated, multi-channel marketing plans and campaigns; Web site design and content management; social media responsibilities; and coordination of College events. I work very closely with the University’s marketing and communications team to ensure that all of Fogelman’s strategies and tactics are aligned with the organization’s brand standards. I also serve as a point of contact for the College’s internal faculty and staff, alumni, major donors, and Memphis community leaders. I am also an instructor in the Department of Marketing & Supply Chain Management and I teach undergraduate advertising and marketing courses.
My teaching philosophy is to provide a stimulating learning environment that encourages out-of-the-box thinking and hands-on learning. I expect my students to work hard, study well, and produce high quality outputs, while also receiving plenty of resources and attention from me. I try to provide my students with the “complete picture” of marketing.
Often times, students suffer from the misinterpretation that marketing simply equates to sales or advertising. While these are important disciplines, I work diligently to teach them that these are but a small scope of the overall field. Marketing is a critical component to hundreds of different types of businesses and industries. Furthermore, the marketing field is dynamic and complex, not a hard and fast science. To rise to the top, people must harness both their logical thinking “left-brain” traits as well as their “right-brain” creative sides. Therefore, marketing curricula should be taught as much like an art as a science. A close analogy to this might be found in cooking, where a master chef needs to gain expertise about the science of food to master the art of cooking.
I try to encourage this dualistic thinking by implementing consultative projects that focus on real-world scenarios. As a full-time marketing professional, I leverage my “real-time” work experience throughout my courses to support students in developing a working knowledge of marketing and its relevance in the business world.
It is also imperative to offer a practical, relevant education. This implies that beyond theoretical knowledge of business functions, students need to be able to apply this knowledge base and skill set in a real-world setting. I must, therefore, provide opportunities for students to apply the knowledge they gain by solving real-world problems.
I want my students to know that it is okay to make mistakes. Mistakes can be great learning opportunities. A classroom the safest place for students to make mistakes while sharpening their judgment skills. So, I encourage my students to take risks, while at the same time, I teach models wherein organizational processes are put into place to mitigate the negative impacts of risk-taking.
Finally, I teach my students to dream the right things. I encourage them to work toward their highest potentials by recognizing and embracing the choices they have already made. I encourage students to accept path dependency, a concept that explains how a set of decisions one faces for any given circumstance is limited by the decisions one has already made.
It is also my duty to help students dream the right amount and master the skills necessary to achieve their ambitions. Unlike a motivational speaker who may provide baseless inspiration for some, a guidance counselor maps out a realistic plan for success. I strive to be more like a counselor.
Lastly, I try to encourage life-long learning. To realize big dreams, students have to constantly achieve—to not give up when the going gets tough—and to learn new skills throughout their careers. Learning is, therefore, not just something that occurs while enrolled in school and sitting in a classroom.
Learning is everywhere all the time. The education I provide should be looked upon as merely the beginning of the yellow brick road. I encourage my students to continuously seek ways to develop their minds and further their skill sets. Education doesn’t stop after earning a diploma, and my ultimate goal is to train my students to be equipped with life-long learning skills.