With teaching every Wednesdays at Tufts, I always have a process (should not be surprising to anyone who knows me) to making sure that everything is in place since I well know by now that both time and students are unforgiving.
My decade-long rule of attendance clearly states in bold red letters on the first page of the 16 page syllabus
- Class begins at 1:20
- being on time means 10 minutes early
That's been one of the rules for 14 years, and by now my hundreds of alums have told me that they have adopted the same rule in their own companies.
Given that class was yesterday, a couple of Tufts related comments this morning.
I'm Looking for new marketing projects for the spring semester
I learned 20 years ago teaching in an ME class at MIT, that if I could take the lecture content and package it around a team-based ME project to create a product, it would have more meaning, more context and much more impact as being "real". At MIT, I continue to teach every year in Professor Chun's ME course, so that when I had an opportunity to come to Tufts 14 years ago to create courses in Marketing and in Sales, I've continued to use and adapt what I now call...
- Context: Real companies approach us to have teams of five or six juniors and seniors develop full marketing plans. Sometimes those plans are for the entire company for smaller companies. Many times for specific products in larger corporations.
- Content: I then provide highly tactical content in both Inbound and Outbound marketing, which the students use in working with their company management teams over the period of a 13 week semester. The semester ends with the delivery of a full marketing plan developed around the specific company's marketing plan objectives and presented to management in a final one hour presentation.
This is considered to be a "tough" course filled with weekly three hour classes, two to three HBS case studies over the course of the semester and individual weekly presentations. Outside reading of David Merman's Scott's iconic book The New Rules of PR & Marketing and achieving Hubspot Inbound Marketing Certification are required before the course begins, which we validate with an exam in the first hour of the first class of the semester.
- Grading: 60% of the course grade comes from me and my TAs for the project, the case studies and in class participation, and 40% of the grade is provide from the management team of the project company-usually the head of Marketing, and often other senior team members and the president.
The company sets the objectives which are sent out with the syllabus, and management and students meet each week to keep on track and often adjust...just as would happen if the company had hired a professional marketing firm...which in essence they are doing.
The real-life results have been extraordinary both in class and, most importantly, in the careers of these outstanding women and men who go on to develop strong careers in Sales and in Marketing. Only because I'm Boston-centric and have been in the business, entrepreneurship and venture communities for a long time, I can open a lot of doors in NE for entry level jobs for my best students. As a result 14 years later at Tufts, I often call on my Manager, Director and VP-level Tufts alums who are now at Amazon, Hubspot, Bank of America, TicToc, Facebook, GM, Tesla, Uber, Hubspot (currently 71 of my alums there) and hundreds of other smaller companies and "ask for a favor" in providing guidance to this year's seniors on how to find a job.
It's at this time of year at Tufts...
During the first week of every November, I begin looking for six to eight new marketing projects for the spring semester. The syllabus and an outline of the projects always go out on December 26th (an easy date for me to remember), and the students have one week to make their first and second choice decisions and get send me a bio so that I can balance the teams in terms of their experience.
This semester, the six companies we selected from 21 entries include...
- 2 well-funded startups looking to develop their first professional marketing plans
- 1 large corporation in the amusement business for one of their new market sectors
- A well-established, SaaS company in the talent management space for a new product
- A well established SaaS company in the payment space. This is the 10th project with them.
- A well-established healthcare service company. This is the 2nd project with them.
There's no cost for this, but it does require a commitment of time...just as it would with a marketing agency.
If you have a need and would like to participate, just connect with me at email@example.com, and I will set up a call to discuss or just send you the instructions, and then we can do a call.
As long as we're discussing Tufts...
I have many gifted 2020 alums and 2021 Seniors who are highly capable and are looking for entry level sales and marketing positions. My computer science majors are not having any difficulty in finding jobs, nor are my finance-oriented students who have been interning for the last two summers in Wall Street firms. Given the state of the current economic questioning, the same cannot be said for many of my other students and recent alums.
If you are considering hiring an entry-level person as...
- a marketing or sales intern part time for the spring semester and/or full time for the summer
- a full time marketing or sales person who graduated in May ( I have 2)
- a full time marketing or sales senior graduating in December (I have 1)
- a full time marketing or sales senior graduating in May ( I have many)
Just connect with me since I have numbers of bright, hard-working, and driven individuals that I would highly recommend...all of whom, of course come with "The Jack Derby Seal of Approval", which among other things comes with an insightful detailed view of my experience over a semester or two of hard work.
Speaking of hard work, let's get back to marketing and selling this morning since we only have 35 real selling days in the year. To get to 35 btw, I'm counting those three days after Christmas when although you might be on sales calls, your buyer may be out skiing and even if she is not, then you can be pretty sure that that lawyer who you needed to sign off on your T&C is not going to be around.
CONFIDENTIAL SOUNDING BOARD
If at any time, you have a need for a confidential sounding board in business planning or for Sales or Marketing, just connect with me at any time. Text or email me, and I will quickly set up a call.
I'm a pretty good listener.
Obviously, no cost for a call or two; just an opportunity to listen intently and make a few recommendations based on decades of experience.