Testimonials – Marketing Managment Course: Bruce

To: Dean of Business School:

To put it simply, Paul Heller was one of the best instructors I have had during my time at this university. Shortly after beginning the course, it was obvious just how invested Professor Heller was in the course and students. He demonstrated prior examples of seeking feedback from students, and examples of how students felt they had gotten a lot out of the class when they had put time into it. He began seeking our feedback right away, and he also made himself accessible, giving us his personal cell phone number –  something I have had very few professors do and never that I can remember in such a large class. As we would later discuss in his class, an important factor to encourage people to give feedback is to demonstrate that it is actually being used – and he did that more so than nearly any of my professors. He went above and beyond in trying to work with the students, even making changes that would require more effort on the part of him and his graders in the interest of students.  The level of communication and willingness to work with students was very impressive.

Throughout the semester, Professor Heller’s dedication and investment in the class were clear. I received a number of timely responses or communications after-hours and over weekends, which I would say is often atypical and was pleasantly surprising. The material presented often involved significant research and communications on the part of Professor Heller; it was clear that he put a significant amount of time into preparing each topic and lecture. It is clear to me that Professor Heller’s  priority was the students; I believe his efforts clearly show that he was not teaching for the job or the money, or because his position required him to do so. He could easily have gotten by teaching the course simply according to the book and previous materials.

Beyond Professor Heller’s teaching style, the material he presented in class was very educational, informative, and pertinent. Information was constantly related and applied to real world situations, which I think is extremely valuable for our future pursuits and also helps validate the theories. The information presented in class was relentlessly backed by real-world situations, research, and guest speakers.  Furthermore, the topics covered in class were, I believe, important to future success in or out of the marketing field. As I went back through the syllabus to job my memory of particularly notable topics, I realized that I had learned valuable information from every topic on the syllabus. I would like to run through a few that I think will have particular effect for me and other students. First, social media is absolutely turning the traditional marketing world upside-down, and its role is only becoming stronger. As we progress in our careers, I firmly believe that this will be an essential basis for our understanding of marketing, especially as the computer-centric generations begin to acquire more buying power and social media becomes more constant, polished, and easily accessible. Secondly, RFPs are a constant fixture in professional business. Before this class, I had almost no understanding of what one even was, but I knew that I needed to learn it. I am glad that we spent time on it, that Professor Heller backed up the material with personal experience, that he provided real-world examples, and that he highlighted common pitfalls.  SEO/M is another important area for similar reasons to social media. This one even has a personal touch – a friend and I recently got a contract to do a website for a company. One part of this contract involves SEO/M tasks, and despite being a Computer Science major, none of my classes had ever discussed this. Thankfully, Professor Heller helped give us a solid base in this area (and applied it to a real-world situation); I will definitely be using the information that I learned in this class in the course of that contact. Finally, service expectations and recovery I found absolutely enlightening. It really codified observations I’ve made in real life, and showed how they should be applied. Again, this was backed up by personal experience and (awesome) real-world examples.