Over the past year and a half, I have had the opportunity to learn from some of the great faculty members that we have here at The Fisher College of Business. For example, I had the opportunity to take two classes with Rao Unnava, who is one of the co-founders of Angie’s List. And in another class, I was able to learn from marketing professionals at Resource/Ammirati, a local, but large independent creative agency located here in Columbus.
In this last semester of my MBA education, I have been fortunate enough to take a class on business development, taught by David Clifton—or Clifton as he likes us to call him—Chief Marketing Officer for Huntington Bank.
Clifton started out his career as an engineer, but the creative side of him took hold as he moved into agency life early on in his career after earning his MBA. He’s worked on major campaigns and projects for companies like Rolls Royce, Steak ‘n Shake, BankOne and Chase. The list goes on and on.
What is special about having Clifton as a professor is that he understands all of the workings outside of the classroom, so he brings that with him when he lectures. Last night, in class, he asked us what Huntington should have done after introducing their Fair Play campaign a few years back. The answer: file for a patent. But this is just one lesson of what to do in the real world, and he comes with many more practical applications.
I think that Clifton’s going to work during the day and teaching our class at night gives us a more realistic picture of how the marketing world works. Sure, our marketing faculty has already done a great job of educating us to be future marketing leaders. And certainly, our internships have given us glimpses of what is on the horizon. But when you have someone standing at the front of your class—someone who resides in the C-Suite at a major banking institution—the learning is taken to another level. We don’t just theorize about what to do, we learn about what to actually do.
Coming into business school, I knew that I would be meeting leaders, but never thought I would have the opportunity to learn from a CMO on an every class period basis. With graduation right around the corner, I am grateful for being able to learn from someone like David Clifton, who brings the world we dream about as future business leaders into the classroom.