Learning By Doing, with EMBA Professor Dr. Ann MirabitoApril 3, 2019
Dr. Ann Mirabito, Associate Professor of Marketing, has been a Baylor faculty member since 2007. Officing out of the Waco campus, she also teaches in both the Dallas and Austin Executive MBA programs.
Before Baylor University ever entered her radar, Dr. Ann Mirabito was an accomplished corporate executive. She enjoyed the “constant adrenaline rush” of her job: days spent making rapid-fire decisions and guiding junior staff as they launched their careers. “At the same time,” she reflects, “I wished I had the time to study business and consumer issues deeply.”
Deciding to pair a PhD in Marketing from Texas A&M with her MBA from Stanford, Dr. Mirabito pivoted her career toward academia and never looked back. She joined Baylor because “Baylor faculty are expected to excel at both research and teaching, and the university provides support for both.”
Marketing: Valuable to Any Discipline
Many of Dr. Mirabito’s marketing students are building careers in the field. Most, however, will work in accounting, finance, information systems, or operations. Marketing, she says, is valuable to students in all disciplines, “because without revenue your firm is not going anywhere. Research shows that profitable businesses that don’t grow sales are at risk of takeover.”
Dr. Mirabito employs an experiential teaching style that encourages learning by doing. Students complete readings and watch videos before class to get a basic understanding of the material. Class time then involves simulations, case studies, role plays, and small group projects to help students grasp key concepts.
Making Data-Backed Decisions
Just as data analytics shape business decisions in the real world, so Dr. Mirabito’s students use them to make informed choices during class simulations. For example, students learn to engage in market research and interpret market research reports when making a ‘go/no-go’ decision on a product launch.
During the customer management module, students learn to calculate customer lifetime value, or the total revenue a business can reasonably expect from a single customer account. From there, they can make better decisions about how much to spend to acquire a new customer, or how much to invest to improve the customer experience. “These are the kinds of decisions our students are making at work,” says Dr. Mirabito, “so our class discussions are lively and sophisticated.”
Using Design Thinking to Spur Innovation
Equally popular with students is the innovation section of the course. Students start by visually mapping the customer journey to pinpoint delight points (what Dr. Mirabito describes as “things that work really well for customers”) and pain points (or “opportunities for innovation”).
Here, she references the proverbial patient experience. From finding the right healthcare provider, to unreasonable wait times and out-of-pocket costs, healthcare today has a lot of pain points, Dr. Mirabito explains—“but by walking in a customer’s shoes, we can better understand their problems and uncover richer and more novel solutions.”
“If you can turn a pain point into a delight point through innovation,” she adds, “you’ve given customers a powerful reason to choose your business.”
Taking Charge of the Future
Baylor attracts hardworking, motivated students who strive to bring out the best in themselves and each other, Dr. Mirabito observes. EMBA students are making a big investment in themselves. By diving into the coursework, students develop the skills to become more effective contributors to their organizations. One of the big pluses of the Baylor EMBA, as Dr. Mirabito sees it, is the chance for students to interact with professors, guest speakers, and each other. She has no doubt Baylor EMBAs go on to lead with empathy, inspire innovation, and improve outcomes wherever they go after Baylor.
ABOUT BAYLOR EXECUTIVE MBA
Designed for the high-achieving, working professionals, the Baylor Executive MBA Healthcare program is rigorous and relevant. The 21-month curriculum is delivered in a cohort format, one night a week in Austin, TX. This program allows professionals to balance the demands of working full-time while completing an MBA. Visit www.baylor.edu/AustinEMBA, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BaylorEMBA, and follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BaylorEMBA or Instagram at www.instagram.com/bayloraustinemba