EMBA Program Engages with High Level Executives in ClassroomFeb. 6, 2018
Executive MBA students at Baylor University’s Dallas campus welcome a wide variety of guest speakers to their classes every year. Ann Mirabito, associate professor of Marketing at Baylor, says, “It’s a great opportunity for students to learn firsthand how successful organizations create exciting business opportunities using the same theories and concepts students are studying in class.” Because Baylor EMBA class sizes are kept intentionally small, she notes, “Students don’t just listen to the top executives—they actually engage in thoughtful discussions.”
Danielle Hubbard (EMBA 2018) recalls meeting Jim Hinton, CEO of Baylor Scott and White. “Jim came to our Healthcare Operations class,” she begins. “He was really engaging. He didn’t lecture from a PowerPoint; he asked questions and led a discussion about what was happening in real-time with his organization and the healthcare industry as a whole.”
After listening to Hinton’s interpretation of how the healthcare market is shifting, Hubbard says, “It was invaluable to have access to a leader of his magnitude.”
Marian Dezelan (most recently the CMO of Tenet Texas) showed marketing students how progressive healthcare marketers go beyond billboards and TV ads to build relationships with consumers at each stage of the marketing funnel. Says Mirabito: “What Marian’s doing is cutting edge. Her philosophy is that marketing is an investment, not an expense, and if you can’t measure it, you should really think hard about why you engaged in that activity.”
Ryan Johnson (EMBA 2019) describes meeting Bill Simon, the former CEO of Wal-Mart. Simon was a visiting instructor for three of Johnson’s Organizational Behavior classes, which he used to present a case study on Wal-Mart. “The case was about bribery and it had an ambiguous ending, no clear winner or loser. We dove into that gray area with the former CEO of the largest company in the world”—a “fascinating” honor.
Johnson especially appreciated Simon’s character and candor: “He had tons of specific examples and was not shy about things that had happened behind closed doors. It was awesome."
Johnson also enjoyed meeting Jon Bridges, CMO of Chick-Fil-A. “I get the sense that he’s a guy who is distracted by shiny objects,” says Johnson, “but ‘problems’ are his shiny objects. He notices improvements that can be made and jumps in and puts a plan and the people in place.”
“Jon Bridges advised the students to ‘stay hungry, humble, and smart,’” adds Mirabito. “Hungry means eager for new learning and challenges. Humble means thinking of others. Smart includes emotional intelligence and compassion as well as intellectual strength.”
It is Baylor’s hope that by exposing students to these inspiring figures, they feel empowered to make their own difference in the world.