I teach in the Integrated Marketing Communications sequence of the Marketing Department at Illinois State University. My teaching philosophy is that students learn best by doing, rather than by listening to me summarize the textbook. For this reason, I prefer a flipped method of teaching in which the students learn content on their own by doing the readings, videos, exercises and assessments I assign on their own time before coming to class. Then, in class, we apply what they are learning. One more thing: in my classes we work with real-world clients instead of doing case studies. Whenever possible, our clients are local non-profits that are making a difference in the community.

Work with our students

Our marketing students do free consulting for local businesses and non-profits as part of their coursework. This is a great opportunity to get fresh insights from young people and it helps them out too!

What we do for our clients

I mainly teach two courses: A senior capstone course for those that are more advertising focused and a marketing research course. In the senior capstone, I split the class up in to teams and each team works to find a fully developed solution for a marketing problem the client is facing (e.g. low demand for a certain service, low awareness, etc.). In the marketing research course, I've taken various approaches, but the idea is to do market research for the client. All of the client work that we do is free.

Past client work

We have done work for many local nonprofits and some for-profit companies too. Here are a couple of examples:

A testimonial: "It was an honor to work with such a great think tank! I was overwhelmed by the amazing ideas, the creativity, and the exceptional level of grit and professionalism the students displayed, under such challenging times. Hands down, one of my favorite projects to participate in. Thank you!!" - Lisa of Project Oz

My free guide for student consultants

I have created a free guidebook for students working with real-world clients on business consulting projects. Other instructors are free to use it in their class at no cost to them or the students. I only ask that you give feedback so that I can keep improving it. Future versions of this book will likewise be free.

Access the guide >>