“If you don’t remember anything else I teach you this semester, remember this…” began my marketing teacher, and right away, I whipped my notebook out and clicked my retractable pencil a few times.
That’s what I’m talking about! Might as well nip it in the bud and tell us now!
“If you don’t remember anything else I teach you this semester,” he had to repeat, because everyone else had gotten the same idea as me, and all you could hear for a solid thirty seconds was a collective shuffling of notebooks, and a bunch of pencils clicking, and this one guy in the back who had a neat little handheld electric pencil sharpener. The teacher folded his hand as we all listened to the electric sharpener. Whiirrrrrr. *snap* “Aww, man….” the guy muttered after a moment, and he began all over again. Then, there was silence.
”Remember that when it comes to marketing--” our teacher looked around the room, making eye contact with each of us, “you market yourselves every day.” Silence. “As you go to your classes, your job, your room, you are making a statement. You are the product, and what you do and say tells those around you what sort of product they are being friends with…hiring…giving grades to.”
A product? Not me, I decided immediately.
And then I looked around the room. The girl in front of me was busily taking notes in a steady, neat line of handwriting. A boy two rows over sat in a suit and tie, showing his notes to someone who had missed writing down part of the PowerPoint slide. A pair of friends next to me were whispering loudly about something that had struck them as humorous. That guy in the back was still having trouble with the pencil sharpener and had dismembered it or something only to discover it wasn’t meant to be dismembered. It hit me that the way these people around me presented themselves in their actions and words influenced my perception of them.
Well, I loved every moment of that marketing class and learned a lot about business competition, product promotion, and customer segmentation to name a few. But I also learned as the semester progressed that my teacher had been absolutely right. Whatever you do, whether as a student, in your work place, or in your own home, people are watching you! They are measuring you by the statement you make each day just through the way you live, think, dress, and talk, to see what sort of individual you are.
In fact, I’ve been able to apply everything I’ve learned through my marketing classes to my personal life! I’ve learned the importance of "putting the customer first," backing up my words with action, using discretion and grace in the way I interact with coworkers and classmates, and much more! My marketing classes have given me a basis for an understanding in the business environment, yes. But they have also given me a paradigm for the way I live and conduct myself, and tools to use for the rest of my life!0