Alumni Interview Series

Gaurav Jain Graduated 2001 BBUM (Marketing)

Class studied: Internet Marketing, Buyer Behaviour

Job title: Managing Director Illusion Interactive

Key responsibilities: Keeping the ship afloat. Meeting with potential clients to market projects, manage internal projects. In short to do what it takes to get things done.

Major challenges of the last few years: Setting up a business from ground up in an intensely competitive industry. To find and then retain key staff who will keep the business running. To find business which will in turn allow the company to grow and take on bigger projects which will then allow me to continue to develop the business.

The COB effect: Classes at the COB allowed me to approach things in a systematic manner, to follow a process which keeps you going forwards and use tools that prevent you from going backwards or sideways. In particular for N.H classes I would say fundamentals. Knowing your P's and your C's understanding their importance and then actually using them. To do research, plenty of it and then work hard to come up with quality work. Which became more important due to the ridiculously tough grading stance. Also the NH's classes were open ended discussions which basically allowed a free flow of thought and conflict. I think you learn more when you are induced to think and come up with answers than when you learn a bunch of facts and answer questions.

If you could do anything differently what would it be?: work twice as hard, sleep half as much.

Things they don't teach you in college: Anyone who says something cant be done is someone you don't want on your team.


Mark DiRaddo Graduated BS Marketing 2001, MBA Marketing 2002

Class studied: International Marketing, Internet Marketing, Buyer Behaviour (UG), Internet Marketing (Grad).

Job title: Employee Benefits Sales Consultant

Key responsibilities: I help small and medium sized businesses set up health insurance benefits, to offer their employees.

Major challenges of the last few years: Understanding that education doesn't mean someone deserves to be given success. Learning how to be patient, and put the time and work is how people become successful.

The COB effect: By far, the ability to ask why. Not taking something for its face value, but to look beyond that face to see what is inside. The understanding that goals must be set, and a path to these goals must be created.

If you could do anything differently what would it be?: During school, I would have taken my coop more seriously. After school, I would have looked out of state. Everything is working out just fine.

Things they don't teach you in college: The real world is different from what the books say. The real world is about playing the game. It is about developing relationships with the people who will help you move up. It is also about knowing who your customers are, and making sure what you do helps your customers (company, co-workers, clients, family). You must know when to speak up and when to shut.up. Attitude is everything. Employees with great attitudes will be taken ahead of anyone with more knowledge or experience. Product knowledge can be taught, personality and drive can't.

Federico Eduardo Fiallos Graduated Winter 2006 MBA Major International Business, Minor Marketing 

Class studied:Internet Marketing Job title:Project Manager Banco Uno Honduras 

Key responsibilities:Pilot Project, online corporate banking.              

Major challenges of the last few years: transitioning between cultures back and forth. The COB effect: I obtained critical analytical skills and presentation skills.  Internet Marketing taught to stay at least two or three steps ahead of the game, if not you will be left behind. 

If you could do anything differently what would it be?: take more finance classes.

Any other points you want to mention: if you want to see passion incarnated, take Neil´s classes.        

Irina Polovneva Exchange Student 2000-2001 with Major in Marketing

Class studied with me: Principles of Marketing, International Marketing, Internet Marketing, Buyer Behavior and Satisfaction (4 classes – world record ;-))

Job title: Brand Manager, Samsung Electronics Ukraine (representative office) Key responsibilities and challenges, achievements:

Corporate and brand PR (corporate lifestyle magazine launch, special PR section launch on website; on-going communication and journalists relation, VIP press club launch for editors in chief of Tier A press); Special projects and sponsorship (from concept review and planning to execution): Olympic Torch relay 2004 in Kiev, WorldWide partners hospitality programs (the Olympic Games, Olympic Torch Relay Torino 2006, Football WorldCup Germany 2006), World Cyber Games (today it has got the award as the best BTL project of 2005 accoring to "Galitskie Kontrakty" – top 2 business magazine in Ukraine!). Social responsibility projects: Hope for Education (Ukrainian essay competition for the installation of 10 computer classes in schools); Holistic marketing projects: Olympic Torch Relay 2004, WorldCyber Games, Eurovision 2005 Sponsorship (Contract negotiations, Samsung activities planning and execution). Budget planning, execution and reporting on local and global (HQ) budget sources. In two weeks one of the sexiest projects is coming: Unlimited Imagination (Samsung conference on Design). 300 participants (designers and media). Aim: to position Samsung as leader in design and a premium brand. Mechanics: PR, co-branding (with Jaguar) and UK design organizations (Speakers of the conference will include Director of Samsung design center in the UK; John Seiffert – architect; Frank Peters – director of UK Design association; Wein Burges – chief designer of Jaguar). We are also planning to apply this project for the best PR award. I also received 2 global Samsung awards for best PR experience for Olympic projects in 2004 and 2005 (global competition among 48 Samsung offices). Within 2 years I've visited due to Samsung: the US (Denver, Frisco), Greece (Olympic Games Athens 2004), Italy (Torino, Milan, Genova), Latvia (Riga), Russia (Moscow), Belarus (Minsk), Germany (IFA exhibition in Berlin and CEBIT 2006 in Hannover, WorldCup 2006 to be visited in June, Berlin again), Singapore, Holland (Amsterdam)

The COB effect: not less than your classes and you (yourself) changed my life! Also you energetic style was major reason why I fell in love with marketing. And I've never regreted a second! I think, it's the best field to be in. Once you get tired of FMCG, you can work on electronics market, or construction or services, you name it. Once you get tired of launching products and being marketing manager, switch to PR, or CRM, Internet Marketing… there are so many aspects. You can't possibly be tired of marketing!  I think, the biggest value that I got from you was not knowledge in marketing (pardon me. It was crucial at the beginning of my career when I got back from the US. It allowed me to get a comparatively well-paid job without work experience). But today I think, that the most valuable thing that i got from you is the attitude. Working hard to make the things that i deal with as close to perfection as possible. I will always remember the day when you yelled at me for the group project that was written very poorly. I always think of the words you told me that day in your office: "If your name is on that project, it should be perfect". I treat every project of mine as the factor that affects my personal Brand value. I can not allow myself to be associated with so-so projects. All of the companies that deal with me, know that I am very demanding and tough, but at the same time I do a lot myself, I can be supportive and do not run from problems but rather solve them.

If you could do anything differently what would it be?: I would've written that god damn group project myself.

Any other points you want to mention: I want to sit in your class again! Now I can apply my real world knowledge to what you teach. Should be fun! And I can get my 90 or 92% for a research paper and be much happier than if I get 2.5 times a sallary increase (seriously!)

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