According to a quote attributed to Confucius, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

Given that my personal motto is “learn continuously, live generatively,” teaching and training are a fitting profession for me: I learn something every day about myself, the people in my life, the world in which I live, and the subjects in which I am interested.

Learning isn’t always easy, but it is always rewarding intrinsically. It is for that reason that, when asked why teaching is my tenure, I explain, “I embrace education as my profession because it empowers me to help shape the lives of others, while giving my own life greater meaning.”

Occasionally, however, teaching is extrinsically rewarding as well: On Thursday, February 23, 2017 it was announced that I had won the “College of Business Administration (COBA) Program Development Award” for the 2015 to 2016 school year at the American University in the Emirates (AUE).

Notably, I was personally selected to receive this award by Professor Muthanna G. Abdul Razzaq, President and CEO of the American University in the Emirates (AUE).

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Reasons for my having been chosen for this honor include:

  • Contributing my editing, writing, and organizational abilities to COBA’s accreditation efforts with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
  • Designing “INV 300, Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” a new compulsory undergraduate course in compliance with Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MOHESR) requirements.
  • Developing the syllabus for a proposed new Mobile Marketing course for our MBA program.
  • Editing a 300 page report for the reaccreditation of College of the Business Administration (COBA) with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA).
  • Enhancing my classes with interactive exercises, class discussions, and worksheets that challenge students to actively engage the course curriculum.
  • Launching two university level guest speaker series, “The Business of Marketing” and “Management Matters,” — and inviting other speakers to my COBA classes.
  • Managing large undergraduate classes of up to 49 students efficiently and effectively.
  • Reviewing and revising syllabi for undergraduate management and marketing courses every semester to ensure they present the most current and useful information.
  • Suggesting improvements to COBA policies and procedures, along with overall enhancements to the student experience.

I am thankful to have received such an honor and am grateful for the opportunity to have made the above contributions to AUE, COBA, and, most of all, my students.

Are you a connector — or looking to connect?

malcolm-gladwellIn his 2000 book “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference,” author Malcolm Gladwell argues that ideas, products, messages, and behaviors “spread just like viruses do.”

He then explains how “word-of-mouth epidemics” and trends are triggered through “The Law of the Few” by three pivotal personality types:

  • Connectors: people who know large numbers of people across a wide array of social cicles who enjoy making introductions between individuals in those different circles; a connector is the social equivalent of a computer network hub.
  • Mavens: a subject matter expert expert who connects us with new information; they gather knowledge and understand how to share it. Gladwell explains that mavens are the people who start “word-of-mouth epidemics”  because of their knowledge, social skills, and ability to communicate.
  • Salespeople: charismatic persuaders with powerful negotiation skills responsible for advertisements and marketing through which they strive to convince others of “needs” (which may or may not exist). They are masters of “The Stickiness Factor,” and know how to make ideas and products simpler and more attractive. Notably, Salesmen are often paid for their skill, while Mavens use their skills for the simple pleasure of sharing knowledge and and helping others

On Wednesday, March 1 from 6 to 9 pm at Dusty’s in Dubai you can discover if you are a Connector, Maven, or Salesperson at “My Friends Your Friends,” is a social gathering where everyone is connected through mutual friends.

mfyfExpect great conversations, new relationships and an environment where luck feels at home. Visit the event’s website to learn more and to register at https://myfriendsyourfriends.com; you can also explore the gathering’s Facebook event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/755312037978472/.
Attendees are invited by the hosts (of which I am one), who will ensure you have a great time and get the most value from attending. Hosts are responsible for bringing along friends with an eclectic mix of stories, interests and goals. The hosts will ensure you always know somebody at My Friends Your Friends and make memorable connections. They include:
  • Anika Morjaria: online personality Literally Anika; content creator, brand ambassador and model.
  • Arthy Baheerathan: founder of Arthyreally and Patches & Flash; photographer and digital content creator.
  • Harshana De Silva: founder of Alliance Events, Dubai’s best kept secret for corporate events.
  • Hunter Lee Soik: head of global community at Dubai Future Foundation; tech entrepreneur and futurist.
  • Kanchan Kulkarni: founder and fashion designer at Kara, a home grown label making noise on catwalks globally.
  • Lobito Brigante: DJ; organiser and curator of cultural events; party rocker and turntablist.
  • Matthew A Gilbert: instructor at The American University In The Emirates; tech and marketing expert.
  • Omar ‘Ot’ Tom: co-founder and co-host of The Dukkan Show; established Dubai’s number one podcast; MC and strategic planner.
  • Raj Kotecha: founder of Creative Content Agency and My Friends Your Friends; co-founder of Vaynerworld; DJ.
  • Richard Boullemier: news presenter at Arabian Radio Network; head of business development at First and Ten Productions.
  • Ritesh Tilani: founder of Joi; active member Of Dubai’s entrepreneur and investor community.
  • Saana Azzam: founder and CEO of Mena Speakers, responsible for bringing incredible speakers to Dubai.
  • Shyam Savani: brand manager in lifestyle, fashion, and travel; Trendsetter of The Year, 2015
  • Sonal Kotecha: interior designer at Pallavi Dean Interiors; Young Interior Designer of The Year, 2015.
Learn more about the hosts at https://myfriendsyourfriends.com/#hosts-section. If you don’t have an invite from a host, you are still very welcome, just register now at https://myfriendsyourfriends.com/attend.
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Indicate your interest in attending this event by registering now!

“It’s the teacher that makes the difference, not the classroom.” — Michael Morpurgo

On Monday, February 13, 2017 I invited the world to join my MKT 200, Principles of Marketing class at American University in the Emirates via a Facebook Live broadcast.  Watching the video — which, for some reason, is unfortunately a low quality — you can get a feel for how I teach along with the way I manage my classroom and students, both engaged and disruptive.

There is even a related discussion about product design and human-computer interaction in addition to some real-world examples of my younger years playing Pong and an early version of Castle Wolfenstein with a friend!

I invite you to watch the video below via YouTube (it was originally streamed live to my Facebook page); you can also watch me lecturing about value in another marketing class via YouTube.

Primarily this class was a review for a quiz that I gave to my students two days later, but it also offers an overview of foundational marketing concepts, including the following:

  • Core Beliefs and Values: persistent and are passed on from parents to children and are reinforced by schools, churches, businesses, and government.
  • Customer Lifetime Value: the value of the entire stream of purchases that the customer would make over a lifetime of patronage.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM): the overall process of building and maintaining profitable customer relationships by delivering superior customer value and satisfaction.
  • Demands: Wants backed by buying power.
  • Exchange: the act of obtaining a desired object from someone by offering something in return.
  • Macroenvironment: consists of the larger societal forces that affect the microenvironment—demographic, economic, natural, technological, political, and cultural forces.
  • Market Offerings: some combination of products, services, information, or experiences offered to a market to satisfy a need or want.
  • Market Positioning: the arranging for a product to occupy a clear, distinctive, and desirable place relative to competing products in the minds of target consumers.
  • Market Segment: a group of consumers who respond in a similar way to a given set of marketing efforts.
  • Market Segmentation: the division of a market into distinct groups of buyers who have different needs, characteristics, or behaviors and who might require separate products or marketing mixes.
  • Market Targeting: the process of evaluating each market segment’s attractiveness and selecting one or more segments to enter.
  • Marketing Environment: includes the actors and forces outside marketing that affect marketing management’s ability to build and maintain successful relationships with target customers.
  • Marketing Management: The art and science of choosing target markets and building profitable relationships with them.
  • Marketing Mix: the set of tools (four Ps) the firm uses to implement its marketing strategy. This set includes product, price, promotion, and place.
  • Marketing Strategy: the marketing logic by which the company hopes to create customer value and achieve profitable customer relationships.
  • Marketing: a process by which companies create value for customers and build strong customer relationships in order to capture value from customers in return.
  • Microenvironment: consists of the actors close to the company that affect its ability to serve its customers—the company, suppliers, marketing intermediaries, customer markets, competitors, and publics.
  • Needs: States of deprivation.
  • Target Marketing: Which segments to go after.
  • Value Proposition: the set of benefits or values it promises to deliver to customers to satisfy their needs.
  • Wants: The form that needs take.