Marketing is all around us, exposing itself to us all daily. Knowing this, Dr. Deirdre-Noel Engels makes a conscious effort to implement experiences from her professional career into the classroom to help students understand the fast-paced and ever-changing nature of marketing.
“I love when my students apply the theories they learn in class to critique and evaluate a new product launch or advertising campaign,” she says.
Even though her passion for helping students seems second nature, teaching higher education is not where Deirdre’s career began. For the first two years of her 15-year professional career, she began working in advertising at DMB&B (now Publicis Groupe). While there, she acted as a Media Negotiator for Kraft/General Foods.
Leveraging her marketing and media background, Deirdre then joined ACNielsen. During her time there, she worked with clients to analyze consumer purchasing patterns. Some of her clients included Revlon and Procter & Gamble. Deirdre spent two years with ACNielsen living and working in Mexico City, Mexico. She helped develop and introduce a new consumer tracking system for emerging markets throughout Latin America. Upon returning from Mexico City, Deirdre joined the Snapple Beverage Group, where she most recently held the position of Vice President of Knowledge Management holding responsibility for consumer and retailer sales analysis and marketplace insights.
Despite having solidified an exceptional professional career, Deirdre wanted more. After earning her MBA in Marketing from Fordham University, she earned a Doctorate in Professional Studies with a Dual Concentration in Marketing and Management from Pace University. It was during her time in this program that she was presented with the opportunity to become an adjunct professor. That moment would encourage Deirdre to pivot her career toward teaching in higher education.
Since then, Deirdre has worked at a few different universities, both large and small. She still praises STAC saying, “I love being able to know my students at STAC. I worked for a larger academic institution where I didn’t have the opportunity to really know my colleagues or the students. At STAC, so many good ideas can come to fruition because it is a small environment that fosters creativity and collaboration.”
Since 2013, Deirdre has taught Principles of Marketing, Consumer Behavior, Marketing Management, Global Marketing, and Fair-Trade Marketing. “In my classes, I encourage students to develop practical skills that will enable them to hit the ground running at their first job.” She also has integrated certifications (i.e. Google Skillshop and HubSpot) into her curriculum to expose students to real-world applications and enhance their skill sets.
Besides teaching, Deirdre is also the faculty advisor for the STAC chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) and has been an active participant in Ignite—STAC’s Undergraduate Student and Faculty Research Symposium—since its inception. In addition to her involvement on campus, just last year, Deirdre was awarded the IACBE (International Accreditation Council for Business Education) Business Faculty Member of the Year award!
More recently, Deirdre and other professors within the School of Business have been able to co-teach special topics courses such as Marketing and Sustainable Package Design, XLab, and Fair-Trade Marketing. Each one of these special topics courses provides students with hands-on applied experience. For example, developing a marketing plan for a student-developed educational VR experience, or creating a sustainable new product concept with actual package design. For Deirdre, her pivot in research interest to Experiential Learning is one that focuses on integrating experiential opportunities into the curriculum to not only help students build their resumes but also set them apart in a hugely competitive job market.
“I love watching students develop a passion for marketing and entrepreneurship. There are so many budding young entrepreneurs on campus; I hope that my classes will inspire them and provide them with the tools necessary to bring their ideas to life,” she says.
When she is not working, Deirdre enjoys spending time with her family and Australian Shepard, Kai, hiking, and fishing (she once caught a 100lb Tarpon!) In addition, she loves cycling and spent two weeks biking in the Loire Valley, France with her husband. Her favorite travel destinations are, without a doubt, Italy and France!