2017 Top 40 Undergraduate Professors: Bob Gilbert, University of Pittsburgh

Bob Gilbert

Associate Professor of Marketing

University of Pittsburgh, College of Business Administration

Clinical Associate Professor Bob Gilbert teaches a variety of marketing courses at the University of Pittsburgh’s College of Business Administration. None is more popular than his Projects in Marketing Course. Undergraduate students organize themselves into a full-service marketing agency and work on a comprehensive project for a real-world client. This past fall, Professor Gilbert organized the course for students to work with FOX Sports, analyzing the viewership trends of Millennials for the network’s flagship sports talk show programs. Past clients have included the NFL, the Pittsburgh Steelers, American Eagle, Honda, Nissan, and Chevrolet. A testament to his teaching, his students have won 10 national marketing competitions for these types of projects. Gilbert is known for his no-nonsense teaching style and emphasis on relating course material to “real-world issues.” He is a recipient of the Pittsburgh Advertising Federation’s Crystal Prism Award, which recognizes his work to inspire college students to pursue careers in advertising.

Age: 62

At current institution since: 1997

Education: PhD in Business Administration, Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh, 1997; BS in Marketing, Penn State University, 1976

List of courses currently teaching: Advertising & Sales Promotion, Projects in Marketing, Introduction to Marketing

Fun fact about yourself: I’m blessed with a lot of great friends

“I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when…” I attended an executive education course at Duke University

“If I weren’t a business school professor…” I’d probably still be “in” business

“One word that describes my first time teaching…” Humbled

What do you enjoy most about teaching undergraduate business students? When my graduated students contact me to thank me for preparing them well for their careers

What is the biggest challenge that comes with teaching undergraduate business students? Convincing them of the importance and relevance of the material – before they find out on the job

What is the most impressive thing one of your undergraduate students has done? I had a student who completely paid for his undergraduate education by selling advertisements on his personal YouTube channel

What is the least favorite thing one has done? Nothing comes to mind

What does a student need to do to get an A in your class? Pay attention and think about how to apply the material to real-world situations

“When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as …” Strict, but fair

“But I would describe myself as …” Strict, but fair

What are your hobbies? Golfing, hiking, and playing the guitar

How did you spend your summer? Golfing and hiking and landscaping my yard

Favorite place to vacation: Utah, and the National Parks located there (Bryce Canyou, Zion, Arches, Canyonlands)

Favorite book: Bible

Favorite movie and/or television show: I loved Breaking Bad

Favorite type of music and/or favorite artist: Acoustic guitar music

Bucket list item #1: Yosemite

What professional achievement are you most proud of? University of Pittsburgh Chancellor’s Excellence in Teaching Award

What is your most memorable moment as a professor? Watching Pitt students from my Projects in Marketing class win various national competitions

Professor you most admire and why: Those who obviously care about students and commit their time outside the classroom (Ray Jones at Pitt comes to mind)

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? Adoption of Green Products – interesting to understand how “need for social recognition” influences green product purchases

Twitter handle: Don’t use Twitter

“If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this…” Practical, experience-based curricula

“And much less of this…” Students racking up significant debt who probably should consider an alternative to a four year college degree

Looking ahead 10 years from now, describe what “success” would like for you: Good health and a bunch of grandchildren to spoil

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