Barbara Stöttinger, dean of WU Executive Academy and academic director of the school’s Professional MBA in Marketing and Sales, says there are increasing calls from both employers and students to combine marketing and sales into one specialist MBA program.
“Looking at the education landscape back when we were first putting the program together, there was a lot of focus on marketing, but the role of sales in business wasn’t represented to the same level,” Barbara explains.
The Professional MBA was launched to provide an even split between marketing and sales topics, allowing students to understand both functions and how they complement one another.
Indian native Mario Alroy didn’t fully realize the importance marketing and sales has within a business when he first enrolled at WU Executive Academy.
He enrolled onto the Marketing and Sales Professional MBA program, recognizing it would have more impact on his future career within electronic manufacturing company AHT Cooling Systems. It was the right call, and he’s now moved from procurement into the sales department, working as a project manager for group strategy and reporting direct to the CSO.
Here’s why he chose the Professional MBA in Marketing & Sales at WU Executive Academy.
2019 Professional MBA Marketing & Sales international residency in San Francisco
Professional MBA in Marketing & Sales Lab
For Mario, one of the key selling points of the Professional MBA in Marketing and Sales was the Marketing and Sales Lab (M&S Lab), where students are given the opportunity to choose topics of interest outside of those they’re being taught.
As Barbara (pictured) explains, this ensures the program remains relevant to the times. “Marketing and sales are both very dynamic environments,” she says. “Things change very quickly. You have to have some flexibility in the curriculum to react to those timely topics.”
Mario chose to focus on comprehensive analysis strategy and trend spotting. “I enjoyed it,” he says. “We were taught to be able to answer questions like: How does a business operate? How do you penetrate new markets? How do you generate a profit?
“I was able to learn about how to manage your company when entering a new market. I learned about financial projections, how to manage your cashflow according to market performance, and how to position your business to attract investment.”
The school brought in an expert of trend research who could use their expertise to teach students how to implement their understanding of current trends into their existing business models or, in Mario’s case, his company, Barbara adds.
“It’s important to focus on contemporary issues and contemporary debates––particularly in the environment we're experiencing now, which is very fast-changing and rapidly adapting,” she says.
Professional MBA in Marketing & Sales | Career Benefits
The Professional MBA in Marketing and Sales has produced alumni who have gone on to diverse roles with the likes of Citibank, HP, and Tesla––and not necessarily in sales or marketing.
The program teaches students how to manage brands, develop effective pricing strategies, online and offline communication, and customer management. All of these skills are applicable across business roles.
“Marketing and sales are both central functions in any company,” Barbara says. “It’s important to understand how these work in relation to one another.” Whether or not either sector is your area of career interest, there’s a lot you can learn from these roles.
Mario agrees. “I’m able to rationally understand how businesses operate,” he says. “After the MBA, I was able to go to my company with some managerial ideas of my own. Throughout my time at WU Executive Academy, they remained highly supportive––as they saw the value in what I was learning––and so were eager to implement some of my ideas.”
He adds that his decision to switch to the Sales and Marketing program was the right one, and the support from the WU Executive Academy faculty made that transition easy. “I met with Barbara directly when in the process of making that decision,” he says. “She and the wider faculty really helped guide me through the process.”
Today, Mario reports directly to his company’s chief sales officer and is involved in company strategy changes that map out the next two or three years, which he says is a crucial responsibility to have in a disruptive time.
“The MBA has given me the backing to go and sit at the table with the people who make decisions for the company,” Mario concludes. “It has unleashed my potential.”