There he sat across the conference room from me; room 218 to be exact. Clean cut, professional suit and a persona that makes others listen with curiosity. While eyeing each of us in the eye, his words of wisdom flowed stating, “Trust you hunches, ladies and gentlemen. Don’t move until you have resolved the funny feeling.”
The words rang deep in me and made complete sense. It sounded so easy! But I knew that only years of elevant experiences could bring one to such understanding. Well, Jim Stengel, the Global Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Proctor and Gamble (P&G) is definitely the one who can confidently speak such words. On April 11th, 2008 I had the fantastic opportunity of sitting in on a Marketing Association Executive Breakfast Q & A session with the man. A total of 14 of my classmates sat along with us and it was an open forum setup. He briefly started off explaining his background and how through the production of desirable results he attained the Global CMO position back in 2001. He went on to explain that P&G was the largest advertiser in the world and how it differentiated itself by understanding the subconscious desires of the consumer.
He went on to answer various inquiries that the students presented. He explained several different aspects of marketing such as the types of innovation; disruptive, sustaining, and commercial innovation. It was all really interesting to me because this is the first semester that I have actually started taking marketing classes. And so, listening to an individual in his position was a truly enlightening experience. And the biggest takeaway which could be applied in other functions as well was that one should trust their instincts. I think that spoke volumes to most people in the room because it is a fundamental piece in understanding business strategy and yet, the hardest to follow at most points. Overall, it is a truly knowledgeable experience and one which left my classmates and me with great respect for the man.
Sahil Asthana, MBA Class of 2009
After graduating from Temple University, where he majored in management information systems, Sahil joined Accenture, LTd. and then, moved on to a boutique consulting firm. He brings his five years of consulting experience and perspective to the MBA program and hopes to apply it effectively within his studies.
Sahil chose to pursue his MBA at the Smeal College of Business because of the strength of the marketing and entrepreneurship portfolios and the chance to learn from well respected faculty. Along with the leadership position of vice president of corporate and alumni relations, Sahil is an active member of the MBA Entrepreneurship Association.