Meet Assistant Professor of Marketing Rishi Bahl, Ph.D.
What was your background prior to joining the La Roche faculty?
I spent years working in the music industry in various roles and still do today. I also taught at the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University.
What are some of the classes you teach?
I teach a wide range of classes in the marketing curriculum, including Marketing Management, Marketing Research to Advertising and Nonprofit Marketing. Marketing for Nonprofits is definitely one of my favorite courses to teach every year.
In addition to your work at La Roche, you are part of a well-known band, Eternal Boy, manage/market the Four Chord Music Festival and started your own record label, Four Chord Music. Tell us how your marketing knowledge has helped you to be successful in these areas.
I honestly learned more about marketing through those avenues than I did in college or even graduate school. This is why I try to incorporate a combination of approaches that will test students’ abilities to apply what they learn in real-life situations. Of course, it does help having a comprehensive understanding of new-age marketing tools like analytics, social media, etc.
How do you incorporate these experiences into the classroom?
I really try to make the classroom experience filled with as much applied theory as possible. For example, in some classes, we will forgo a final exam in exchange for a simulation project where students work with real companies and apply marketing concepts and strategy to them. I feel like this is much more beneficial to students than having them memorize for an exam then forgetting all the information the next day.
I also feel like performing at a concert is like teaching in many ways: you want the audience to really buy into what you have to say. If I can present the content to students in an interesting way that speaks to their experiences and interests, then they will want to come back and learn.
How would you describe your teaching style?
I like to merge professionalism with humor and high energy. Marketing is a very exciting field to begin with in that you have to use creativity with intellect to succeed. If I could, I would require students to do jumping jacks before class starts but that seems cruel and unusual, particularly for 8 a.m. classes.
What makes La Roche’s marketing major unique?
I think that the variety and depth is our competitive advantage. We have a wide array of classes that students can/have to prepare them for the future. Also, our department chair, Joe Puglisi, and I have different styles which give students different perspectives.
What advice do you have for students who want to pursue a career in marketing?
Put yourself out there, take risks and don’t be scared to fail. Some of the best opportunities I have had were a result of taking a chance on something I wasn’t sure about.