Digital and Social Media Strategy for MBAs – 2nd run

Just wrapped up the MBA course on digital and social media strategy (ISOM5390). Once again, I’m fortunate to have a great group of eager and motivated students to keep me on my toes.

Happy ending with the 2nd batch!

After the last class, I received feedback from some of the students about the course:

Since this class material was new to me, this was not easy task for me. However, I will be involved in the marketing project after  MBA, so this class was practical and helpful for me to understand how to think about marketing. Thank you for your class. If I can, I want to take your class again.

I want to thank you again for your class, it is beyond my expectation. As I mentioned in last class, this course brings fresh knowledge about social media and those guest speakers’ insightful sharing did put us in a real business world, so it was a very pleasant and achieving learning process. Hope more of other future MBA students can benefit from your course!

It is one of the most practical class I had so far. Will definitely recommend to other MBAP (especially marketers). THANK YOU again.

Glad to know that some students found the course valuable.

The perfect publication record for getting tenure?

  1. Top-tier publication single-authored by yourself — shows that you can work independently.
  2. Top-tier publication with a peer — show that you are a team-player.
  3. Top-tier publication with a student — shows that you can supervise someone.
  4. Top-tier publication with a senior scholar in your field — show that you can be supervised by someone.
  5. Top-tier publication in another field (e.g., quantum physic) — show that you are inter-disciplinary.
  6. Article in a top practitioner journal (e.g., HBR, Sloan Review) — shows that your research has some practical impacts.
  7. A book about that centres around your research topics/streams. (But if it doesn’t get onto the New York Times best-sellers, it doesn’t count.)

And I still haven’t checked off the first item on the list.

Webinar — been there, done that….

Offered a webinar on “Platform Disruptions” for the HKUST Business School’s Executive Education Office. It was a pretty fun and eye-opening experience for me. The technical setup was pretty simple; in fact, the technology for conducting such remote teaching seems pretty matured.

Behind the scene -- all the equipment to produce the webinar...

Behind the scene — all the equipment to produce the webinar…

There were about 20+ participants who logged in during their lunch break for 30-min talk. The main challenge I found is the lack of direct interaction between the participants and I. Although you can run simple polls or MCQs during the webinar to stimulate participation and engagement, these just aren’t the same as the interactions in a traditional classroom setting. Would love to challenge myself to give another webinar more creatively.

Feedback on new MBA course

I developed and delivered a new course on Digital and Social Media Marketing for the MBAs in the last semester. And I was fortunate to have a fantastic group of students for the first run of the course.

The inaugural MBA class on Digital and Social Media Marketing

I’m quite happy with how it turned out and, based on the the course evaluations, I think the students had a positive experience too. Some of the students’ feedback:

A lot of very insightful digital marketing strategies were shared and discussed in the lecture.

It taught me a new thing because I don’t know anything about digital marketing at the first time. On top of that, the class challenges your logic as the prof keep answering us with new questions that enrich the class discussion.

Current day digital marketing trends shown in the class. Great teaching skills by professor

Looking forward to the next run of the course!

Executive Ed @ CITIC Pacific

I had the privilege to conduct a workshop on “Platform Strategy” for senior executive from CITIC Pacific. It is always exciting to share insights into my favourite topic with others. A fun exercise during the workshop was to re-model one of CITIC’s existing businesses into a multi-sided platform.

One thing that I enjoy about Executive Education is the challenge to apply concepts into specific contexts that matter to the executives. This really pushes me to think very carefully in planning and delivering the course.

5 steps to sync Endnote 7 libraries via Dropbox

Recently, I changed from JabRef to Endnote 7, and found that Endnote doesn’t offer an easy or straightforward way to sync its reference libraries via Dropbox. In fact, Endnote appears to discourage users from using Dropbox to sync their libraries (see here for example).

My workflow is as such: I store all articles (typically in pdf) in a Dropbox folder so that the files are synced across my desktops and laptops. I also need to sync my bibliography manager’s library file, so that when I add/remove articles (with file attachments and remarks) in the bibliography manager, the changes are applied to all terminals without extra intervention.

Here’s a Endnote 7 + Dropbox hack that works for me (in Mac OS 10.10.5 environment):

Step 1. Create a folder “Endnote” in Dropbox > References. (You can add the “Endnote” folder to whichever folder you use to store your references.)

Step 2. In Dropbox > References > Endnote, create three new folders: “Styles”, “Filters”, and “Connections”.

Step 3. Open Endnote 7. Go to File > New to create a new library “References” (or use any name that you like). Save this library in Dropbox > References > Endnote.

Step 4. In Endnote 7, go to Preferences > Folder Locations. Change the locations of folders for “Styles”, “Filters”, and “Connections” so that they points to the respective folders that have been created in Step 2.

Step 5. In Endnote 7, go to Preferences > URLs & Links, uncheck “Copy new file attachments to the default file attachment folder and create a relative link.”

In the other terminals, you can go straight to Step 3 with a minor change^: instead of creating a new library in Endnote 7, go to File > Open Libraries and select the endnote library that you created for the first terminal. (^ Assuming your files sync correctly in Dropbox, those Endnote folders should appear in the other terminals once you have created them.)

Now your Endnote libraries should sync via Dropbox.

Busy weeks ahead!

Apart from the ongoing Introduction to Information Systems course to 280+ undergraduates that will run until early May, I’m (i) giving two talks (in April and May) to applicants for our business undergraduate program, (ii) starting my eight-week MBA course on Digital Marketing Strategy and Analytics in about two weeks’ time, and (iii) teaching an executive workshop on Platform Strategy sometime in June.

And that’s just for the teaching gig…


Should you ask me for a recommendation letter?

A number of students have approached me to write recommendations for their internship, exchange program, and other types of applications. While I’m generally happy to do so, it doesn’t mean I will or can agree to all requests. Ultimately, I will only do it if I can write strong recommendation letters for the students — and this is what students should aim for too.

If you are thinking of who you should ask to be your academic referee, here are some advice. Do not simply look for the professors who are nice, friendly, and approachable, and/or whose classes you aced. Instead, the main criteria should be those who know you and your performance very well and in depth, such as professors who:

  • taught you recently (who can better recall your performance)
  • taught you in a relatively small classes (which allow for deeper interactions, and better observations of you)
  • taught you an advance course

In my opinion, it is better for you to get a recommendation letter from the professor who taught you, say, Advance Linear Programming in the previous semester (in which you get a B grade among 30 students) than from someone who taught you Introduction to IS in your freshmen year (in which you get an A among 100 students).

So, should you ask me to be your academic referee? If you completed an independent study under my supervision, or worked on one of my research projects, you can consider asking me, especially if you had performed well. However, if you simply attended my lectures, did well in the exams, and score an A for the course, I strongly suggest you look for someone else for the recommendation letter. After all, I could only say that you did well in my course and attained a good grade, which is what your transcript would say anyway. I’ll not be adding any new information about you to readers of the recommendation letter, which doesn’t serve its purpose for you.

Now, if you decide to ask me to be your referee, drop me a note and I will let you know if I can do it. Also, refer to what you can do to help me help you.