Clinical Professor of Marketing
Kellogg School of Management
Prof. Calkins, you often travel to Germany to teach Kellogg-WHU EMBA students, what do you think makes the Kellogg-WHU partnership so unique? What are the best things about teaching in this program?
The best thing about this program is the wonderful mix of students from all over the world, which makes the class discussions really entertaining for both me and the students. What I find fascinating with the Kellogg-WHU program is that you can really see how the concepts we teach play out in different parts of the world.
As a now full-time professor, how do you keep connected to the corporate world? How do you integrate your extensive and impressive professional experience into your teachings?
I always make sure the concepts we talk about in class are relevant and have an impact in corporate settings. My background is quite unique because I come out of industry. I spent 10 years at Kraft Foods before joining the academic world. This gives me grounding in the practical side of things and a better understanding of the messiness that sometimes comes up when you try to implement those ideas. In addition, I regularly advise companies all over the world on various strategy projects. I love doing that because you really see what people are working on, what they are struggling with, and you’re constantly updating and refining your own ideas.
What do you like most about teaching in the Kellogg-WHU EMBA Program?
I like to use cases because I think they bring everyone together around a single issue. One of the best parts of my job is when you bring in a case study to class and find out that there is a student who has a direct connection to it and can bring it to life. For me, it’s great because I keep learning more and more about the situation, the company and the players. And I think it makes it valuable for the students because it’s not just a theoretical exercise, it is actually grounded in real business challenges that people are facing.