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Testimonial by Christina Morin

About Christina Morin

Program/concentration and graduation year at GWU: MBA, Marketing Concentration. Class of 2007

Current Affiliation and Title: Brand Manager, Alterna Professional Hair Care

Christina ‘s LinkedIn Profile

Christina’s Testimonial about Dr. Helm

If you are lucky, there are one or two professors in your academic career who push, excite and challenge you to go the extra step, take risks and think strategically how to solve problems efficiently and often out-side the box.  As a full-time MBA student from the class of 2009, I was thrilled to find myself in this lucky situation when I took Professor Anna Helm’s IBUS266 Spring 2009 class. A combination of her extraordinary teaching skills, enthusiasm, and diverse and challenging curriculum confirmed my career choice and gave me the tools I needed to succeed in the real world.  I am honored to have this opportunity to speak to my experience as her student, and why she would continue to be a true asset to the George Washington University.

From the first day of International Marketing, Professor Helm’s enthusiasm for the material and our learning was obvious through the amount of feedback for various projects she worked into the curriculum as well as the time she gave us individually out of class.  Drafts of papers where reviewed in more depth, with more feedback than any professor I’ve ever had.  She went through 30 page drafts, often writing 3 pages of comments and thoughts on how it could be pushed to the next level.   It helped me understand strategically why I may have considered different answers, which in turn developed my style of writing, thinking and problem solving.

Diverse coursework and real world consulting projects with companies all over the word gave me the opportunity to put what I learned into action.  I worked on a project with an NGO in Costa Rica which needed help in marketing its system of burning trash to create energy through a new green system of pyrolization.   I worked closely with the NGO in developing a business case and marketing plan for them to present the government of Costa Rica.  This project taught me the importance of understanding the needs of the consumer, before you can successfully do anything else.  Most importantly, it taught me the questions to ask in order to understand the consumer, a skill I have successfully applied to my role as an Associate Brand Manager at Johnson and Johnson.

When I first started with the company, I was assigned to Rembrandt®, and was then moved to a portfolio of 6 different brands including Listerine® Whitening®.  The skills I learned during the project with Professor Helm helped me navigate through the various consumer profiles of the 6 brands quickly and efficiently.  This gave me a competitive advantage within my peer group, and is one of the reasons I was moved to such a large group of brands, compared to the normal assignment of one brand.

In addition to developing my International Marketing knowledge and skills, Professor Helm included activities that developed my management and presentation skills.  We videotaped our final presentations which were not only scored on content, but also our presentation skills.  This skill has also benefited me in my professional career, as I present brand strategies regularly to management.

Professor Helm’s class was demanding in terms of the time I spent exploring ideas and solutions, but also the ways in which I approached those ideas and solutions. Her diverse way of thinking about issues from various perspectives and enthusiasm for International Marketing kept me engaged and excited to learn more.  Knowing she put so much effort into assuring we learned as much as possible, and were inspired to continue learning, made me want to do my very best and pushed me to achieve more.

With Professor Helm as a continued member of your faculty, you can count on her to provide students with the opportunity and tools needed to explore real world relevant issues in new innovative ways, inspire them to push their limits, and to serve as a link between the school and those students who have graduated and started careers.  The connection she creates with student extends beyond the classroom.

Thank you very much for this opportunity to share my experience with you.  I hope you continue to provide your students with the advanced learning and opportunities I had as a student of Professor Helm’s.

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