Learning to be a “great marketer” in the Facebook office

At NUS Business School, learning takes place inside and outside of the classroom. As part of their year one BBA programme in marketing, students take part in a range of company visits to get hands on experience.

BBA Year 1 Wayne Tan, who is also currently reading the U-town College program in Tembusu, recently visited the Facebook office where students learnt what it meant to be “great marketers”. 

In front of the popular Merlion mural at the Facebook office

Visiting the Facebook office is one example of what NUS Business School means by having a “rigorous” curriculum. To further enhance our learning, our professors facilitate such corporate visits as part of our out-of-classroom learning. This helps to bridge concepts and real world applications, allowing us to see the use of what we learn, and how it can actually be applied in the working world. Concepts are always substantiated with examples to demonstrate its applicability.

We were met with Gap Kim, the Head of SMB Marketing Global Business Marketing Asia Pacific. He shared how he draws daily inspiration from the company mission of connecting people worldwide. This was highly memorable to me because it demonstrated how employees themselves are the best “walking advertisement” a company can mobilise. Through the company mission, Gap shared his interpretation of how Facebook meant to him, and how he personally uses it for his own “home business” to test out the marketing solutions Facebook has. Gap’s enthusiasm about Facebook inspired me to look at social media and the organisation in a new light – more than just connecting with friends, but sharing ideas and pushing the boundaries of how traditional marketing is transforming with technology and data.

Facebook’s Marketing team sharing their work experiences and company culture with students

We also met Marketing Manager, JB Kang, who struck a chord with me when he put up this quote: “Everyone can be a marketer, but few can become great marketers”. He spoke of his previous experience with another big FMCG P&G, and the journey of launching a marketing campaign. He feels that getting consumers interested to find out more about your message is preferred compared to attempting to “advertise” your message. That got me to reflect how marketing has substantially evolved based on culture, location, and even time.

What stood out most from both sharings, was that the concept of “trust” still stands as being the most prevalent. Word of mouth is still the way in which consumers will take on the initiative to find out more about your product. It showed how great marketers constantly strive to understand and apply in their marketing communications.

Unlike questions on test papers which are focused on individual concepts, real life problems are dynamic and often require a synthesis of various skill sets to solve. Such corporate visits reinforce the importance of learning with a purpose, demonstrating how the knowledge accumulated in school today, translates into better understanding and decision making to potentially solve problems of the future.

Facebook’s welfare for staff – no one would guess this is inside an office

Taking a break and enjoying Facebook’s comfort food after a hard day’s work

I have a great interest in technopreneurship, so this visit was definitely very insightful. I am currently in the midst of forming my own startup in the EdTech industry with a few of my friends, a project which grew from the recent NUS-EdTech challenge where my team came in second-place. Hopefully, I’ll be able to successfully secure an internship in the NUS Overseas College programme to further my “business” journey.

To me, NUS Business school is like an art studio. As freshmen, we are given the canvas and the paint brushes to paint our future in the next 4 years. With the choice of what we want to focus on, determining the final painting that we will become, after we graduate. I was initially under the impression that the curriculum would be very modular in format. Far from it! Sectionals and tutorials have proven to be entirely different from what I had expected.

For now, I will be embarking on a trek to Everest base camp this coming summer break, something which I have been extremely excited and actively preparing myself for!

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