This is a detail from a mural on the second floor of BCIT’s downtown campus (they implemented a fantastic rebrand and design project for BCIT’s 50th anniversary). That’s me in the middle picture with a group of students from the branding class I was teaching at the time. I was excited to get to be part of the mural- and now find it very cool that there is a picture of me on the wall where I work!
When I’m not helping clients develop their amazing and unique brand identities, I’m an instructor at BCIT (British Columbia Institute of Technology), one of the largest post-secondary institutions in the province. I teach marketing, branding, and public speaking for the School of Business.
I absolutely love teaching at BCIT. This might seem like an exaggeration, but it isn’t. Sure, it can get stressful around exam time- so many papers to mark! So many student emails! But it is such a rewarding job. After every course wraps up I feel I’ve been part of something good. During the weeks we’ve spent in class we’ve covered so many topics, had important discussions and learned so much from each other. I put a great deal of effort into delivering a fantastic learning experience- and my students pay me back by submitting excellent work, pushing themselves to expand their skill set and thinking critically about what makes for good marketing in a world overwhelmed by brand messages.
BCIT emphasizes practical application of course concepts to help students get the skills they’ll need in the workforce. I love knowing that I am helping my students open up career opportunities that could change their lives. For me, finding the work I love was such a crucial element in creating happiness and empowerment in my life, and it is wonderful to play a role in helping others connect to their futures.
I get a fantastic mix of students in my classes. From professionals working in related fields, marketers looking to upgrade their credentials and up-and-coming milennials just starting their post-secondary journey, BCIT students are motivated and engaged. The Part Time Studies program offers many flexible options for working people of all ages and backgrounds.
I am very fortunate when it comes to my work. And if you asked which I like better- teaching or consulting, I’d be hard pressed to choose. I wouldn’t like to give up either vocation as they very much support and enrich each other.
For example, in my marketing and branding courses my students enjoy hearing about the work I do for clients. When it’s relevant, I can bring up an example of a business I have worked with or show the steps involved in one of my branding projects to explain how to create a brand identity. When the students give me feedback at the end of the course they often mention these real business examples as being very valuable.
On the flip side, my clients benefit as I have a captive pool of market researchers! Many clients have made use of my students’ input- as my classes are always eager to weigh in on logo design decisions or brand name choice. We often get new insights from my students that would never have come up otherwise. My students learn about the issues business face when branding a products or service, and clients get great response data. Synergy at its best!
If you’d like to learn more about any of my courses, check out BCIT’s website to see what is on offer this term. I often teach intensive courses of marketing and branding, which are great for working students, parents and entrepreneurs. They are a lot of work, but a lot of fun too! Look for the following courses:
Essentials of Marketing (MKTG 1102)
Fundamentals of Branding (MKTG 1554)
Effective Public Speaking (MKTG 1323)
You can find me (Erica Halvorsen) and a lot of other great courses and instructors by searching the Marketing Management program, here.