Randy Harrison is a faculty member at Emerson College whose goal is to bring hands-on skills and experiences into the classroom. His course, MK371: Topics in Marketing Communication: Inbound in the Integrated Marketing Framework, is one which provides students with the chance to collaborate on solving a real-world business problem while applying Inbound marketing principles using a full marketing automation toolkit provided by HubSpot.

Randy Harrison

But there’s something even cooler about Randy’s course: Completing the course will allow students to become HubSpot Marketing Software Certified, a professional-level distinction that is a must-have for any successful HubSpotter and one which can be used to stand out from the pack when applying for internships and jobs.

I recently had the chance to speak with Randy about his experience as well as his general philosophy in the classroom. If there’s one thing that was made clear in this interview, it’s that Randy is one member of the Emerson Community who is dedicated to student success both within the classroom and in the professional world.

What do you like about teaching at Emerson College?

“Emerson students have always been awesome. A lot of them are very motivated and they all have great potential… I’ve had students go off and have amazing successes in the field which, of course, is what it’s all about. That plus a massive commitment from our department to respond to exponential innovation and the digital transformation we are all facing also really excites me. We’re really dedicated to getting ahead of this revolution and creating the most relevant learning experiences for our students.”

On the topic of Emerson’s unique curriculum, Randy also mentioned his appreciation for how the school approaches professional development:

“Emerson understands at its core that marketing is a business specialty. They’ve brought in a lot of affiliated or adjunct faculty who have had success in the field as a way to augment and supplement the curriculum to provide field-based expertise to make the academic topics in our program come to life for students.”

What is your approach in the classroom?

“Emerson students are very capable and creative by definition. I hate using labels so I’m not going to use the Millennial or Generation Z terms… but what has come through my work in the classroom over the last few years is that students really want knowledge and experience. They want to dive in and get their hands on the tools and use them on top of learning the theories and methodologies behind them. There’s a hunger for real experiences…

In one real sense, I view my role in this [class] as a facilitator. I do my best to tee things up and then get out of the way as much as possible to make the learning more real… Partnerships like this with an industry leader (HubSpot) is a new way for Emerson to offer the latest and greatest, hands-on experiences that work in parallel with the curriculum.”

With that in mind, Randy has structured his class with assistance from HubSpot and the HubSpot Academy. He’s built a course that is project-focused with an emphasis on creating strategic content and interacting with Inbound experts. It’s the perfect blend of encouraging students to apply their knowledge while providing them with the proper tools and conversations to advance their skills.

In fact, Emerson, along with Bentley, was the first school in the country to formally bring Inbound and HubSpot into the college setting, which makes this course unique and adds a high value to the students who take it.

How would you describe your course to prospective students?

“It’s a true applied learning experience. If you, as a student, are hungry to actually roll up your sleeves and do it, this is your chance to get a world-class, unique type of learning experience that can prepare you to set up your career with a certification that has immense value in the marketplace…

It’s something that will set you apart from any other student in the country, and is very similar to where things were when social media began to take off, where the supply of skilled practitioners is limited and the demand for talent is unmet.”

Randy and I also spoke about the value of innovation in marketing and how these ideas work together to create growth in business. According to Randy, it’s our ability to keep up with the most up-to-date strategies and technologies that allows marketers to engage with an audience and communicate a persuasive message that’s heard, understood, and creates value.

For more information, click here to view HubSpot’s Educational Partner Page.

To get to the Case Study video produced by HubSpot on the Inbound in the Integrated Marketing Framework course, scroll down to this: