Geraldine Cohen PhD MBA (INSEAD) FHEA MCIM Chartered Marketer is Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Brunel Business School, Brunel University. She is Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Member of the British Academy of Management, Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) since 1986 and Chartered Marketer since 1998. Geraldine has more than 25 years of International Business and Marketing experience acquired at Fairchild Semiconductors in Germany, Cummins Engine Company in the USA and Rank Xerox and ECI Ventures in the UK. In the 80s and part of the 90s she ran her own Marketing consultancy advising industrial and commercial clients as well as non-profit organisations.
When did you know you wanted to teach? I originally came to Brunel to do a PhD in Marketing after almost 25 years of marketing experience in large multinational corporations, marketing consultancy and the City. I was then asked if I would be interested in teaching Marketing so I said I might give it a go. I fell in love with teaching gradually, in fact I found my first attempts at it terrifying, but with years and years of practice my confidence grew and I became better at it. Love followed.
What do you enjoy most about your job? Having the opportunity at each lecture to surprise, inspire and to make my students engage with the topic.
What would you do if you were Dean for the day? Throw a party!
What is the best piece of advice given to you by a teacher? Respect your students and they will respect you back tenfold.
What is the worst job you have ever had? Working in a testing lab for an electronics components company for a year, all by myself, in a room with no windows.
What advice would you give to women in business? Aim high, don’t compromise on your dreams and don’t take no for an answer. If you have to compromise, which inevitably has to be done, never compromise on your health or your family.
How do you deal with male-dominated environments? I aim to be well prepared, well dressed and quietly outspoken. Never try to be what you are not, always be true to yourself.
What is the strangest thing you have done when teaching? Having to deal with students snogging in class. Or being serenaded by a student dressed as a gorilla on Valentine’s Day during one of my lectures.
What is your favourite business book? I have lots of favourite books, so it’s difficult to choose just one. Here is one of my favourites: Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography by Walter Isaacson.
What is your life philosophy? Each day aim to help someone.