After all the time that Alyson Kelly Kaye ’93, MBA ’96 spent on campus working toward two degrees, the last place you might expect to find her is a Bentley classroom. But the seasoned marketing professional is indeed back in Waltham – this time as an adjunct professor.
“Teaching allows me to give something back,” says Kaye, whose résumé includes stints with Digitas, iPhrase, the Boston Group, SBLI, and Arnold Worldwide. “Succeeding in the real world requires more than good grades and a piece of paper. You have to be able to communicate effectively, and I have a strong desire to instill that in students.”
Her teaching assignments, all at the undergraduate level, include a marketing elective in advertising offered in both spring and summer 2011. Come fall, she is slated to teach a section of the required Integrated Business Project course in the General Business curriculum.
“Incorporating my professional experiences into the classroom is one of my goals,” Kaye says of her decade in corporate marketing, during which she developed campaigns and budgets, managed teams, and provided strategy and oversight, among other duties.
During her own Bentley days, Kaye graduated with a BS in Marketing, then headed out to the professional world for a year before returning to pursue an MBA.
“I wanted to work more on the analytical side, measuring the effectiveness of campaigns, and not just build brands,” she explains. Taking five graduate courses per semester enabled her to “squish a two-year program into 18 months.”
The educational investment paid off. Kaye was a management supervisor at Arnold Worldwide by 2006, when she decided to leave the field for family commitments. About three years later, when her third child turned 2 years old, she “got the itch to return to work in some capacity.”
Having stayed in touch with her alma mater, Kaye reached out to former professor and mentor Perry Lowe, a senior lecturer in the Marketing Department. He invited her to co-teach his corporate immersion course last fall, so she could get a feel for the profession.
“Ally’s background and personality are perfectly suited to the classroom,” says Lowe. “Her corporate experience was exactly what was needed, and highly valued by the undergraduates.”
The benefit goes both ways, Kaye is quick to note. “Being able to share my experiences with the students is so rewarding,” she says. “When they are engaged and asking really great questions, I leave the classroom with a little bit of a high.”