Faculty Spotlight: Alex Gabbi, Principles of Marketing

Written by Nicholas Kuehl

Professor Alex Gabbi teaches MKT 337H, the honors section of Principles of Marketing. For many BHP students, this is the first marketing course that they will take, and Professor Gabbi loves challenging students’ expectations of marketing. Because many students believe that marketing is solely the domain of creatively-minded people, one of Professor Gabbi’s favorite things to discuss is how broad marketing can be, from analytics to product management to promotion design, and how understanding your customer and how to build value for them are important skills for everyone in business to know.

Because this is Professor Gabbi’s first semester teaching BHP students, he has been excited to experiment with several new class concepts, such as a new game-based assignment delivery system, and he has enjoyed gathering feedback and other new ideas from his BHP students. When asked about his BHP students, he mentioned their high level of pre-class preparation, high work ethic, and high level of support for each other as some characteristics that he has noticed. For his students, Professor Gabbi offers this advice: “One of the most important things for all students to do is to first develop self-awareness. What are you great at? What things do you love? What inspires you? Then I encourage students to take those answers to heart and follow their passion and strengths. I always tell a student to ‘make it YOUR major,’ ‘make it YOUR career.’ If you always do the things that inspire you, then your odds of success will be dramatically higher.”

Professor Gabbi attended the MBA program at UT, and during this time he served as a teaching assistant for some of the courses that he teaches today. After getting his MBA, Professor Gabbi worked in industry, and he has founded several startups. He deeply enjoys teaching students the tools and techniques that he uses in industry, and he enjoys showing students how what they are learning in class can (and, in his case, has) applied to real-life business scenarios. “Teaching at the university level brings many rewards,” Professor Gabbi said. “I find undergraduates still very open to different perspectives and learning. I love the short-term gratification of seeing a student engage enthusiastically in a class discussion or a concept, and nothing is more satisfying than befriending a student later in life and having them recount the impact you had on their development.”

Outside of industry work and teaching, Professor Gabbi loves traveling to exotic locations with his children. In fact, during the past year, he has been able to see the World Cup in Russia, visit the Global Seed Bank in Svalbard, see the Redentore fireworks in Venice, visit the solemn site of Auschwitz, and experience the Northern Lights in Iceland. In addition to traveling, Professor Gabbi enjoys playing strategy games, playing basketball, and building Legos!

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