Resident Data Junkie

Aarti Ivanic, PhD, assistant professor of marketing

Saturday, October 22, 2016TOPICS: ResearchLeadership

Aarti IvanicAarti Ivanic, assistant professor of marketing
begin quote“When students have a real-world deliverable to a company, they take it so seriously.”

To be successful in today’s crowded business world, Aarti Ivanic offers some pointed advice for marketing students. “Marketing is all about numbers,” says Ivanic. “To stand out from your competition and land a great opportunity, you must be proficient with numbers and data. And that's where I come in."

Ivanic worked in management consulting for three years where she witnessed firsthand how understanding and applying data can guide organizations to make sound business decisions.

“Consulting opened my mind on how to use data to solve marketing problems,” she says.

Nowadays, Ivanic shares these experiences with her students—giving them an all-access pass to the kinds of scenarios they’ll face in the future. Through real-world examples and projects with actual clients, Ivanic teaches students not just how to run the numbers, but how marketing research and analytics can help them make big-picture business decisions. Not surprisingly, there’s the requisite resistance to working with numbers—but Ivanic's never fazed.

For the love of numbers.

“As we dissect the numbers and delve into the analyses, the students gain an appreciation for what the research can do,” says Ivanic. “They may struggle and resist in the beginning, but by the end of the semester they shine.”

Ivanic believes the close-knit setting in her classes helps students attributes her student’s ability to conquer their fear of numbers to her small class sizes. “In my undergrad years, classes had up to 500 students. Here at USD, there’s only 15--my classes max out at 20 students,” says Ivanic.

“By day two, I know everyone’s name,” she says. With smaller class sizes, Ivanic can devote more time to ensuring students fully grasp concepts. “They know they’re in This makes students feel 'known'; and that they have a safe place to ask questions and have open for discussions,” says Ivanic. 

Understanding how brutal the real world can be, Ivanic makes it a point to be fully accessible to students. “It’s not just the materials or coursework that prepare students,” says Ivanic. “It’s mentoring them, showing them the skills they need to be successful and demonstrating how to become ethical leaders.”

Ivanic encourages her students to rise above and give their best in every situation, even in areas they’re not comfortable with at first. When they can tackle numbers and confidently It’s also the occasional push to get them out of their comfort zones, like encouraging shy students to work in teams and to use their budding entrepreneurial and interpersonal skills to conduct marketing research for real clients in the community, Ivanic feels like she’s done her job.

“People love to work with our students,” says Ivanic. “We prepare them as much as we can so when it’s time to put what they’ve learned into practice, they thrive. When students have a real-world deliverable to a company, they take it so seriously.”

Forever the lifelong learner.

When she’s not lecturing about data, Ivanic is learning and applying data findings to her own research. Her socially conscious studies span topics like the effect of status on purchasing decisions and how minorities can make healthier eating choices. “We’re encouraged to do research like this,” says Ivanic. “That’s because USD wants us to be engaged in our community. My studies do just that—they challenge how we think about community and what all of us can do to enrich it.”to be good stewards in our community.”


Amy Schmitz
(619) 260-4658