By Sammi Su ’22
In spring 2021, M.S. in Management students from Professor Rochelle Webb’s “Marketing Management” course presented their go-to-market (GTM) strategy recommendations to representatives from Soulbbatical, a professional and executive coaching platform founded by Shelley Paxton that helps businesses and employees plan for sabbaticals and re-entry into the workforce.
In a virtual showcase utilizing Google Earth technology, Samantha Dingee, Alyssa Gabrielle-Rios, Katie Leslie, Alina Mirzaian and Ford Witman outlined how Soulbbatical, an early-stage venture, could implement a GTM strategy to achieve its goals.
According to Leslie, the team matched every key location in Paxton’s bestselling book, Soulbbatical: A Corporate Rebel’s Guide to Finding Your Best Life, to the locations presented on Google Earth to “exemplify both the roots of Shelley’s life and the roots in our manifesto and go-to-market strategy.”
“We also established a relationship between the Calm app and Soulbbatical which would continually bridge that gap between work/life balance and mental health,” added Leslie.
For the final part of their presentation the team introduced a business model called the Tri-Part Soulbbatical, which would enable a person to take on three different types of sabbaticals of their choosing.
After the presentation, representatives from Soulbbatical praised the students for a job well done: “What an awe-inspiring journey that semester was! Thank you for choosing us as your industry partner. No doubt we got as much out of it as the students did!”
The students had a similar reaction and shared some of the insights they gained from the course.
“The biggest lesson I learned was the importance of creativity and communication,” said Leslie. “Being creative and having adaptability when it comes to communication is not only going to help your team, it’s also going to help your business.”
“I learned the value of a good presentation,” said Whitman. “Though other groups presented similar ideas, what really helped our group stand out was the fact that our presentation was thoroughly engaging throughout the entire 25-minute period.”
Whitman also emphasized the importance of believing in one’s own idea in order to convince others that the idea is worth investing in.
Gabrielle-Rios added, “This project taught me how aesthetics and data come together in the business world. I learned how to shape my presentation to the goals of the meeting and to the audience I am presenting to.”
Both Leslie and Gabrielle-Rios have successfully transferred their newly-developed skills into their everyday work.
“I now use these skills at work when presenting my ideas, and try to be as clear and concise as possible,” said Gabrielle-Rios.
“The skills I learned in this course have helped me tremendously in my post-grad career as a marketing coordinator for Kimley-Horn,” said Leslie. “I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn from Professor Webb and work alongside Soulbbatical to create a long-term GTM strategy.”