Dr. Jeffrey Carlson joined the Robins School of Business as an assistant professor of marketing at the beginning of the academic year. With the first three months behind him, he reflected on the early stages of his journey in teaching.

Earning a master’s degree in organizational communication with a concentration in technology from Purdue University, Carlson began his career as an analyst at Accenture in Chicago for a year and from there went on to work as a sales representative for a pharmaceutical company in West Virginia. Carlson explained, “It was then I had the opportunity to return to my undergraduate school, West Virginia Wesleyan College, to be an instructor in the communications department. I was able to teach public speaking, research methods and rhetoric among other subjects. I really enjoyed teaching, and after a few years, I decided to pursue a Ph.D.”

Upon earning a doctoral degree in business administration with a focus in marketing from the University of Connecticut, Carlson moved south to the Robins School. “I was looking for an environment that balanced teaching with research. I knew the faculty members here are doing the same level of research as faculty at large research universities while simultaneously placing a heavy emphasis on teaching, and that was really appealing.”

Earlier in the semester Carlson coached a team of Robins School students for the annual National Team Selling Competition held at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. “We spent several weeks practicing with various faculty members, and it was very motivating and gratifying to be able to see the team apply all that they learned to this year’s competition. We are looking forward to learning the results in the coming weeks.”

He added, “There are so many resources here, and the faculty, staff and students are close-knit. The students and faculty are also more than willing to participate and collaborate in extracurricular activities and events, and it’s wonderful to have been able to experience this already.”

Carlson specializes in sales force management, advertising effects and marketing strategy, and he explained some of his recent research. “My colleagues Ioannis Kareklas and Darrel Muehling of Washington State University and I examined types of claims featured in organic food advertisements. We compared the egoistic claims of great personal benefit to those of altruistic concerns, and we found that advertisements that feature both egoistic and altruistic claims perform better than those with an egoistic claim alone while performing equally as well as those featuring altruistic claims. We’re now seeing a mix of advertisements that feature both types of claims. It’s fascinating to observe these trends.” The article, “‘I Eat Organic for My Benefit and Yours’: Egoistic and Altruistic Considerations for Purchasing Organic Food and Their Implications for Advertising Strategists,” appeared in the first issue of the Journal of Advertising, Volume 43, released this year.

Carlson reflected, “When I first stepped foot in the Robins School, I noticed the atmosphere here is very supportive and familiar. It was then I felt the Robins School would be a great fit for me, and I very much look forward to my time here.”