CHAMPAIGN — University of Illinois marketing and business Professor Mark Wolters, already popular on and off campus, just brought home the 2023 Master Teacher Award from the Marketing Management Association.
Marketing professors around the country sent in details of their teaching philosophies, successes with students and other awards.
Wolters was one of three finalists who also presented to a panel of judges.
Whether he’s teaching huge classes or smaller groups, Wolters said he loves connecting with students one-on-one.
“Over my 12 plus years at the U of I, I have been fortunate to have had some of the best students in the world,” Wolters said. “By maintaining a friendly relationship with my students, I have been able to better connect with them in the classroom and deliver classes that really can help them when they go out into the ‘real world.’”
He teaches outside of the classroom, too, presenting seminars on topics suggested by recruiters and alumni and presenting to student organizations with career advice.
People see so many advertisements each day that it can be difficult to get their attention; Wolters said he makes sure students are keyed into social-media marketing and the tools at their disposal.
“The ubiquitous nature of social media and all of the ‘noise’ we have in our lives has made it more difficult for advertisers,” Wolters said. “However, the amount of information that advertisers have on consumers has made it easier for companies to have targeted ads that are more relevant to consumers.”
He’s also taken students on study-abroad trips to learn about marketing in other countries, but that isn’t the only chance he gets to travel.
His YouTube channel, “Wolters World,” recently reached 1 million subscribers.
“I honestly started my ‘Wolters World’ YouTube channel because I was tired of seeing blogs and vlogs and guidebooks that overhyped destinations, because they were sponsored to go there or were given free stuff to say nice things, or they avoided talking about the bad parts of traveling,” Wolters said.
His videos cover just about everything: budget tips, surprising facts about different locations, what to avoid in certain destinations and the best places to eat when you get there.
Some videos attempt to answer tough questions like, “How do you travel and keep a full-time job?” or “How do I get my dad to let me study abroad?”
If you’re wondering about a certain travel destination, let him know; Wolters said he takes suggestions from his fans as well as his kids.
Wolters’ second channel, “Professor Wolters,” focuses on breaking down marketing and business lessons in a fun way.
“It is always fun at exam times when I start getting emails from students from around the world saying, ‘Thank you for helping me study for my final,’” Wolters said.