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James “Pouli” Pouliopoulos, Lecturer, Marketing


As many of you know—or will come to find out soon enough—GB 320 is not the most fun and exciting class. However, I had the pleasure of having an amazing professor who made it just as amazing!! This week’s Campus Celebrity is Professor Jim Pouliopoulos, better known by his students as Pouli. He was born and raised in Brockton, MA but now lives in Westford, MA with his wife and three children. Some of Pouli’s hobbies are photography, drawing, and traveling. He has traveled to more than ten countries!

In addition to teaching GB 320, Pouli teaches several marketing classes such as MK 411– Marketing Corporate Immersion Project. This year, Pouli and his students spent the semester working with Mazda executives to perform research and provide recommendations for Mazda’s iPad application which is used by their sales representatives. I definitely recommend taking him for as many classes as possible!

HerCampus Bentley (HCB): How did you get involved in marketing?

Jim Pouliopoulos (JP): I started my career in engineering, moved to technical sales and then moved into marketing. My first job out of college was as an Electrical Engineer at GE. I have a BSEE (WPI) and an MS degree (RPI) but at some point I realized I enjoyed working with people more than working with things. I moved into sales and then marketing for a variety of tech-based companies including GE, IBM and a number of smaller companies.  I received my MBA from Bentley in 1995.  Most of my corporate marketing career was at IBM from 1996 to 2009 where I worked as a product manager and senior marketing manager on a number of software products.  

HCB: How did you get into teaching and how did you begin teaching at Bentley?

JP: My first teaching “gig” was when I was Junior at WPI. I taught Physics for half a year at a private high school as part of a project for my undergraduate degree. In 1994, my wife was working on a degree at Newbury College and she heard about an opening to teach marketing in their evening program.  I taught as an adjunct at Newbury College and Franklin Pierce for a few years. In 2002, Perry Lowe and Ian Cross asked me to teach a course at Bentley as an adjunct.  I taught courses at Bentley as an adjunct for 10 years and in January 2012, I joined the faculty as a full-time lecturer.

HCB: Where else have you worked/do you work?

JP: After leaving IBM in 2009, I launched a consulting and executive coaching business. I still coach executives and business owners on how to become more strategic in their roles and also how to find balance between work and their personal lives.  

HCB: What is the most memorable experience you have had during your career so far?

JP: The most memorable experiences I have had as an educator have been when former students have told me that something they learned in one of my courses has helped them in their careers or personal lives. The first time this happened, I had run into one of my high school physics students a number of years after I had graduated from WPI.  I asked her what she had done after she graduated from school. She told me she had attended WPI and had graduated as an engineer. She also told me that the time she had spent in my Physics class showed her that science could be something she could enjoy and that engineering might be a great career for her. She thanked me and told me I had had a big impact on her as a student. That was stunning. 

Since then, a number of my former Bentley students have gone on to achieve some pretty remarkable things in their careers. Many of them tell me I’ve had a positive impact on them and that means more to me than any of my other career achievements.

On another note, I’ve also been fortunate to join the faculty at Bentley and work alongside some of the professors that taught me when I was here as an MBA student including Abdi Eshgi, Gul Butaney and Perry Lowe.  

HCB: What advice do you have for students?

JP: I give my students the same advice I give my own children all the time:  Life is all about the stories you can tell. When you’re faced with a decision about what to do, look for the opportunities to do things that you think will give you the most interesting stories to tell later in life. That means taking a course just because you’re interested in the subject matter not because it’s part of your degree requirements. That means spending a semester abroad or in a satellite location. That means taking jobs that seem interesting and off the beaten path. It means being open to all the possibilities around and soak up all the experiences you can while you’re young and free from the demands of family, career and other obligations.

Bentley University Class of 2013 Candidate for a B.S. in Marketing Minor in Information Design and Corporate Communication
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