UHCL prof shares lifelong marketing experience with up-and-coming entrepreneurs

April 11, 2022 | UHCL Staff

UHCL prof shares lifelong marketing experience with up-and-coming entrepreneurs

What do Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Bill Gates all have in common-;other than being multi-billionaires? They all started their super-successful business careers from the ground up, and relied on the guidance of mentors whose advice helped turn these young entrepreneurs' ideas into the founders of three of the world's mightiest companies.

Lynn Place had a lifelong career in marketing before coming to University of Houston-Clear Lake to begin teaching in the Department of Decisions Sciences, Economics, Finances and Marketing in the College of Business five years ago.

"I became active in the Service Corps of Retired Executives, which is the country's largest network of free volunteer small business mentors. I volunteer my services to people who want to start up a business, who have reached a plateau and need to restart growth, and even help people understand that starting a small business isn't the right path for them," Place said. "I'm here to help people enrich their knowledge before going into business for themselves."

Place said she joined SCORE for the same reason she enjoyed teaching. "I feel like I can help someone," she said. "I found that what motivates me most is mentoring young marketers. We work to become successful in little steps, then build on that."

She said for the last year she's volunteered at SCORE, advising up-and-coming entrepreneurs and marketers across all industries in Houston as well as at UHCL. As a mentor, Place said she answered specific questions and shared the knowledge she acquired from years of experience in advertising, working on brands such as United Airlines and Kellogg's, and managing well-known brands like Butterball, Keebler, and Pillsbury Toaster Strudel.

"We talk a lot about how to develop a unique selling proposition when marketing a product," she said. "We look for ways to talk about a product's point of difference and why it would add value to someone's life."

She added that the essence of being successful in business is to understand why you're there. "What problem does your product solve? If you can solve a problem for a group of people who will buy that product, that's your business," she said.

"I found that what motivates me most is mentoring young marketers," she explained. "I find that consulting with young entrepreneurs is a lot like teaching. I feel that I have to do this, and it's the same spirit I bring to my students here at UH-Clear Lake."

To learn more about UHCL's Department of Decision Sciences, Economics, Finances and Marketing, go online.