- May 17th, 2016
- in Office Hours
Office Hours provides an opportunity to introduce UA students, family and friends to the outstanding men and women who work at The University of Alabama and work tirelessly to provide each student with a great experience at the Capstone.
This edition introduces Susan Fant, an instructor of marketing and the corporate director for the masters of science in marketing program. Fant’s specialities include digital and social media marketing.
Name: Susan Fant
Hometown: Gadsden, Alabama
Job Title: Instructor of Marketing and Masters of Marketing Corporate Director
Alma Mater: Birmingham Southern (bachelor’s degree) and University of St. Andrews in Scotland (master’s degree)
I came to UA because… my family has always been massive Alabama fans. I come from a Roll Tide family, so I’ve always really wanted to be part of the campus experience here at UA. When I came back from Scotland, I had started a company in digital and social media marketing already. I was working with clients and thought ‘What would happen if I wanted to get my PhD?’ And the best way to decide if you want a PhD is to try it out, so I came and taught one class as an adjunct in digital and social media. I was recruited in by the department chair, and taught a couple of classes before coming on as a full-time clinical professor. I teach what I do, I do what I teach, and I still have my company. I love being able to do both and share those real world experiences with my students. We have a digital and social media specialization now in the masters of marketing that I was able to create. I’m one of the few, if not only, professors in the marketing department that teaches it. I love it, and that’s really why I stayed here. Through my position of masters of marketing corporate director, I also work with business to create internships and sponsor project opportunities for the master’s students.
My favorite thing to do on campus is… I really love football games, but during non-football games I really love walking around the Quad. I think The University of Alabama campus is gorgeous. It’s so beautiful. I also like making friends across colleges, so I like going and meeting new people. I’m interested in what music is doing and what New College is doing and what engineering is doing. I strongly believe in blending colleges together and blending what we do together. I think there’s a lot of potential in blending disciplines, so I try to make a lot of different friends around campus and poke around and ask them what they’re doing. I think it’s so beneficial to listen and learn from people in other areas of campus.
My favorite spot on campus is… right in the middle of the Quad. I think some of the times I’ve relaxed the most are times I’m sitting on a bench or sitting in front of the library, just taking it all in or reading a book – that might be a little different for a digital and social media teacher to say that they like reading a real book, but I do love to do that and just enjoy the atmosphere.
During my time at UA, I’m most proud of… the digital and social media specialization, absolutely. Being given the opportunity to create that specialization was huge. It’s one of the four in the nation at the masters of marketing level, where you can actually specialize in digital and social media marketing. I was really given the opportunity to create something by hand and work with a lot of different agencies and alumni to think about what students need to know right now and what they’ll need to know in the future. There weren’t as many hoops to jump through to create the specialization as one might imagine. Like anything, you have to build a case as to why you need it, and this was an obvious need. We’ve had a lot of alumni call back to the business school and marketing department, especially the masters program, specifically saying they need students who can do this. Students now are digital natives. They’ve grown up with technology all their lives, but they haven’t necessarily done that for a company. Having those alumni and having the request for that specialization really made this an easy transition. Everyone has been very supportive.