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Oklahoma State University

Spears Business alum Michael Guillory reflects on balancing passion and career

Monday, January 27, 2020

Michael Guillory

Bartlesville native, Michael Guillory, graduated in 1988 with a Marketing degree. As a student, he was heavily involved. He was a member of the OSU marching band, OSU Wind Ensemble, Sigma Phi Epsilon, American Marketing Association as well as Spring Sing, Freshman Follies, local church charities, and intermural sports. Since 2003, he has worked at Texas Instruments in Dallas and is the current head of WW Corporate Brand Communications. In his role, he oversees brand creative, TI studios which produce over 1500 internal videos per year, trade shows and events, and the digital and web team. He continues his love of music in the OSU Alumni band and the Plano Symphony. He is a volunteer and resource for current Spears students in Dr. Andrew Urich’s Interview Project.

We recently asked Guillory about his interests in music and marketing and the ever-changing landscape in digital marketing. He talks about the importance of taking classes outside of a major and offers his advice to Spears students.

 

Why did you choose to pursue a degree in marketing at OSU?

I have always been fascinated by marketing and advertising. I find it intriguing to learn what truly makes a product or service unique, then challenging myself to craft memorable messaging that can resonate with the right target audience. That’s truly the essence of marketing – you have a product, you create a message, you figure out who is most likely to buy the product and you get to convince them to buy. 

 

How has music played a role in your life, especially in the college and alumni marching bands?

I played Mellophone in the Marching Band and French Horn in the Wind Ensemble. My primary instrument is the piano. I am a classically trained pianist and for a while, I strongly considered majoring in piano performance. However, my interests in Marketing won that battle.

My experiences in Band at OSU were amazing. It is truly a first-class organization and I made friendships in the band that has lasted my whole life. My daughter is a freshman in the OSU Band (Snare line) and it is so much fun seeing her have some of the same great experiences I enjoyed. Music is a wonderful outlet for me to express myself, but perhaps the best part of playing music is doing so with people who enjoy it as much as me. 

 

What are some highlights in your career?

I’ve worked for a pretty broad cross-section of companies – always in Marketing. From small startup software companies to consumer powerhouse companies such as Philips Electronics and now at one of the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturers in the world – Texas Instruments. This diversity has taught me how to operate effectively in a broad range of environments. Whether it’s a matrixed culture with layers and layers of people, to a small, nimble team, different rules of engagement are needed to ensure that the job can be done above expectations. I’m proud of the things I’ve learned to help me navigate through nearly any organizational challenge to rise and deliver some great marketing.

 

How did Spears Business prepare you for your career?

One thing that stands out is that I took the opportunity to take more classes in accounting/finance than required for my marketing degree. Of course, OSU offers exceptional learning in the field of accounting and finance and that emphasis for me has been incredibly valuable. I manage millions of dollars in my budgets and the foundation I received in finance through my education has served me so very well.

 

You’ve been working with Texas Instruments since 2003. How has marketing changed since then?

Well, it’s no surprise that digital marketing is the new normal. Of course, in 2003, digital marketing was present. However, at that time, the extent of social media, online marketing channels, and virtual influencers were very small. Today, it can be a full-time job just keeping up with the digital landscape. Today’s best digital marketing organizations are the ones who can anticipate what the next big digital channel will be and leverage those new trends aggressively. However, you also have to be willing to fail fast and learn from mistakes. Being at the forefront of digital marketing usually means some experiments won’t succeed and that is ok. It’s just critically important to leverage the latest modern channels to communicate your message to the right target audience. 

 

You’ve been a part of Dr. Andrew Urich’s Interview Project. Explain what role you play and how you help Dr. Urich’s students.

Dr. Urich’s interview project is a fantastic idea that helps students connect with professionals to pose thought-provoking questions about challenges in the workplace. Most recently, I spoke to several of his students about the importance of relationship-building at work. Sometimes the best way to accomplish a task or project at work is to leverage resources that you know can help you deliver. If you have GREAT working relationships with people in other work areas such as finance, sales, R&D, support and more, you will have an easier time collaborating with them when you need them. I think the topic of relationship-building in the workplace nicely complements the rich curriculum that Dr. Urich offers his students. I am happy to be a part of his interview program.

 

What advice would you give if you could talk to your college-age self?

Don’t be afraid to take risks. It’s tempting to take the easier road that’s most traveled. But when you push yourself out of your comfort zone, you can accomplish big things and you will likely surprise yourself in the process.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Terry Tush | Marketing and Communications director at Spears School of Business | 405-744-2703 | terry.tush@okstate.edu

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