Hong Kong Native Fei Weisstein Takes Remarkable Journey to Teaching Career

Four countries, four states and four jobs in different fields led Dr. Fei Weisstein to her current associate professor position at Bowling Green State University (BGSU).

“Having a Ph.D. in marketing is a natural path for me to pursue an academic career,” she said. “My major was in marketing, while my minor was in information systems. I’ve always had an interest in e-commerce and computer-related research, as well as a passion for teaching.”

In 2015, Dr. Weisstein joined BGSU where she teaches in the online Master of Business Administration with a Concentration in Marketing program.

“My major research area is online consumer behavior,” she said. “There is a clear distinction between how customers behave online and in brick-and-mortar stores. My dissertation examined the implementation of dynamic pricing strategies through the analysis of online consumer behavior.”

Born in Hong Kong, Dr. Weisstein moved to Taiwan at an early age. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in material science and engineering from National Cheng Kung University and began working as an engineer for a Taiwanese semiconductor company.

Pursuing a career in business held great appeal for Dr. Weisstein who then spent two years in Hong Kong working for a merchandising firm. Her prior work as a regional flight attendant for Korean Air also provided her with a global perspective and the opportunity to travel the world.

“I marketed to American and European companies and arranged for them to visit manufacturing plants in China,” she said. “My experience working as a merchandiser in Hong Kong sparked my interest in pursuing a marketing degree.”

Hello, America

After moving to the United States and graduating with a Master of Business Administration from San Francisco State University in 2003, Dr. Weisstein’s mentor, professor emeritus Dr. Robert Nickerson, convinced her to continue her education.

“I learned a lot from him,” she said. “He asked me if I would like to get a Ph.D. Even though I didn’t have the money, I was able to get a tuition waiver by working as a graduate assistant. He also wrote me a nice recommendation letter to enroll at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.”

“In the fifth year, I was assigned a course to teach,” she said. “That’s when I learned to develop a curriculum and syllabus. I was teaching principles of marketing and retailing courses. I already had teaching experience before I finished my Ph.D.”

After graduating in 2009, Dr. Weisstein taught at the University of Texas-Pan American (now UT Rio Grande Valley), where she spent six years before coming to Ohio with her husband, Eric, and their children, Iris (12) and Marcus (8).

“My in-laws wanted to be closer to the children,” she said. “In 2015, we moved back to the Midwest, where my husband is from. With my Ph.D. background, I was in charge of teaching social media marketing as well as advertising and promotion.

“Now, BGSU offers an online MBA in Marketing. The administration believed digital marketing would be a current topic and asked if I’d be interested in teaching it.”

Dr. Weisstein thrives on sharing her knowledge of marketing with students as they work toward earning a master’s degree.

“I am both a researcher and a customer,” she said. “I gain new knowledge about consumer behavior and consumer psychology every time I complete a research project. I can always bring my research findings back to the classroom. Graduate students can relate to it. My research is strongly linked to, and serves to enhance, my teaching.”

Full Engagement

Students who enroll in Dr. Weisstein’s Digital Marketing Strategy & Tactics course enjoy the benefit of emerging with Google Ads and Google Analytics certifications.

“The course involves an online advertising campaign simulation,” Dr. Weisstein said. “The students have to run five weeks of the simulation for an online company with a goal of increasing conversion and sales.”

Although the certifications are recent additions, Dr. Weisstein has already seen positive results. A student who has worked in the digital marketing industry for 10 years credits the Google Ads certification with significantly boosting his knowledge beyond the basics.

Dr. Weisstein hopes to continue teaching marketing and interacting with students for the foreseeable future at BGSU.

“Even though I teach the same course and topics, the student body changes every semester,” she said. “Their feedback motivates me to continue revising the curriculum to keep it current and relevant. I see my teaching job as mutual learning.

In this online MBA program, some students are in the military and stationed abroad. I also have students who work in various fields such as finance, insurance, real estate, medical services, and in nonprofit organizations, which are outside my area of expertise. I learn a lot from my students.”

Learn more about BGSU’s online MBA with a Concentration in Marketing program.

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