Strategic investment in academic partnerships can challenge and enrich academic thinking about the direct selling industry. That’s why the Direct Selling Education Foundation created the Executive Guide to Academic Engagement. The Guide provides direct selling company executives all the information they need to partner with the Foundation on academic initiatives and serves as an executive resource for company-to-university partnership development.
Academic engagement, whether through the Foundation or on your own, can benefit your company in a variety of ways. Mary Kay is among the many companies that have experienced success through academic partnerships. “Sharing your company’s business model and leadership principles can lead to case studies at top business schools, sections in college textbooks and company brand awareness and image enhancement in your community and among academics and civic influencers,” says Kerry Tassopoulos, Mary Kay Vice President of Public Affairs, Compliance and Risk Management and DSEF Board Member Education Committee Chairman.
When the Foundation partners with professors on academic research, sponsors direct selling education programs on college campuses or provides students with experiential learning opportunities, there is much to be gained. ““By demonstrating that direct selling companies have the same business challenges as their traditional market counterparts and are competitive on a level playing field, you’re advancing understanding of your business—and of the industry,” says DSEF Director of Academic Initiatives, Kimberly Harris Bliton. “Joining DSEF in its academic engagement efforts brings direct selling to life for future leaders of business, finance and government, and the next generation of entrepreneurs.”
To complement the Guide and support direct selling executives in building presentations for the classroom, DSEF developed additional Campus Program resources, which are available for download.
“Through DSEF academic engagement, you’re not only benefitting your company and the direct selling industry, you’re providing professors and students with valuable opportunities,” “says DSEF Executive Director Gary Huggins. “Together we are demythifying the direct selling model and winning hearts and minds,”