Creating knowledge

Q&A with Rick Klink, Ph.D., professor of marketing

By Teddy Mosher, '16  |  Photos by Brigid Hamilton, '06

Richard R. Klink, professor of marketing, received his Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of Pittsburgh. He has been a faculty member for Loyola’s Sellinger School of Business for 18 years.

In addition to teaching Strategic Marketing to upper-level business and marketing students, he serves as moderator for Mu Kappa Tau, the marketing honor society, and is involved with the International Marketing Study Tour, a program that takes students to countries such as Spain, Germany, and the Czech Republic as part of their business curriculum.

What did you want to be when you entered your freshman year of college?

An accountant. I had some teachers in high school say that’s where all the jobs were. My father was a businessman, and he always said accounting was the language of business.

When did you realize that you wanted to go into teaching?

When I was a student in the classroom and when I would go and meet with professors, I thought it was a great profession. They created knowledge. To me, that was better than being told what to do with a set process. Being in a classroom, I saw the professors’ impact on students.

What do you like about teaching at Loyola?

The students are very receptive to learning. They are a pleasure to have in the classroom. My colleagues are very talented. It’s very collegial here, which makes for a good, collaborative working environment.

How have things at Loyola changed since 1997?

The marketing department has moved into a beautiful building, in Sellinger. Another thing that has changed is that if I wanted to show a video to my class, I used to have to walk across the Quad to another building to get a TV to bring back to my classroom. Today everything is right there at your fingertips.

What Loyola tradition is your favorite and why?

I would say graduation. The students are all so happy about the work that they have accomplished, and it’s great to see the culmination of all their successes and the happiness they share with their families.

What is something your students don’t know about you?

I would say that I was once a Cowboys fan living in Pittsburgh. I moved to Pittsburgh in my high school years. Everyone just assumes if you live in Pittsburgh, you’re a Steelers fan. But I’m a big Roger Staubach fan.

How do you think the Jesuit values of Loyola are reflected in your teaching?

I’ve been involved in service-learning for more than 12 years. I think that is the most direct link between Jesuit values and how I teach a course.

What advice would you give someone who is interested in majoring in marketing, in terms of the careers they might pursue or fields they might get into?

Getting involved is key. Going to listen to speakers on campus and going to different clubs can help someone determine what they really want to do. I don’t try to sway the students, but what I will say to them is that there are a lot of great opportunities in marketing. It is a field in which you can use both sides of your brain, so to speak, as marketing calls for both creativity and research/analysis.

What do you like to do when you’re not teaching?

I have three children (ages 14, 12, and 9), and they take up a lot of my time. They are heavily involved with sports and the arts. My oldest, she’s very into the arts and drama. The other two are really into soccer, so tomorrow I have to go down to North Carolina for a soccer tournament. I just really like being a part of my kids’ lives.

Do you have a favorite book or movie?

These days, I read a lot of marketing journals. But when I was younger, I loved To Kill a Mockingbird. I haven’t gotten a chance to read the sequel though. My favorite movie is Braveheart.

What do you like about Baltimore?

Baltimore kind of reminds me of my youth and my hometown in the sense that it is a working-class city. The location is great. You are in between New York and Washington, D.C., and both are relatively accessible. The city itself is very easy to get in and out of and easy to navigate in as well. It is a small city with a big city feel, with the museums, the aquarium, and the sports teams all playing a role in that.

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