"We lived teamwork at Broad. It came down to everybody working together and getting the whole team up to speed. I’m surprised when other MBAs struggle with working together and adapting to teamwork. They may have the right answer, but struggle to get it across to the team."
Doug Gilmour, Lincoln Product Marketing Manager at Ford Motor Company, joined Broad’s MBA program with plans to study supply chain before returning to Ford in an operations capacity. Upon graduating, however, Gilmour opted for small business management. He asserts, “Broad was a major asset in laying the foundation that allowed me to quickly adapt to drastically changing environments.”
Focused on Lincoln’s future sedans, Gilmour works with multiple stakeholders throughout the product development process. He represents the voice of customers, studying their wants and needs before interpreting what they may be in 2–3 years. As he must make cases for offering certain features, based upon profitability over a vehicle’s lifecycle, financial forecasting is a large component of his job.
Prior to practicing product marketing, Gilmour served in one of Ford’s largest U.S. market areas as a Marketing Manager, a sales-oriented role helping dealers sell more cars. The opportunity presented itself after Gilmour worked closely with Ford’s marketing and sales team while General Manager of a dealership.
His first job after Broad, Gilmour took over a failing dealership shortly before the 2008 recession exacerbated existing problems. In two years, however, he turned the business around and was able to sell it for the owner, generating money both on goodwill—which Ford wasn’t receiving at the time—and from the business itself. Gilmour attests, “A major part of my success is the way Broad’s curriculum is set up: interdisciplinary. I had a solid foundation in…all different aspects of business that made me think about the whole…so I was able to hit the ground running.”
Enhancing his professional development, Gilmour studied abroad in Belgium, France, and China. In Paris, Broad MBAs toured the Louis Vuitton factory, where Gilmour realized much of its brand strength comes from its story, heritage, and authenticity. The experience is so memorable that he uses the company as a benchmark comparison for Lincoln’s luxury brand. He shares, “Those trips absolutely influenced how I look at our marketing challenges with the current brand position.”
Although many schools push teamwork to an extent, Gilmour can tell Broad is superior in creating a collaborative environment. He explains, “We lived teamwork at Broad. It came down to everybody working together and getting the whole team up to speed. I’m surprised when other MBAs struggle with working together and adapting to teamwork. They may have the right answer, but struggle to get it across to the team.”
This is where the business communication skills Gilmour developed at Broad come in handy. He remembers a speech competition that taught him how to respond creatively and quickly to topics, make points early, and cater to the audience. Now he prepares presentations, speeches, and concise emails under tight deadlines with ease. According to Gilmour, “That’s where people stand out.”
Eventually, Gilmour looks forward to sharing his own experiences while leading other teams through similar challenges. He thinks Broad’s intimately-sized MBA program, entrepreneurial assignments, team projects, and interdisciplinary approach likely inspired these career goals.