[Editor’s Note: From time to time, we like to introduce some of our faculty members. This interview, conducted by Chris Anderson, is with Robert Capra, who teaches Advertising.]
- You had a long career in industry, can you tell us some things that you learned from this experience.
Speaking broadly, I learned the importance of flexibility, strong writing and managing client expectations. All three are important to success in marketing. By flexibility, I mean having the ability to adapt to changes in the marketing landscape, both large and small. This can sometimes mean altering ideas you hold dear that have worked in the past, but this is a necessary approach.
Writing well is of course important in any field, especially marketing.
Clients want results, and being able to work with them to achieve the greatest realistic goals from the start of the relationship is crucial for both parties. This often requires realignment, and managing this process every step of the way is an important skill.
- What caused you to seek out a career in education? Subsequently, what attracted you to Lesley?
I started teaching almost as a fluke. While working full-time at a high-tech public relations firm, I participated in a program run by a local college that brought in speakers from the business community to address students, faculty and the administrative staff. I enjoyed the experience a great deal, and was asked to teach a course at the school. I absolutely loved teaching the class, and it all grew from there.
I’ve known about Lesley’s reputation as a leading university in the Boston area since I can remember, and I know graduates of various Lesley programs, and they all speak highly of the education experience they had at the school. I’m proud to a part of the Lesley tradition as an instructor.
- Can you offer some inside information from your career that can resonate with the students here at Lesley?
In a way, a career is what happens to you when you’re busy planning a career. What I mean by that is, it’s okay to be unsure about what you exactly want to do. It’s okay to perhaps work in an area that you would not expect to be in. This happens very often and can occur at all stages of a person’s career. Being open to this idea allows you to grow in unexpected ways and perhaps find a true vocation that you could not have imagined.
- What are some of your goals for your time at Lesley?
I want to continue to help students reach personal and professional goals through teaching and sharing what I have learned as a marketing professional, a college instructor and as a human being.
- Do you have an anecdote from your personal travels?
Italy is one of my favorite places to travel. I am used to the culture, but I always seem to get a surprise every time I travel there. One time I was eating outside in Piazza Navona, and the women seated at a table next to me asked if she could try some of my dish. I said okay, but was secretly a bit surprised!
- If you could have dinner with anyone on the planet, who would you invite?
That’s an interesting question. My first thought is Keith Richards. I’d love to hear the stories he could tell about his years playing with the Rolling Stones, and we could talk guitar. Also maybe David Sedaris. What a great sense of humor. I think those two together would make for a fun evening.