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  • Francesca Reicherter

The Marty Experience

A Teacher: Educates, Mentors, Befriends.

Educator. Mentor. Friend. These three words define Marty Schaffel in the eyes of his students. While a great number of teachers focus solely on educating their students, Marty focuses on educating through mentorship and friendship. A “Marty Course” is anything but ordinary, because students are granted the opportunity to discuss genuine topics in the Entrepreneurial field and granted the opportunity for one on one time with incredible guest speakers. In the Fall 2018 Semester, Marty planned his entire course around the novel, Good To Great, by Jim Collins. Students were challenged to study past and present businesses during their journey from good to great or good to mediocre. Instead of teaching Entrepreneurial Post Mortem topics straight out of a textbook, Marty provided a greater insight through analyzing various businesses in different stages to see why some continued on, while others did not. He took it a step further by bringing in outside successful businessmen and women as guest speakers to share their story and important lessons they learned along the way. In addition to educating students through real examples, Marty acts as a mentor to all students in his course. Because his classes are through application only, Marty attracts only the brightest students, many of which are currently working on their own entrepreneurial endeavors. Marty not only educates the students on common mistakes businesses make, but also offers advice and guidance to students on their educational and professional journeys. As a Mentor, Marty listens to the students’ pitch their ideas, and asks them thought-provoking questions to expand their current understanding of where they are, then guides them towards a direction that will help them move forward. Additionally, Marty connects his students with successful people in his network for mentoring, which helps students to expand their circle while gaining more knowledge and value. Furthermore, Marty acts as a friend to his students. He organizes weekly dinners, sometimes with guest speakers, for all of the students in his course to get together and engage in insightful discussions that expand the knowledge and value a student gets out of his course. As a result, a Marty Course is not just a course, it is a valuable experience, worth more than all other courses combined.

A Valuable Lesson from A Marty Course: Leadership.

In the beginning of a course, Marty defines leadership for his students trusting that throughout the course they will use the definition in practice. Marty says that a leader recognizes that empowerment and accountability run hand in hand. The most important attribute of a leader is their ability to inspire others through developing inner resources, connecting with others, setting the tone of the project, and leading the team toward success. Nevertheless, a true leader is invested in every decision the team makes yet offers credit to others in success and takes blame to themselves in failures.

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