On the last day of class Winter semester, Professor Mike Bond projected a picture of a handwritten list onto the giant screen for his whole marketing class to see. This list was more than just a list of six goals Bond had written as a junior at BYU– this list represented a journey he completed with the support of his family and the guiding hand of his Heavenly Father all before his 40th birthday.
Goal #1: Graduate from BYU
Bond said he didn’t always know he wanted to be in marketing. He was two classes away from applying to optometry school when he decided to switch to business. After much prayer, Bond decided to transfer to BYU, losing a science-based scholarship at Utah State, and was later accepted into the Marriott School of Business. A few years later he graduated with a business degree.
Goal #2: Get a Good Marketing Job.
He began working for Melaleuca, a company in Idaho Falls. In his three years at Melaleuca he developed 18 new products, wrote commercials, went to New York City to work with a fashion designer and was even interviewed by Cosmopolitian magazine.
“I loved my time at Melaleuca,” Bond said, “but the one thing I noticed is that my goals I had set at BYU were right in the sense that I needed to get my MBA.”
Goal #3: Get into a Top 20 MBA Program.
He began applying to different MBA programs through out the country that would give him the top education in marketing and brand management. Bond ended up going to the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, a top five school in brand at the time.
“I loved the atmosphere at Indiana,” Bond said. “The professors were there for the students and the students were cool to each other. There was a sense of team, very similar to what I experienced at BYU, so it was a really good fit.”
Goal #4: Work at Top 100 Company for Three to Five Years
Bond was then offered a marketing position at ConAgra Foods in Omaha, Nebraska. At ConAgra Foods, Bond worked with well-known brands such as Chef Boyardee, Healthy Choice, Orville Redenbacher,and Kid Cuisine, along with companies like Dreamworks, Disney and DC Comics. Bond also worked with Banquet, a billion dollar brand, and helped organize a NASCAR race.
He said although his job was rewarding, it was difficult at times. It was at those times he turned to the Lord and his family for help.
“There were challenges,” Bond said. “There’s going to be days where all the hard work you did doesn’t pay off, but you just battle through. You just try to stay as close as you can to the Lord and try to do what’s right.”
After five years with ConAgra Foods, Bond was asked to move to Chicago to manage the Chef Boyardee brand.
Melissa Bond, Mike’s wife, said moving and leaving friends behind was difficult, but it brought their family closer together.
“We had to rely on each other a lot,” Melissa said. “I always tell my kids, ‘Friends come and go, but family is forever.'”
Goal #5: Move Closer to Home
After only one year in Chicago, Bond got an offer for a marketing position at Sun Products in Salt Lake City. After two successful years, Bond received a call from BYU asking if he would be interested in teaching full-time.
Bond said he knew it was one of the six goals he had set for himself, but wasn’t sure it was the right time. After going to the temple again, Bond received confirmation BYU was where he was supposed to be. He said he knew the reason he and his family went to Omaha, Chicago and back to Utah was to be here.
“It’s humbling when you get an opportunity to see how His hand can guide you even when you don’t understand why you’re going where you’re going,” Bond said.
Goal #6: Teach Someday
Bond said he loved working in brand management, but was willing to sacrifice it for something he could love even more–teaching.
“The relationships with the students and being able to share something that brought me so much joy with so many other people, that’s priceless,” Bond said. ” That’s what it’s all about.”
Now that Bond has accomplished all six goals set for himself as a junior, he has created new goals as a professor. One of which is to keep the information he teaches as relevant and up-to-date as possible, something he learned from his father who was also a professor. Bond watched his father prepare for lectures and said he wants to follow that example.
“He would bring in news stories that would make it exciting for him and more relevant for the students,” Bond said. “So for me, I listen for new things that are more relevant that I could use. It’s all about constantly learning and constantly improving.”
Eric Martino, a junior currently enrolled in Bond’s marketing class, said Bond’s preparation for class and love of marketing reflects in the way he teaches.
“He enjoys what he does, and that is obvious,” Martino said. “It’s easy for him to be excited about marketing and get us excited about marketing because he already loves it so much.”
Martino said Bond’s interactive classes allow students to do activities that help them learn the course material. To teach the principle of pricing, the class was actually transformed into an episode of The Price is Right with students running down the aisles to meet Bob Barker played by Bond himself.
“He is a man of high sincerity,” Martino said. “He really cares about people, especially the students in his class. ”
Bond said he plans on teaching for a long time and hopes to continue working toward his goal of sharing relevant information with his students.
“For me, this is it,” Bond said. “This is what I want to do and I just hope that I can always add value to the students.”