Meet Your Professor: Dan Goldsmith

Meet Your Professor: Dan Goldsmith
Recruiting students from across the U.S., Campus is the new alternative to online community college. Our online associate degree in business program consists of 100% live, online classes taught by professors who also teach at top-ranked colleges and universities. Read on to learn more about our talented teaching team.

Meet Professor Dan Goldsmith, a distinguished educator specializing in management, strategy, and marketing. With a wealth of expertise, Goldsmith imparts his knowledge at the graduate level at the University of Maryland and to our students in the Campus online associate degree in business program. Beyond his experience in higher education, he currently holds the position of Chief Marketing Officer at a prominent home services company, where he spearheads marketing initiatives and refines marketing strategies.

Outside of his professional career, Goldsmith harbors a deep passion for performing arts and developed a profound appreciation for Broadway musicals and the art of storytelling through music throughout his life. He also has a knack for soccer and has been coaching numerous teams for the past decade.

With a diverse range of interests and a remarkable depth of knowledge, Dan Goldsmith stands as an influential figure in academia and marketing. His multifaceted background and dedication to fostering growth make him a dynamic and inspiring educator.

Why Campus?

As an experienced industry professional and marketing instructor, Goldsmith is an incredible addition to Campus faculty. To get an idea of what interested him in teaching in the Campus online program, we sat down with Goldsmith in a short interview where he highlighted the unique learning environment we offer students and professors alike.

“I decided to teach for Campus because I came out of the large academic university research setting and I was just looking for something a little bit different,” said Goldsmith. “I love those folks to death, but I also love the idea of being able to mentor people a little bit more.”

One of Goldsmith’s major passions is guiding students and helping them acquire the professional skills they need in order to set themselves up for success. In reflecting on his past teaching experiences, he mentioned why supporting students means a lot to him.

“When I was teaching previously, I was actually in one class where the policy of that class was that I was required to fail 50% of the class. No matter what happened, about 50% of class was going to fail; so I had to create this world in which I was causing people to not do well on purpose. That's just a little hard on the soul.”

Goldsmith then went on to shed some light on the aspects of our philosophy for helping students that he truly appreciated and had inspired him to become part of the Campus mission.

“Coming to a place where we're really invested in people's success, where we're really trying hard to surround people with the resources they need to take that next step in their lives, whatever it may be for them, and where the focus is really on the learning as opposed to just getting the right distribution of grades is really attractive.”

Professor Fun Fact: During his undergrad years at the University of Maryland, Goldsmith’s favorite courses involved psychology. “Basically anything in the realm of psychology, but particularly abnormal psychology, were my favorite classes in college. There are so many interesting things the mind is capable of doing, and it has a power that I don't think we really fully appreciate as we're walking through our day-to-day lives. Learning about that — learning about the contours of that — is super fascinating for me.”

Obtaining the Tools for Marketing Success

Before becoming a professor and pursuing a degree in marketing, Goldsmith’s first business venture was being an entrepreneur. He started and grew a few different businesses, and soon learned a lot about himself after one of his businesses grew rapidly.

“I got into one business that just absolutely took off and it completely outgrew me,” Goldsmith shared. “To be honest with you, I had no idea what I was doing. I said, ‘I've gotten as far as I can Googling things at 2:00 in the morning,’ and so I thought, I need to go back to school and, you know, actually have someone teach me how to run a business.”

Gaining experience with his company revealed to Goldsmith a need for education in business, which led him to pursue an MBA in Marketing at the University of Maryland, where he first earned a B.A. in Psychology and currently teaches courses at the graduate level as an adjunct instructor. Reflecting on the journey he started on, he shared his favorite aspects of business and how they led him to specialize in marketing.

“I realized through that process was, as much as I love being an entrepreneur, the thing that I was really good at, like my secret sauce, was connecting with a customer and really sort of directly understanding what the customer wanted, what they needed, and what sort of products and services were going to move them. Once I had that realization, I realized that's what I wanted to do with my life.”

For Goldsmith, finding his love for marketing was only the start of the path he’d set out for his future. Soon, he became empowered to share his passion for marketing with students as well.

“I was in that business that was struggling and my path to becoming a professor for marketing was to go through an MBA myself and learn about all the cool mechanics that sort of live underneath business. Then what ended up happening was I became a fervent advocate cause I saw it changed my life. I saw it shaping the arc of my life.”

To this day, Goldsmith continues to research various marketing techniques to utilize while working as VP of Marketing for a home services company and to share with his students.

“One of the fun and very challenging things about the world of marketing is that it moves so fast. I mean, every time somebody complains about the new Facebook, there have been five or six changes to Facebook already...So it's almost impossible to keep up with it.”

A Lifelong Passion for Teaching

Goldsmith shared with us that his experience with teaching stretches as far back as his childhood.

“I've actually been a teacher of one kind or another. I mean, basically for my whole life I started tutoring kids who were struggling in school. When I was in middle school, I was just tutoring younger kids.”

What’s more, Goldsmith also mentioned that his connection to education could also be traced back to his family roots.

“I've just always had that little teacher gene,” Goldsmith said. “Both of my parents are professors so I grew up being lectured to in kind of a positive way. It's always been part of my life.”

Goldsmith then went on to mention to us that going on to teach as a college professor was a really natural step for him because he’d gotten the chance to support students while at the high school and undergraduate levels along the way. After learning that education has always been a continuous presence in Goldsmith’s life, we asked him what inspired him to keep pursuing it.

“I just really enjoy being a part of someone's success,” Goldsmith shared. “Taking them from a place where maybe they're uncomfortable with a subject or unsure or don't have the tools that they need to take whatever that next step is for them – I enjoy being a guide that sort of helps students get from one place to another where they feel like they have the skills they need to be successful.”

When asked what his favorite part about guiding each of these students on their academic journey, Goldsmith revealed his love for the “eureka” moments.

“My favorite part about teaching is seeing people get it right,” said Goldsmith. “When you can, literally in a conversation with a student, see the light bulb go off.”

Like many professors, Goldsmith highlighted his love for the “lightbulb” moments for each of his students, but he also goes on to mention that those same realizations don’t necessarily have to be ground-breaking revelations.

“It doesn't have to be a big thing. Sometimes it's just a little deep and you know that you've made a difference in that student's life.”

Between balancing his work as a marketing professional and his work as a college-level professor for both the University of Maryland and Campus, he expressed that having the opportunity to teach continues to be a great experience.

“I often say, and it really is true, teaching is my fun job. It is a job. It is work, for sure, but it's one of the things that I get to do that gives me more energy than it takes. Being able to do what you love enough that you make other people love it with you is just an incredible blessing.”

Lions and Tigers and Theater — Oh My!

In addition to having experience as a professor, marketer, and entrepreneur, Goldsmith also mentioned that he had some eye-opening experiences while he was first pursuing a bachelor’s degree.

”My first year in college was pretty rough.” Goldsmith shared. “Basically, I didn't know what to do with myself, but then I got a job offer and I was like, ‘That sounds weird. Sure, I'm going to run off and join the circus,’ and I actually made the decision to voluntarily withdraw and effectively fell out of college. I got out into the world and met a whole bunch of different kinds of people. I had some really cool experiences.”

But things weren’t always as cool as they seemed, according to Goldsmith.

“I saw the other side where these people also struggled, and I thought: You know what? I think my journey is going to be back in school and hopefully to help myself create a better future.”

That’s what was part of Goldsmith’s motivation for getting back into college and trying to earn his B.A. and start his own business.

Goldsmith also reflected on the path he took while searching for himself and finding the passion he wanted to dedicate himself to. More surprising than joining the circus, Goldsmith also revealed that he spent some time working with lions and tigers as an exotic cat handler!

“I spent a good chunk of time, sort of like finding myself, and in the process of doing that, I became an exotic cat handler. I had a lion and two large tigers, one being a beautiful snow white tiger,” said Goldsmith. “They were gorgeous. The problem is that they're super endangered, so they have taken to breeding them within families, and they've done this through so many generations that unfortunately, while they are gorgeous, they're also a little mean.”

Goldsmith also shared with us a small anecdote about a treasured souvenir he carries with him.

“My favorite souvenir from that time is a kind of weird pattern of hair on the back of my hand. Every day I would go hang out with the leopard whose name was Spotty — because of course it was — and he was basically just like a big dog. He would lick my hand every day and leopards' tongues are almost like sandpaper, so the hair never grew back.”

Beyond his experience with cat handling, Goldsmith also has a profound love for the performing arts, specifically when it comes to Broadway musicals and theater! In fact, after completing his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Maryland and starting his business ventures, Goldsmith started exploring the technical aspects of theatrical lighting design with his former company, X-Laser. He mentioned to us that if he weren’t teaching, he would like to continue to pursue his love for technical theater.

“I would probably turn back to what I was doing before I was teaching, which is lighting design for theater and theatrical kinds of things,” Goldsmith said. “My passion was always technical theater — the sound, the lighting, the sets — all of that kind of stuff, and I would certainly not be mad about having that be a bigger part of my life.”

The Smart Way to Launch Your College Career

The Campus online associate degree in business program helps students knock out the first two years of college and supports them as they prepare for life after graduation.

Want to attend classes led by mission-driven educators like Dan Goldsmith? Apply now to be part of the next trailblazing cohort of the Campus program today.

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