School of Business

VCU Blogs

By: Megan Nash

Meet Cesar Zamudio, Ph.D., associate professor of Marketing at VCU School of Business who took an unexpected detour from Information Systems to Marketing and found his true calling. He’s the kind of professor who not only teaches concepts but has real-world experiences to back them up. From running a successful promotional products company to sharing quirky AI-generated images with colleagues, Dr. Zamudio knows how to keep things interesting. If you think that’s all, let’s just say, he’s got some stories.

Let’s get started!

Where can we find you on the VCU map?

I’m located in the School of Business, Office B3169. Or you might catch me around campus trying to find my daily coffee fix.

Can you share a bit about your educational journey? Where did you go to school, and what was your major?

During college, I studied Marketing in Tecnologico de Monterrey, Campus Monterrey, which is in Monterrey, Mexico. I then obtained my Ph.D. in Management Science from The University of Texas at Dallas.

What inspired you to pursue a career in your field, and how has your journey evolved over the years?

In college, I had initially wanted to study Information Systems. However, after taking a Marketing 101 course, I fell in love with its emphasis on putting people first and to serve them as best we can. I fell in love, and I switched majors. This mindset has driven the rest of my career. For example, when I opened a promotional products company back in Mexico, we succeeded because our focus was on customer service. I also apply the same approach when I teach, trying to mentor and guide my students to the best of my ability.

It’s funny that, even though I chose to be a Marketing professional, my expertise (Marketing Analytics) almost came preordained, as my first job ever was capturing data in Excel back in the 90s when I was in high school!

Are there any key accomplishments or milestones in your academic career that you’re particularly proud of?

Becoming Associate Professor at VCU has been one of the greatest honors of my career, and I hope to continue to serve our community well. Outside of VCU, together with my good friend Ethan Pew, we began a project known as MarketingPhdJobs. It’s a website that helps Marketing doctoral students from all over the world be informed about academic jobs. For a young scholar, the job search is extremely stressful and difficult to navigate, and this platform allowed hundreds, if not thousands, of professionals to find their dream job. I am very proud to have been part of that project, which positively impacted so many people.

That’s incredible! Helping so many PhD students find their way must feel so rewarding. Speaking of interesting projects …

What’s the quirkiest or most interesting research experiment or project you’ve been a part of?

Probably a current project I’m working on, which deals with using generative AI to produce advertisements. In the process of learning about generative AI, we’ve generated the most bizarre images you can imagine – the most memorable came up when prompting to generate a hiker walking on a lake, and we ended up with a wonky looking elf touting a lightsaber – where did that even come from?

We have a whole gallery of curiosities resulting from those experiments and I joke to my coauthors that the whole purpose of the project is so we can show them to the world!

Can you share a surprising or funny classroom moment that has happened during your teaching career?

The very first time I taught, much to my students’ surprise and dismay, I forgot to put the “Spring Break” week on the syllabus!

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