Farewell to An Inspirational Professor

On most Fridays I try to keep it light and share some of my favorites from the week.  However, last night I was informed by one of my close friends from Santa Clara University, that one of our favorite professors past away last weekend.  This was unexpected as he was not that old and seemed perfectly happy during our time in the bay.  I wanted to take the time to remember him and all that he did for his students, his colleagues, and anyone else blessed to have crossed his path.

“The main thing is to care. Care very hard, even if it is only a game you are playing.” – Billie Jean King

For Professor Steve Corio, it was never an act.  The passion he had for his job, the sales industry, and his students shown through on a daily basis.  Maybe it was the fact that he graduated from Santa Clara with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics as well as his MBA.  Maybe it was the fact that he had been teaching at the Leavey School of Business since 1998.  Maybe it was the success he had during his time at IBM that reaffirmed his passion for life and teaching.  He shared his wisdom with both undergraduate students such as myself, as well as MBA students in the evenings and weekends.  He covered countless subjects, most notably sales management, competitive marketing strategies, and marketing analysis and decision-making.

As with many of our professors, there was much we never knew about Professor Corio.  Before joining the SCU faculty, he had a successful 30-year career, mostly at IBM, in management in accounting, finance, marketing, and sales. He created Corio Consulting, a provider of consulting services for business development, resource planning and sales management. Furthermore, he founded the Advanced Sales Skills Institute to provide individual and enterprise-wide sales training.  He was formerly VP of Sales for SecureALL and a member of the Texas Real Estate Brokers’ Association. 

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” – Albert Einstein

Going into school, I was pretty sure I wanted to study business.  I wasn’t positive about which major, but once I entered Professor Steve Corio’s “Intro to Marketing” course, it was settled.  There were about 18 or 20 of us, lucky to be in the honors section and beyond lucky to learn from Steve.  He made sure that each class was filled with passion and excitement.  He was able to pull us into the material by relating basic terms and theories with his time from IBM.  When it came time to select our marketing elective courses, I made sure to pick the sales management, which was taught by Steve himself.  He made sure to ask questions, push us to work hard, and help us understand sales and marketing on a deeper level. To some, it may have seemed like just another marketing elective.  But how many people can say they were taught by such an influential individual?

It’s astonishing how fragile life is.  I’ve been blessed to have been surrounded by happy, healthy, and supportive family and friends.  Yet, as time goes on, I realize that nothing ever stays the same.  I’ve realized how relationships can change with a simple conversation or argument.  Take a moment to thank those around you, thank your teachers, mentors, and even friends for the wisdom and support.  You may never realize how important someone is in your life until they are gone.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” John Quincy Adams

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