Christian Schmitz is „Professor of the Year 2018“


The professor of the Sales & Marketing Department at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum has won first prize in the nationwide UNICUM competition.

Prof. Dr. Christian Schmitz from the Sales & Marketing Department will receive the „Professor of the Year“ award from UNICUM in the university auditorium on 6th December, 2018 for his exceptional commitment and practice based approach to teaching in the category „Economics /Law“.

The competition „Professor of the Year“ is already in its 13th year. 1,600 candidates were nominated nationwide. Prof. Dr. Christian Schmitz took the lead in der category „Economics/Law“ The top-class jury will honour Dr. Schmitz for his excellent achievements in teaching and mentoring his students. His dedication and highly motivating lectures are widely praised by students and colleagues alike.

Excellent: Teaching with a practical orientation

Christian Schmitz has been Professor of Sales Management and Chair of the Sales & Marketing Department since 2014. He previously spent 12 years teaching and conducting research at the renowned University of St. Gallen. In the past few years he has declined several offers from foreign universities, most recently in 2017 from Warwick University. Prof. Schmitz is recognized as a leading expert in sales topics ranging from business-to- business marketing, sales management, personal sale and marketing strategy. He has published several articles on these topics in internationally renowned journals, among others the „Journal of Marketing“; this year he won the American Marketing Association‘s (AMA) Best Paper Award.

2018 11 08 Km Schmitz Christian-2
Prof. Dr. Christian Schmitz
© © RUB/Marquard

In their decision the jury particularly highlight the concepts developed by Dr. Schmitz in the area of sales and marketing training and make special reference to the course „Sales Management“, which was devised together with Prof. Alavi and Prof. Wieseke and is the first such Master degree course in Germany.
Dr. Schmitz captivates his students with his practice based approach to teaching. In his lectures and seminars he brings together students and managing directors of corporate partners (e.g. thyssenkrupp, UPS, Vorwerk). In teamwork the students use their theoretical knowledge and learned concepts to try to find solutions for complex, real-life sales problems. The members of the jury commend this „linkage of teaching content with defined and consequenty implemented practical elements“. According to UNICUM, the use of case studies in teaching shows students the significance of professional practice at an early stage.

Prizewinner Dr. Schmitz is delighted with the award. „It is a great honour. Teaching and also the close contact to my students is something I treasure very much. It is important for me to prepare my students for their start in their professional life and to make it easier for them. As their mentor I want to support them in their decision about what to do after they graduate, develop their professional and personal competencies and help them get to know our corporate partners“. He emphasizes „I am so lucky to have the chance to work with such dedicated people. I accept this prize on behalf of the entire team at the Sales & Marketing Department. We will continue to link research, teaching and practice in the future.“

The Competition

Dr. Schmitz is one of four prizewinners. Nationwide, students, graduates, company representatives, professor colleagues and university staff nominated 1,600 candidates on the website The aim was to identify professors both male and female, who through practice orientated teaching manage to prepare students as best as possible for their start in their professional life and thus act as a „pioneer in paving the way to future careers“. The jury headed by Leibniz prizewinner Prof. Winfried Schulze made their decision on the basis of student evaluations, number of nominations, references and independent research on the winner and runner ups. Apart from Prof. Dr. Christian Schmitz, Prof. Dr. Ralf Jürgen Ostendorf (Hochschule Niederrhein, Category: Engineering/IT), Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Guido Falkemeier (Hochschule Ostwestfalen-Lippe, Category: Humanities, Social Sciences, Cultural Studies) and Prof. Dr. Dipl. Psych. Corinna Baum (Hochschule Fresenius, Category: Science/Medicine) have also received the title „Professor of the Year 2018“.

Patron of the competition is the Federal Ministry for Education and Research and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. It is sponsored by Capgemini, a world leader for management and IT consulting, as well as Hays, the world’s leading recruitment specialist.

Members of the press are very welcome to attend the award ceremony which will be held on 6th December, 2018 in lecture hall HZO 60. Participants are required to register.

Janina-Vanessa Schneider
Sales & Marketing Department
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Tel.: +49 (234) 32 - 25778