Article written by Joshua Brown. Photo by Joshua Brown.
Dr. Steven Liu is an accomplished assistant professor of marketing at St. Cloud State University. He is highly regarded in his field of marketing, sales, and management. Liu has been teaching at St. Cloud for five years with the primary goal of seeing his students excel and achieve their goals in life.
Originally from Taiwan, Liu received his bachelor’s degree from National Taipei University before embarking on a journey to the United States. It was there that he pursued his passion for higher education, ultimately earning his master’s degree from Arizona State University and his doctoral degree from Saint Louis University.
“I went to college in Taiwan, and because we had a mandatory service, I did a two-year service and then applied for the master’s, MBA program, went back to Taiwan, then came back to the States again for the doctoral program,” said Dr. Liu.
While his bachelor’s degree was in consumer behavior, Dr. Liu did not immediately set out to become a sales instructor. Before studying business, he was more interested in understanding how consumers make decisions and what motivates them to buy certain products or services.
“I wanted to know why and how people make their decisions… their purchase decisions, behavioral decisions, and intentional consequences… I wanted to understand the process and the underlying mechanics of those consumer decisions,” said Liu.
However, his research and working experiences led him toward sales, a field in which he has spent a considerable amount of time studying and practicing. Liu believes that anyone in sales that earns their master’s in consumer behavior can greatly improve their sales skills, as the two fields are intricately linked.
“In sales management, because you are predicting consumers’ decisions and then trying to motivate them by providing something they need, it’s a lot similar to sales… Sales management is to understand your salespeople, and consumer behavior is understanding your customer and trying to provide convenience,” said Liu.
It’s an interesting field to study and is also recommended by Liu that even outside of sales, anyone who is interested in human thinking, social science, and how humans make certain decisions should study the field. In addition to that, studying consumer behavior helps someone understand the needs, preferences, and actions consumers take and have when making purchase decisions or using specific products or services.
Liu has made significant contributions to St. Cloud State, particularly through his expertise in business and master’s programs. One of his most notable achievements is the development of a social media course, which is now offered as an elective for marketing students.
Despite his busy schedule, Dr. Liu is always eager to help his students and provide mentorship. His dedication to the college community and his desire to see his students thrive have made him a well-respected and beloved figure at St. Cloud State University.
Professor Liu’s contributions to St. Cloud State University extend far beyond his expertise in the field of marketing. His impact on the university community can be seen in his work developing courses, such as the popular social media marketing course, and his dedication to his students.
According to Rajesh Gulati, the Chair of the Marketing Department and Marketing Research Professor, Liu has made a positive contribution by developing and teaching courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. “He’s definitely helped us in teaching the sales management course… he’s also taken the initiative of developing a similar course that he teaches at the masters, MBA level,” said Gulati.
In addition to his language of instruction, English, Liu is multilingual and able to speak Mandarin, Japanese, and Taiwanese. While this is a great asset, it also presents some challenges. Liu admits that sometimes he struggles to find the proper term for a specific language, particularly when he primarily uses English in his day-to-day interactions. He also notes that learning Japanese has been particularly challenging due to its use of three different tones and gender-specific vocabulary.
Despite the demands of his work, Liu manages to find time for his personal life. Outside of work, he enjoys riding his sports motorcycles during Minnesota’s warmer weather. Having studied for over a decade and now being married with children, Liu understands the importance of work-life balance. He believes that the key to managing that balance is time management.
Liu encourages anyone who wants to reduce stress and spend time on the things that matter to them to learn more about time management. By managing his time effectively, Liu has found a way to balance his personal and professional responsibilities, ensuring that he can maintain his commitment to his students and his passion for marketing while still enjoying his personal interests.