By Amanda Blumeyer
An entrepreneur who started his own digital marketing company, Searics, Stuart stepped out of his comfort zone to build skills in marketing and sales. Hear about Stuart’s MBA experience, which includes representing Kellstadt to meet Warren Buffett.
What marketing class at DePaul was most valuable to you and why?
Zafar Iqbal’s Analytical Tools for Marketers – the content of this class was new to me and challenging. Additionally, there were many projects and reports due during the semester, and it was a perfect balance of group and individual work. Ultimately, the class was valuable as I was always learning new methods, and my teammates helped push me to grow as a student and professional. Each partner was an integral part of the process and the final product was a resounding success for the team and each member.
Is there a marketing class you wish you’d taken during your time at DePaul but didn’t? Which one and why?
As I peruse the class offerings I think Consulting Skills may have been a great addition to my MBA program as many of my marketing projects are consultative in nature and I’m hired as an advisor instead of just viewed as an employee in many of my projects.
What lessons did you take away from your time at DePaul that you use in your career today?
Networking was an essential element of my time at Kellstadt and throughout the MBA. While Dr. Whalen’s Effective Business Communication course was the closest class I’ve taken to improve my awareness of how to communicate more effectively, the ability to meet new people and build rapport with them quickly is one of the greatest skills that the MBA Association assisted me with.
Additionally, the MBA required me to take classes that were challenging and new to me both academically and professionally. I think stepping out of your comfort zone is a great way to achieve personal growth and my MBA allowed me to continually develop the skill of creating a plan on how to effectively approach novel situations and projects at work and in life.
Do you have any recommendations for current students on how to get the most out of their experience at DePaul?
The Kellstadt program is mostly a part-time program so it’s essential to stay involved to build meaningful relationships with your classmates and professors. There are three things that I’d recommend for any student at Kellstadt:
Get involved with a student run organization and take a leadership role in that organization. I was on the Board of the MBAA and the relationships I made through the MBAA organization led to some of the most meaningful relationships and friendships I had at Kellstadt.
When Kellstadt offers a unique opportunity, take advantage of it. Weeks after starting my MBA students had the opportunity to represent Kellstadt to meet Warren Buffett. It took a couple hours to think of my responses to the questions to be selected to meet Mr. Buffett, but the opportunity to bond over a short trip with other classmates and meet Mr. Buffett was the most interesting experience I had at Kellstadt.
Get to know your professors. There were so many professors at Kellstadt that were willing to help me with projects and other challenges one faces throughout their MBA program and building those bonds really helped create a more meaningful learning environment for myself and helped me feel more connected to the MBA.
How do you go about networking? What recommendations do you have for current students who are looking to grow their network?
Networking is a continual element of life. You never stop networking and it should be done face to face whenever possible (not on LinkedIn). As an alum I’ve registered to the DePaul alumni network and attend events whenever possible and try to attend other alumni or business networking events weekly to keep growing my network and stay abreast of items within digital marketing.
For students, I’d highly suggest taking a leadership role on a student run organization and join the MBAA. Go to the events whenever they’re held and try to meet new people each time. Don’t just hang out with people you already know. Yes, that’s more comfortable but if you can make one meaningful connection at each networking event I think that’s a success. I wouldn’t focus on the quantity of people you meet, rather focus on making meaningful connections in the classroom, as part of a student organization and at the networking events. It’s easy to identify people who are just trying to pitch themselves so focus on quality, not quantity.
What's next in your career path?
I started my own digital marketing company, Searics, LLC last year and I’m trying to grow that all the time while continuing to work at an advertising agency. Ultimately, I’ve found a niche as a marketer and a salesperson and have found the most joy professionally when I’m able to merge those two skillsets and growing my company has been the perfect opportunity to merge these two skills.