Like many who have written here, I didn’t anticipate becoming a corporate communications professional until I had already completed my undergraduate work.
As an undergraduate at Marquette University, I was convinced that coaching basketball was my future. However, as collegiate idealism gave way to the realism of life I realized that the critical thinking, writing, and speaking skills I developed at Marquette would be a natural fit for a career in public relations. After earning a master’s degree in recreation science (read: sports management – yes, it took a long time to put those hoop dreams to bed), I began my career with a series of athletics-related internships before settling into a rewarding track as a corporate communicator.
Making the leap from sports to business was rather unnerving at the time – I scarcely understood business so my strong arts & sciences background had to carry me – but ultimately corporate communications proved to be a challenging, rewarding and fulfilling profession. I continue to appreciate having the opportunity to learn about any number of industries and issues, while teaming up with senior management to help a business reach its goals.
Right now I’m at the mid-point in my career – a long way from that initial detour out of athletics into corporate America – and am looking forward to the challenges still to come:
1991 – 1993 – The Internship Circuit: Amateur Athletic Union, Milwaukee Brewers, Northwestern University athletic department.
1993 – 1995 – The John Buck Company, Chicago. Manager, Marketing & Communications.
1995 – 1996 – Burson-Marsteller, Chicago. Associate supporting the Andersen Consulting account.
1996 – 2011 – IBM, Westchester County, NY. I supported every IBM business unit at some point during my tenure, concluding as VP, Marketing & Communications for Systems & Technology Group.
2012 – present – Grant Thornton, Chicago. Head of Communications.
…and of course, I have not lost my passion for college basketball. Nearly eight years ago I created CrackedSidewalks.com, a blog dedicated to the Marquette basketball program, which continues to fuel my interest in that program as well as social media in general.