Blake DeCarlo, '09
Majored in Economics and Management
Originally from Harrison Township, Mich.
Now living in Dallas, Tex.
Current employer: Bella Design Group
Title: Account Executive
What is your role and/or responsibilities?
Sales, marketing, and promotions.
What was most valuable about your Gerstacker experience?
A strong focus on networking, and the ability to think for myself—there’s no hand-holding in the private sector.
How did you feel about career outlook upon graduating from Albion? How did Gerstacker prepare you?
At the time, I was a bit worried about what was out there for me due to the struggling economy. However, I strongly feel that Gerstacker really helped me develop my own tool set to get where I needed to be. Although I chose to relocate, I was fortunate enough to find employment rather quickly because I was prepared to do so.
What did you enjoy most during your time as a student in the Gerstacker Institute?
Without question, the Gerstacker summer session was the most enjoyable time for me. Not only was that shortened-semester completely focused on our business curriculum, but I certainly grew the most both academically and personally that summer.
One course, in particular, where we split into teams and ran our own imaginary company was the most effective learning experience. Even today, I still apply lessons I learned during that course in my own professional endeavors.
On the social side, the Chicago trip was also a very fond memory of mine -- seeing the various business entities in person was eye-opening for me.
Do you have any advice for prospective students interested in business and management?
Take chances. Successful people don't live scripted lives. Also, learn to accept failure -- there is much to learn from the experience so that you're more prepared the next time around.
Anything else you'd like to add?
The Gerstacker Institute sets itself apart from other business schools at other universities and liberal arts colleges because the focus begins from day one. This approach allows you to really test the waters and find out your passions, as opposed to trudging through two years of electives before even touching an economics course. It was the main reason I chose to attend Albion. Best of luck!