Alumni Spotlight: From Childhood Chores to Master of Marketing

When he was growing up, helping out with the family business was something Ethan Shurson enjoyed because he got to spend time with his dad. As he grew older, the novelty of holding a garden hose and writing customer receipts lost its shine.

But once he started in the business program at Globe University-La Crosse, Ethan started thinking of ways the classroom knowledge could help promote his dad’s business. In the last year, Ethan returned to the family business to apply his education by redesigning the Facebook page and website for A-1 Advanced Pumping Inc.

Though it had been a while since he’d joined his father on a job, Ethan recalled those days easily. “Growing up, our bonding time was working together. Owning your own business, you work 24/7, so he would take me out on jobs. I would hold the hose for him while working on a septic tank, ride in the truck, and fill out the customer slips,” he said.

Father and son

As Ethan advanced his education, he started imaging how the classroom concepts could help the family business.

“Thinking about my dad’s business during my classes helped me to think about how I could help him market or how I could sell his projects,” Ethan said.

“This made it easier to relate the concepts I was learning in class. When I first signed up for the marketing degree, I was not thinking of the family business; I was thinking that I wanted a job where I could interact with people.”

Ethan’s dad, Jim Shurson, welcomed his son’s help in building both a website and promoting A-1 Advanced Pumping on their Facebook page with new content and engagement.Ethan’s classroom experiences came in handy while working for his dad.

“I used what I learned from an independent study to better engage customers with the company and find new ways to draw clients in,” he said.

“Each chapter in the book would give me a new idea for my project. For example, I learned a company’s Facebook page wasn’t just to provide information to the viewer, but also to show their personality.”

Ethan feels the most important part of A-1 Advanced Pumping’s personality is its foundation of family. “Ours is a family-owned and operated business, and we wanted to viewer to feel as if they were a part of that family and that we truly care about their business,” he noted. “This gave me the vision of how I wanted viewers to see the A-1 Advanced Pumping Service Inc. page.”

However, that vision of the family business didn’t just begin with Ethan; it started many years ago with his father. “I’m proud of our business. It’s been standing for over 30 years, and that’s a huge accomplishment,” Ethan said. “My dad started this company when he was 18, and I can’t imagine ever doing that when I was 18.”

Though Ethan cited time management as a difficult aspect of his last quarter at Globe, he managed to do it all with the help of “likes” from prospective clients and a little faith.

“I never thought I would be able to handle such a task, but I am thankful that I had people that believed in me,” Ethan said. “I feel proud of the work I’ve done when I see people commenting and the activity on the A-1 Advanced Pumping’s Facebook page. Every ‘like’ my posts got give me such a thrill of accomplishment.”

Ethan shows off a company truck

By building up and continuing to maintain the Facebook page and website, Ethan’s thrills are far from over.

Since graduating last quarter from Globe University-La Crosse, Ethan has decided to take his experiences to sunny San Diego, California, in search of a career.

Ethan feels his work experience will be a dominating factor in landing a job.

“Without a doubt, this experience will help me find a career in San Diego,” Ethan said. “By doing this project, the biggest thing I learned was time management and how to provide information to clients in a way they can understand and relate to.”

Working in medical sales is at the top of Ethan’s wishlist. “Ideally I would like to work selling either medical supplies or medical devices because I really want to work for a company that betters peoples’ lives. The medical field is always bettering people,” he said.

Ethan is well on his way to a new career, with a promising interview scheduled in San Diego. As he begins his trek across the country to start his new life in California, we wish our successful student, Ethan, the best of luck in the future!