After receiving his Master of Business Administration degree in 2012 from Post University, Michael Barry decided to use that knowledge to create his own marketing company, Princeton Creative Marketing.
Barry, 52, of Princeton, New Jersey, said he felt confident enough in the skills he developed throughout the 24-month online program to launch his own business.
So, just a little more than a year into it, he’s already working with businesses, primarily in the arts and non-profits, that have marketing budgets ranging from $100,000 to $1 million.
“My Post education helped me learn how to position myself,” Barry said. “It helped me understand what my strengths are and how to communicate that.”
As a successful entrepreneur, Barry said he’s already learned the valuable lesson on why it’s so important not to try and be all things to everyone.
“The mistake you make is trying to cover too many bases and provide a service for everyone,” Barry said. “For marketing that is not a good idea. Nothing works for everyone.”
Barry said his company helps people balance between traditional and online marketing. Part of his business relies on getting donations for non-profits. By studying social media and other trends, he is able to identify potential donors and then figure out the best way to contact them. It’s about much more than advertising, he said.
“There is no pushy ad pitch; instead it’s all about cultivating relationships with potential donors,” he said. “The donors feel good because they are donating to a good cause that is doing something positive for the community.”
Although Barry brought many years of business experience to this new venture, he realized there were “some gaps in my knowledge.“ That’s why he went back to school.
“Post prepared me for what I am doing now,” Barry said. “The education filled in a lot of gaps,” including broadening his understanding of statistics and research skills.
The degree even helped him land his first client, who also had an MBA.
“I don’t think I would have gotten that client without that Post degree,” Barry said. “It’s really opened up some doors for me.”
Barry said he initially went to an in-person university but decided he needed the flexibility of an online program. He was working in marketing while taking online classes at Post. Since marketing happens online, Barry said, it made sense to take courses online.
“The professors at Post were excellent and the work was vigorous,” he added.
Barry’s advice to others who are contemplating getting a degree while working is to “keep going” even if you have to take a modular off. He said it’s important to have friends to help you through the experience.
He said in the end it’s all worth it because “there will come a time when you’re not doing school work on the weekend.”