Brian A. Thompson graduated DePaul University in June
with a second master’s degree he earned while teaching and running his training
His latest degree—an MBA in business strategy and finance
from DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business—complements his
other degrees: a Master of Science in finance from Illinois Institute of
Technology; a Bachelor of Arts in business administration from Governors State
University; and an associate degree from Joliet Junior College.
After 10 years of running a martial arts school with
multiple locations and taking over his family’s apartment rental business, the
Joliet native and resident decided to pursue his MBA while still working full
time, citing a desire to keep his skills sharp in an ever- changing world.
Thompson is wholly dedicated to self-improvement but he is concerned with much
more than his own.
In addition to trading his own account and running a
consulting business on matters such as staff training, Thompson also makes time
for one of his favorite activities: teaching. Having taught economics and
finance courses at Prairie State College and other institutions, his goal is to
help people grow as individuals and make a difference in their lives by
reaching them through education.
“Trading my own account doesn’t help anyone,” he said.
“It doesn’t make someone better than when they walked in the door. I know I
can’t reach everyone, but if one person walks out the door thinking, ‘Maybe
I’ll minor in economics,’ that makes a difference. It inspires me.”
Thompson wants to continue running and growing his own
businesses, including the consulting firm he founded, Black & Essington
Solutions. He also wants to explore opportunities that people may not have
considered and educate others about them. With multiple degrees and
entrepreneurial success, Thompson generously shares his skills with others.
After being contacted by DePaul’s Kellstadt CareerManagement Center, he became involved in facilitating mock interviews for
first-year MBA students. He used his life experiences to give students practice
with interviewing. Thompson participated because bettering people is his
mission, and it does not feel like work. “Every group I’ve ever been part of
has been a winning team,” Thompson said. “I know how to make people win. I want
to help people win.”
One of his economic professors agrees. Rafael Tenorio,
taught the entrepreneur in three classes—and Thompson excelled in every one.
Tenorio has recommended that Thompson teach a course at DePaul next year.
“Brian is a phenomenal student, probably the best I have ever had in my 23
years of teaching at the graduate level,” Tenorio said. “His real-world
experiences combined with his drive to improve his analytical skills make him
the complete package in a graduate business program.”
When it comes to advice for other students, Thompson
said, “Looking for a job begins the first day you walk on campus.” He
recommends that students always build and maintain their networks. “Finally,
students should manage the time in their busy schedules well. “When you do
something that’s bigger than yourself, things will get hard,” he said, “but
This is one in a series of profiles of 2013 DePaul
graduates. Read the whole series poatsed on DePaul's Newsroom.