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Alumni Perspective: Jonathan Tharp

Name: Jonathan Tharp

Graduation Year: 2013

Major: Marketing

Current Position: Marketing Specialist

City and State: Dayton, OH

Tell us about your career and what you do now.

I currently work as a marketing specialist for Aeroseal, LLC. It is a global manufacturing and training organization for the HVAC and performance contracting industries. It manufactures duct sealing and air sealing technology for use in residential, commercial, and multi-family applications. It provides training and business growth resources for building and home performance contractors. The primary activities of my current role include graphic design, media production, marketing automation, and “big data” mining for audience acquisition, segmentation, and targeting.

What is your favorite memory from EU?

Hands down, being an Activities Board (AB) Executive Leader is my favorite memory from EU. I sometimes think of myself more as an AB Alumnus than an EU Alumnus. Specifically, the AB retreats each semester were great times. They provided exceptional bonding between a group of about 30 students passionate about strategizing and executing fun, engaging campus events for the student body.

How did EU help you identify/develop your calling?

Being a transfer student to EU, it ended up being the perfect “next step” in my education. Starting my junior year of high school, I began my marketing and design career development track by attending a tech school for high school juniors and seniors to focus on an area of study pre-college. Through that program, I earned scholarships that essentially paid for me to earn my associate’s degree in visual communications (graphic design).

From there, my goal was to diversify my skill set and get my bachelor’s degree in marketing, and I needed a school that had a 4-year marketing program that could apply my associate’s degree to knock off 1-2 years. My parents and I visited multiple schools including EU. We met with multiple academic advisors from different schools, but no advisor was willing to work with me like Mr. Bernie Dana. The moment I met with Mr. Dana in his office was extremely memorable in a good way. Opposed to all of the other schools’ advisors, Mr. Dana was able to review my educational background and find a perfect fit for my marketing degree aspirations.

How did your experience at EU prepare you for life after graduation?

From a career development perspective, the marketing education I received directly applies to my marketing experience in the real world. Since graduating, I have worked in the marketing field applying textbook marketing from EU courses in forward-thinking marketing environments.

What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?

Find a career focus with the flexibility to diversify, if needed. It’s important to identify what specific jobs a particular educational path will lead you to, but realize change is a regular characteristic of society, so also identify how you will respond if your educational path does not lead to your ideal job.

What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from EU?

A mindset that believes, through action (not just words or thought), that the best is yet to come