Evangel Profile

Sean McClure (’06): Business development manager for British media giant

July 13, 2012

Sean McClure’s creativity and entrepreneurship have taken him from Evangel University to the heart of Chicago to the headquarters of a United Kingdom media giant — all in just seven years.

A 2006 graduate with degrees in Marketing and Management and a minor in Spanish, McClure is currently the Business Development Manager for The Guardian, a national British newspaper with an international multimedia and Web presence. The position has McClure working with some of the largest brands and organizations in the world.

Innovation Award from the Chicago Tribune

McClure’s business career began at the Chicago Tribune in December of 2007 when he was hired as the head of a sales and marketing team that sold newspaper subscriptions. While in that position, he won a sales award. In 2009, he was promoted to business development supervisor – a position he refers to as an “intropreneur” – spending his time managing multimillion dollar channels for the Tribune. McCure excelled in this position as well, receiving the paper’s prestigious “Innovation Award” for his accomplishments on the job.

“Winning the Innovation Award was my proudest career achievement to this day and one of the happiest in my life,” he says.

Sean McClure, Bob Fleck, Jim Rotche

Sean McClure (’06) is pictured with Bob Fleck, senior vice president of advertising/CRO at the Chicago Tribune (left) and Jim Rotche, director of strategy and development, just after winning the 2010 “Innovation Award” for his work at the Tribune.

In 2011, McClure left the Tribune and accepted a new job as business development manager for Fanatics, Inc., a sports e-commerce company. He also decided to try his hand at entrepreneurship, partnering with Chicago Magazine to launch TableSAVVY, a service that helps connect people with upscale dining experiences.

International business career with The Guardian

Before long, McClure’s dream to work internationally came true as he moved overseas to accept his current position at The Guardian.

“I was looking for an international opportunity, and I knew that I wanted to stay in the media industry,” he says. “So I applied, was hired and made the big trip across the pond to London from Chicago.”

McClure grew up and attended school in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. After graduating high school, he spent a year at Western Illinois University and a year as an exchange student in Mannheim, Germany, before transferring to Evangel.

A solid foundation from Evangel University

A two-time MVP tennis player in high school, he enjoyed participating in Evangel’s intramural sports, especially during his junior year when his floor’s football team, the Ravens, won the championship. McClure says that his involvement with intramurals helped him make fast friends with the guys on his floor.

“As a transfer student, it was great to be able to make friends right off the bat, and I still keep in touch from time to time with the Ravens,” he says. “I was really tight with my floor, so there was always something fun going on that I could participate in.”

When it came to academics, McClure says that the willingness of his professors to go the extra mile made a significant difference in his education.

“I was not a strong academic at Evangel and needed help in my studies,” he says. “Professors were open after class and after school for extra help if you showed them that you were trying.”

McClure says that each of his professors impacted his career in some way. From learning about advertising and marketing from Nancy Pace-Miller to studying international business with Elizabeth Fletcher, McClure has found the material applicable to what he is doing now.

He even says that a book he used in one of Bernie Dana’s classes titled Good to Great was a must-read for his job at the Chicago Tribune. “Everything I learned from Mr. Dana has been directly relevant to my business career.”

Now working for one of the largest news and media organizations in the United Kingdom, McClure says that the key to success lies in remaining focused on long-term goals while holding tight to moral standards.

“If there’s any advice I could offer Evangel’s future graduating classes, it would be to put in the hard work after graduation,” he says. ”Take advantage of every opportunity to gain experience that comes your way, build up your network by connecting with other professionals in your field, don’t compromise ethics for pay or promotions, and become a LinkedIn expert because it is truly the No. 1 community where job opportunities and networking opportunities will come your way.”

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