Nick Altrup

Nick Altrup: MBA Graduate Applies Coursework to Launch Business

Nick Altrup’s ultimate goal was to start his own business. Thanks to the Drury’s Master of Business Administration program at Breech School of Business, he was able to do that.

Nick graduated from the MBA program in May 2010. He completed his MBA at Drury while working a full-time job and having a family. Nick was able to complete the program on his own time.

“I think for anybody that—whether you have a family or not, if you have a full-time job or close to a full-time job—it’s a great fit for you because it’s flexible, you can take the eight week class schedule," he says. "It’s very flexible; you can take one at a time or two at a time, and finish in one year or two years.”

Nick now owns a local business in Springfield, which he started while he was taking classes at Drury.

“It was perfect timing that I was starting a business while finishing the program because I was taking everything I was learning and applying it over and over again,” Nick says.

Every class Nick took was beneficial in some way to starting a business, but overall, completing the MBA program gave Nick confidence as well.

“I think the entire experience that I got at Drury—everything from the classes to my fellow classmates to the professors and things I was learning—I think it all just combined to give me a sense of confidence that I could really do it,” Nick says. “I guarantee that there’s no way I would have had the confidence to do what I did if I hadn’t gotten the MBA.”

The program gave him not only the confidence to start a business, but also the opportunity to visit another country. One highlight of his time at Drury included a week-long trip to Beijing, China with some classmates.

“Even though it was only a week, that was the highlight because now I can say I’ve been to Beijing,” Nick says. “I think we got exposed a little bit to different cultural practices and business.”

To anyone who is thinking about joining the MBA program, Nick has plenty of advice.

“I guess the first thing would be not to undervalue the relationships that you have with your fellow classmates, because when you graduate, those are going to be your peers in the business community if you stay here,” Nick says.

In addition, Nick also says that students should realize that getting an education is not enough to get a job. Students should know what they want to do and have a passion for it, and should find a way to make themselves stand out.

“You have to be able to differentiate yourself from all the other people that have an education and be able to show actual, specific skills in a certain area that are valuable to the market place,” Nick says.

By following his own advice, Nick has been able to see his career dreams come true.

“I really am living the dream. I’m doing exactly what I want to do.”

Nick is currently the owner of 417 Marketing, a Web design and SEO company located in Springfield, Mo.

Interview and article by Kaitlyn Schwers. Kaitlyn is a sophomore majoring in communication.