GV alumnus offers advice on real-world marketing

Shae Slaughter

Many professors bring real-world experience into their classrooms through guest lecturers. Professor Mark Kubik, who teaches in the Seidman College of Business, brought an old friend and Grand Valley State University alumnus Frank Buscemi to speak to his students on March 31.

Buscemi spoke to students about his career and marketing in the real world, focusing his topic of discussion based on the class.

His presentation showed a footpath of his career, allowing students to see the many steps that may be required to reach their goals.

A 1993 GVSU graduate, Buscemi majored in communications and journalism, while also taking music classes for his minor. He was also a member of the Grand Valley Lanthorn and of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, an organization that no longer exists on campus.

Upon graduation, Buscemi said he wanted to go into broadcasting or sports writing, and considered becoming a full time musician. As many college students do, he changed his mind. Eventually, he found his way to public relations and corporate communications.

Once he found this gateway, he began the many steps to building a successful career. Buscemi started as a writer for the Oakland Press before moving into public relations.

After a few other position changes, he found himself in the corporate communications sector, working at a German automotive supplier, moving to a marketing position in 2008, then settling at the employer that he works for today, TI Automotive.

Buscemi works with global branding and marketing of the company, a worldwide supplier specializing in automotive fluid systems, based in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Buscemi and his team work with advertising, speech writing and event management.

His wealth of experience made him a natural candidate for a guest lecture in Kubik’s classes. The pair first met in college when they pledged the same fraternity.

Relationships such as theirs highlight one of the areas of Buscemi’s presentation: networking is key.

Buscemi attributes much of the success in his career to the networking that he has done and encourages current students to do the same.

“Go to events in your field, make connections with people in your field,” he said. “Every single job I’ve ever gotten was through my network of people.”

Part of Buscemi’s goal in returning to his alma mater to speak was to give back some of what he felt was lacking when he was in school. He felt that during his time in school, there weren’t enough guest speakers or individuals who spoke about real-world experience.

Many students took notice of his points on networking, staying after class to ask him questions. Buscemi said the knowledge he acquired both at GVSU and in the years after college allowed him to give an honest perspective to current students.