By: Victoria Sefcsik, BS’18
“Find what you love and tear it apart!”
Entrepreneur and business executive Jeff Smulyan served as a guest presenter for our J402: Corporate Strategy night class. Coming straight from a business call, we were all thankful he took the time to bring his priceless knowledge to our classroom and answer our countless questions.
Mr. Smulyan’s energy and enthusiasm was evident throughout the night, and he emphasized that he is “doing what [he] loves with people that [he] loves,” which drives his constant success and appreciation for those working with him.
We were all eager to learn about the corporate world from Mr. Smulyan, and equally as excited to discuss his time serving as founder of Emmis Communications Corporation since 1979.
For every question, Mr. Smulyan had a life story to go along with it, which sparked our interest even more — pointing to the strong evidence that Mr. Smulyan’s success can be attributed to his love of everything he does and his strong values that excite people to follow in his footsteps. Mr. Smulyan’s philosophy of life is reflected in the way he conducts business and is rooted in his Eleven Commandments of Emmis Communications.
“If you have integrity, nothing else matters,” Mr. Smulyan announced. His personal and business philosophy is rooted in integrity and grit, and when asked about how he implements his corporate culture, he stated that it is important to “understand and care [about your employees] deeply.”
With his love of radio, Mr. Smulyan spent time talking to us about Next Radio, a smartphone app developed by Emmis that makes radio integrative and user-friendly. Mr. Smulyan compared being in radio to “pushing water uphill,” and he discussed some of the challenges with the creation of streaming services. With access to 93% of the population, radio serves a variety of exciting purposes to relay information when phone lines are jammed or during natural disasters.
In a room full of aspiring entrepreneurs, we were grateful to ask countless questions about business, corporate culture and values. Mr. Smulyan challenged us to “Find what you love and tear it apart.”
On behalf of the J402 night class, we would like to thank Mr. Smulyan for his time and willingness to share his knowledge with us.