Mark Groza

Enterprise Holdings Associate Professor of Sales, Department of Marketing

Mark Groza

What year did you start working at NIU? August 2012.

Where is your hometown, and where do you live now? Akron, Ohio; Sycamore, IL.

Where did you attend college and what degree(s) have you earned?
The University of Akron (B.S. Labor Economics)
The University of Cincinnati (MBA)
The University of Massachusetts Amherst (Ph.D.)

Were you a first-generation college student?
Yes, I am among the first generation of my family to graduate from college.

What do you like about working at NIU?
Simple — the students. I love our students! Huskies work for everything they get and our students are working their way through college, literally. Most of my students work 20, 30, or more hours per week and still maintain a full-time course load. This grit and work ethic is particularly attractive to the many organizations that hire our graduates. Ask a few hiring managers who have recently hired a Huskie, and I bet they will say the same.

What advice would you give to students currently attending NIU?
Stay the course – your investment in time, money, and effort is worth it. There is no better social mobility tool in the world than a college education. You will have more opportunities and options available to you with a college degree, and with choices comes freedom. Ask any expert in investing, the Warren Buffett types. I guarantee they will all say the best investment you can make is in yourself.

What do you hope students take away from your class?
I teach MKTG 350 Principles of Selling in our Professional Sales Program. The one thing I hope all of my students take away from my class is that you have to sell yourself! It’s up to you to tell your story to a prospective employer in a way that shows how you can add value to their organization.

What is your favorite campus event?
There are so many wonderful activities and events my family and I participate in here on our campus. From events in Boutell Memorial Concert Hall to basketball games in the Convocation Center, to Tugs (interfraternity tug-of-war competition) near Huskie Stadium. But my favorite campus event is football in the fall, especially our annual Homecoming game and tailgate when so many Huskie alumni come back to campus to visit.

What is your favorite memory of NIU?
So many great memories …it’s hard to pick just one. But to me the most memorable moments have been related to the many Mid-American Championships our athletic teams have won. From football (several times), to volleyball and gymnastics, great memories!

Who has influenced your professional path?
Our former department chair Dr. Geoff Gordon, who has since retired from NIU. Geoff served the university for nearly 30 years and had an enormous impact on my department and my professorial path. Geoff was the chair when I was hired at NIU and believed in me and empowered me as a young faculty member. To me, Geoff was the ideal leader. He would never ask a faculty to do anything he himself would not be willing to do. He was completely transparent and included all faculty, instructors, and staff in all department decision-making. I learned so many lessons about leadership from Geoff.

What did you want to be when you were growing up? Are you currently doing it? If not, what changed your path?
When I was growing up, I wanted to be an engineer; in fact, as a freshman at the University of Akron, my major was engineering. After about a semester or two, I realized that business was a better fit. I admired my professors as an undergraduate and MBA student. I thought that being a professor would be an excellent job.

What do you do to relax or recharge?
I really enjoy golfing; being out in nature with a small group of friends is very relaxing for me. My family and I also really enjoy traveling. When we need to recharge, we hit the road.

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