Kurt Verlei speaking to class
UT Permian Basin Marketing Club is working to put students at ease about the “real world” and give them confidence about what’s to come post-graduation.

Graduation is the ultimate goal for every student – that’s why they work hard and dedicate years of their lives to attending college. That being said, at times it can be hard to picture the end goal.

 “Many students sit in class wondering why they are there and what value it has,” Marketing professor Kurt Verlei said.

Verlei and the UT Permian Basin Marketing Club are working to put students at ease about the “real world” and give them confidence about what’s to come post-graduation. The club has started a series of lunches that features a College of Business graduate. 

“They share with current students the value of business principles they learned at UTPB and how it helped them in their careers,” Verlei said. “They share how they came upon their job, all of which are local and often, the financial success they have achieved staying in the Permian Basin.”

UT Permian Basin alum Jackie Perrin shared her story at the most recent Marketing Experiences luncheon. Perrin is a graphic designer at a local marketing firm.

“I have been able to apply what I’ve learned in my marketing classes to my job,” Perrin said.

She attributes her professional success to the fundamentals she learned in her classes at UT Permian Basin.

“Every class we took had real world principles in it. A lot of that, I have used in my job,” she said.

Verlei says the idea of bringing in graduates, like Perrin, started with a discussion about challenges that students face in the classroom.jackie-perrin-speaking.jpg

“This project was an outgrowth of those discussions and how we could help promote the College of Business and the University by showcasing the success of our graduates,” Verlei said.

They soon landed on a specific type of graduate: someone who earned a UT Permian Basin degree and stayed in the area to start their career.

“We wanted people who stayed in the Permian Basin because we felt that most students are eager to leave,” Verlei said. “If we can help them stay here, the asset they represent helps our local communities and makes employment in the Permian Basin more viable to them.”

It is an idea worth investing in – the College of Business underwrites the cost of each event. The club is in the process of finding another speaker for the spring semester. They hope to soon open up the event to other business disciplines.