Craig Fairfield '04, MBA '08
In honor of the 40th anniversary of McKendree University in Kentucky, the University is proud to recognize outstanding alumni who have graduated from the Radcliff and Louisville, Ky. campuses since 1974.
Name: Craig Fairfield '04, MBA '08
Major: Marketing and International Business
Current Position: Corporate Marketing Manager
Company: Account Executive at Wax Custom Communication and Part-Time Faculty Member at McKendree’s Louisville Campus
How did you first become interested in your field of study?
While working in my first career, as a homebuilder, I recognized a passion for marketing. I also realized how little I knew about the process of managing people and projects. I decided to pursue more formal education in both. In my 30s, I completed a long-neglected undergraduate degree in marketing (at McKendree) and made a career change to work in the advertising field. I enjoyed the process so much, that I went on to acquire an MBA in international business (also from McKendree).
Describe your career path since graduating from McKendree.
As noted above, after completing my undergraduate degree, I was able to transition into a new, more fulfilling career in advertising and marketing with a boutique agency that specialized in health and wellness. A few years later, my McKendree MBA led to my being recruited into an executive position with a major healthcare provider. I have now moved back to the agency side with a specialization in healthcare communications. In this role, I’m the managing editor of several publications, work on strategies and projects in electronic communications, manage the creation of educational materials, and participate in key strategies for a Fortune 100 client.
I also teach a variety of classes in the school of business at McKendree. Teaching was a goal and a motivation to achieve a graduate degree. I get tremendous personal satisfaction out of working with students; helping them see things in new ways and opening up new opportunities for them.
Was there a professor, advisor, or fellow student who made an impression on you or helped you when you were at McKendree?
Dr. Glenn Rodriguez was an early inspiration for me. His enthusiasm was contagious and his energy over-the-top. His kinetic style kept his students engaged and on their toes. He was demanding but fair; organized, but able to turn on a dime when appropriate. He led us to water and made us want to drink. He’s a rock star.
Later, Phillipe DePrez and Greg Bailey helped me along (and made me want to teach). Their personal styles were more low-key than Dr. Rodriguez’ and their humor was dryer, but they challenged me to see things in a different way and to question everything.
What impact has your degree had on your life or career?
My degree has opened doors that would have otherwise been closed to me. It has given me access to people and experiences I would never have known without it. As a result, I’ve been better able to support my family and enjoyed a more satisfying life. Perhaps most importantly, by completing this course of study, I’ve set a positive example for my three kids and shown them the value of education.
What are your hobbies?
Bicycling is my main hobby. Whether it’s a slow 10 mile ride down the river walk, a blast through the trails at Cherokee Park on my mountain bike, a commute to my office, or a “century” (100 miles in one day) with the Louisville Bicycle Club, I’m always looking for an excuse to go for a ride. I also restore vintage road bikes and get them into the hands of the next generation of enthusiasts.
When I’m not biking, I love partaking of the amazing Louisville restaurant scene with family and friends, enjoying live music or theater, acting and writing.