Don Lupo

--- Executive Director, ThinkLA ---

I have been very fortunate in my life and career. It’s my pleasure to share my experience to help others get their start.
Every time we reached out to you with a request to speak with students, you said YES! What motivates you to guest speak?

I’ve had a varied career which gave me experience in several areas. It gives me great reward to share knowledge and experience to help others get started. I learn a lot in the process as well. If we have seen achievement in our careers, it is our responsibility to help pave the way for others.

You are an industry professional who has also taught courses at the University. How do you weave both these experiences when you speak to students in classrooms?

Learning is a two-way street. Sharing my experience with people at the start of their careers is a way to give back, and I learn a lot about the world from their perspective. No one knows everything; learning is a life-long process.

You are the Executive Director of ThinkLA, an association that serves the advertising, marketing and media community of Los Angeles. What initiatives does ThinkLA have in place for marketing communication college students? Can educators participate and he

We are very proud of our Industry Accelerator series; we’ve expanded it to help people at different stages of their careers get a solid start in our industry. We also offer a thriving Mentorship Program which has sessions in spring and fall. And, our Professional Development series offers courses in skills such as negotiations, presentation skills, and more. Programs such as She Suite provide support to women in defining a path to executive careers. We welcome educators to get involved, and we have a student membership level as well.

Don Lupo Bio:

Don Lupo is Executive Director for ThinkLA. He is a mentor in the ThinkLA Mentorship program and a founding member of the DIG InitiativeHe spent over 20 years in digital production for major brands including Volkswagen, Toyota, PlayStation, Activision, and Honda, among others. In the early days of the web, Don helped develop the first web-based profitability comparison tool. Don is also a former professional photographer.

I love talking about my work, life, and perspectives. It's a very engaging and fulfilling experience for me to be able to connect with people openly and honestly on that level.
- Adeet Deshmukh
Guest lecturing is rewarding in that it allows me to stay abreast of what the next generation is thinking and what the top academics are concerned about and it allows me to give back and share my wisdom with tomorrows society leaders.
- Rishad Tobaccowalla
There is a distance between the world of academia and industry-- giving back to students with a professional's perspective tightens that distance and gives students invaluable direction for their future.
- Jared Nicol
The divide between the industry and academia is widening. The next generation of graduates are being armed with knowledge and skills that are irrelevant by the time they graduate. Professionals must collaborate with professors and cultivate classrooms where everyone benefits.
- Richie Etwaru
Bringing in communication professionals to guest lecture in my classroom is an excellent way to bring the material home and to further inspire students and to educate them on the various opportunities in our industry.
- Michelle Truelson
One of the biggest challenges for college professors is insuring that real-world demands of work and of professions are represented. Most professors have career experience working as teachers and researchers and don’t necessarily have detailed understanding of the needs of other professions. At the same time, we are expected to help prepare the next generation to move into business and professions. Guest lectures can be one solution to this challenge. Industry experts, corporate leaders, and business professionals can help insure that class content is relevant to the world of work.
- Matthew Seeger, Ph.D.
Most rewarding experience for me is getting students excited about a career in Consumer Insights, and seeing the value of anthropological thinking to consumer research
- Timothy Malefyt, Ph.D.
I am very motivated to share my life and professional experiences with students, so that I can bring some insight into the world of entrepreneurship, which is the most scary, grueling yet rewarding career path there is.
- Gaye Tomlinson
Speaking provides an opportunity for me to teach and share information that can change lives.
- Karen I. Wilson, Ph.D.
Guest lecturing provides an opportunity to connect with community at-large
- Mugdha Yeolekar, Ph.D.
I like talking about PR because it’s something everything thinks they understand - but they really don’t know how it is different from advertising or marketing. I break it down in simple terms and make the tactics and theories very digestible.
- Andrea Holland
I have been very fortunate in my life and career. It’s my pleasure to share my experience to help others get their start.
- Don Lupo
“I’m on and see both sides of the equation. I ask and I deliver as a presenter. For 46 years and 79 semesters of teaching, I have used as many as 27 outside pros to make a memorable semester of Marketing, business or advertising classes at USC, at CSUN, at LMU and at Pepperdine (Both undergrad and graduate). The speakers help a class standout, be memorable and the students stay interested and focused. The students get much more from an organized, special class with relevant, top-notch speakers, presenters and judges. Always have and always will.”
- Larry Steven Londre
I strongly believe in the practice of service, whether it was my military service or just helping total strangers. At this point in my life experience, I suppose I have entered the developmental stage of generativity, where I want to contribute to the wellbeing of younger generations.
- Kevin Beatty
I invite guest speakers to show my students people who look like them who have achieved. I want to put them in the room with people who have the potential to shape their careers. I know from my personal experience how a guest speaker can change the way you see yourself and what’s possible for you.
- Ebony Utley, Ph.D.