He has been a nuclear engineer in the Navy, owned a sports marketing agency, been involved in not-for-profits, and run a winery, but it wasn’t until Blake Escudier started teaching that he realized how much he could help people. His strong background in, and love for, the concepts of Marketing led him to teach marketing classes part time 25-years ago. Since then he has permanently changed his career focus.
The title of Dr. appealed to Blake, but he knew it would need to be in something he was passionate about: “I’ll never be a Dr. as far as a medical Dr., but I knew I could be a Dr. when it came to teaching others,” he said. The self-titled, “Professional Academic” achieved his Ph.D. in 2008, while living in Australia. During that time, he began teaching online through a school in the United States, which represented the beginning of a new way of learning for him. He recognized that online learning worked for the continuing education needs of students in different career stages, “the online environment does lend itself to the opportunity for more learning if the students want to do more,” he said.
A key factor that drew Blake to the University of Fredericton (UFred) is the confidence that the university places in its adjunct faculty, and that the programs offered are applicable to his experience:
“UFred offers academic freedom; you are able to design the courses based on your knowledge and experience within teaching. I have a teaching philosophy that is geared toward the adult learner [taking] the Executive MBA and MBA programs.”
When he began teaching with the Sandermoen School of Business at UFred in 2010 “the classes were smaller. UFred is growing and it is fantastic to see this,” he said, and added, “As far as where we’re going, we’re going to grow [and it] is really nice to see all these peers working together to learn about business.”
Blake loves teaching with UFred and recalls many memorable moments. Among his favorites:
“I’ve submitted some of the projects done by some of the students into contests, the business plan project type, and they’ve placed, and they’ve actually won. To hear the students respond to that was really wonderful and it’s really enjoyable to show them that they do have quality work. That’s the best part.”
As the University’s presence continues to grow rapidly in the field of online education, UFred holds a unique position of bringing together a varied group of participants:
“They come back and they ask questions, they talk about their career. I believe in this networking. We have diverse industries with the groups of people that we do have, and the alumni are going to find out more and more the value of having gone to UFred.”
Blake sees the network growing around the world:
“UFred is growing, it’s got a great product. We can reach out to more. We have the opportunity to be more global. Our faculty is global, we are getting global students, it’s difficult because of time zones in the seminars, but we are getting the growth globally. It’s a matter of reaching out to the community and saying, ‘hey, we’re here and we’re ready for you.”
In the meantime, Blake has a sense of satisfaction that he is doing his vocation and doing it well.