I Define Success: Paul Brenner

PaulBrenner_headshot2.jpgIvy Tech graduate Paul Brenner is a technology pioneer. Paul is president of NextRadio and TagStation at Emmis Communications, a diversified global communications entity that owns and operates radio, television and magazine entities in large and medium-sized markets throughout the U.S., Europe and Latin America. He has worked very hard to get where he is today—and he credits Ivy Tech with getting his career off to the right start.

“Ivy Tech gave me choices,” Paul says. “Now I’m a corporate technology executive in a global company. I really view Ivy Tech as the beginning of my career success.”

When Paul was a high school student, he didn’t excel academically, and he struggled to find a career path. His less-than-stellar grades made him think he wasn’t cut out for college, and he spent three years working at a Christmas tree farm and party supplier. After overcoming some personal challenges, however, he reevaluated his future and decided it was time to go back to school.

Paul started in the photography program, but quickly switched majors after discovering a passion for the rapidly expanding field of Electronic Engineering Technology. The once-unlikely college student thrived, at Ivy Tech after earning an associate degree he went on to complete a bachelor’s in E-Business and Masters of Information Systems at University of Phoenix.

When a job opened up at Emmis, Paul seized the opportunity, eventually rising through the organization to the position he has today. The lesson, he says, is that you can do anything if you’re willing to work hard.

“You don’t see a lot of division presidents who started at community colleges,” he says. “I had to fight for my accomplishments. People judge you based on what you’ve done. They care about what you can do for their organization.”

Paul’s current project is to get NextRadio, the FM radio streaming app that he built from the ground up, on every smartphone.

“Believe in yourself,” Paul says. “Use every failure and every success to re­flect on your ability and ways to improve. Be adaptable. Pick a career that motivates you, not just gives you a paycheck. Never stop learning, be humble and you will be fine.”

Paul currently serves on the Regional Board of Trustees for Ivy Tech Community College Central Indiana, where he continues to give back to the College where he got his start.

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