Minority Professional Network (MPN)

Minority Professional Network (MPN)        

Republished from SMITHbusiness - Spring 2004

A Publication of the Robert H. Smith School of Business

University of Maryland

Entrepreneur Now Has

Global Connections

Thomas Brooks had contacts.  Lots of them.  And so did his friend C. J. Bland.

"Both of us were officers with the Atlanta chapter of the National Black MBA Association and were working in senior marketing and sales positions," Brooks explains.  "We both had large sets of contacts around the country.  And, both of us were heavily involved in community service."

Brooks says it was not unusual for an acquaintance working in human resources to e-mail them job descriptions to circulate.  "The HR person would get a lot of good resumes and end up hiring someone," say Brooks, who received his MBA in marketing from the Smith School in 1992.

Today, Brooks is co-founder (along with Bland) and executive vice president of Minority Professional Network, Inc. (MPN).

MinorityProfessionalNetwork.com was launched in 2001 and provides online connections and information for minority professionals around the world.  Content areas include a career center for job seekers, an employer center for hiring companies, and student resources.

In addition to nearly 3 Million site visitors since its debut, the site now has approximately 300,000 subscribers to its free e-Newsletters.  "This is double where we hoped to be at this point.  Plus, the demographics of our subscriber make our advertisers ecstatic," Brooks says.

A former marketing director at Lucent Technologies, Brooks, who is also the owner of a specialty marketing, public relations and publishing firm, says that he discovered marketing while at the Smith School.  Before then, the University of Pittsburgh electrical engineering graduate had planned on a career in engineering.

"I was getting an MBA so I could be an engineering manager," Brooks recalls.  Marketing courses would change that.  "I found out that I loved marketing, product development and entrepreneurship," he says, admitting, "It was a big change, but a good change."

The MPN user community would certainly agree.


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