Suffolk grad returns as top marketing employee

Comfortably situated in a corner office on the 11th floor of 73 Tremont, Dan Esdale, chief marketing officer at Suffolk University, feels as if he never left the university he graduated from in 2002.

“I chose Suffolk because I love being in the city, the faculty here really appealed to me with the real world experience they had, and the opportunities that came with coming here,” Esdale said.

Sitting at his desk surrounded by windows with views into downtown Boston, Esdale is able to trace his entire career back to the connections and networks he has made through Suffolk.

Esdale graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in marketing with internship experience as a marketing assistant at the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, which he said the Career Development Center helped him achieve.

Before coming back to Suffolk for a career, Esdale worked as the marketing director at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In October, he assumed his position as chief marketing officer at Suffolk.

“One of the things I like about working here is I don’t have a typical day,” he said. “I support President Norman’s vision, manage the Office of Marketing and Communication, oversee the staff here, and try to bring analytics to what we’re doing here.”

One of Esdale’s focuses this year is implementing the new branding of the university, he said.

Courtesy of Dan Esdale

“We’re really trying to show prospective students what is great about Suffolk,” he said. “The fact that we are a global institution and most of our graduates are employed within a year are things we need to get out there in a big way.”

Reflecting on his time as a Suffolk student, Esdale believes his experience has shaped the person he is today. Living in an off-campus apartment in Allston, he was able to get the most out of what he called one of America’s greatest college towns.

“Living where I lived, I was able to also make friends from Northeastern and BU,” he said. “I would walk across the Common for my internship, then walk back across the Common for class.”

On being both an alumnus and employee at Suffolk, Esdale said it is much more than just a job.

“I’m really invested because of the fact that I feel like I never left,” he said. “I felt a connection to Suffolk, I am 110 percent invested in this role.”

Hearing experiences of students and talking to parents at admitted student events is a constant reminder of Esdale’s time at the university. He has witnessed Suffolk evolve.

“I’m excited for the new academic building that is 20 Somerset, and that’s something a lot of alumni don’t realize because they don’t get back on campus,” he said.

Esdale hopes to be sitting at the same desk for the next 10 years, and “hopefully coming a long way in terms of a marketing perspective,” he said. “I’m proud of my affiliation with Suffolk and that’s why I came back, it’s something I take seriously.”

If Esdale could change anything about his time spent as an undergraduate at Suffolk, it would be to have increased his involvement outside of the classroom.

“I definitely did not get involved enough … I’ve made a point to go to more now that I’m back,” he said.