Fearlessness Drove Digital Marketing Specialist in True Maverick Style  

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As Ethan Simblist '02 began his time as a student at Mercy College, he was already shouldering more responsibilities than the typical freshman. As a single father with a young daughter, he was working full-time and yearning for a clear path toward his undergraduate degree.

Though he had previously been taking classes at a community college, it had not proved efficient. “I had been going at a snail’s pace. Many institutions are not set up for someone with a white-collar job,” said Ethan who then began to hear about Mercy College and became intrigued. While still in high school, Ethan had been hired at a plastics company beginning as a mailroom staffer. Even without higher education, he was excelling and was gradually moving up to the ranks to an account management role within the company. Enrolling in Mercy was a necessary next step for him to continue climbing – putting a diploma within his reach in just a two year time period.

“I worked as hard as I could because I had many things pushing me in that direction, ” said Ethan who found providing financially for his daughter to be a primary motivator. Mercy’s undergraduate program in organization leadership proved to be a natural fit that also allowed him the flexibility to balance parenthood and career obligations. Ethan’s desire to advance his career was aimed steadily on unlocking the opportunities that had evaded him without a college degree.

Mercy turned out to be the game changer Ethan was seeking. He was able to leverage his already ample career background in his coursework in a way that complemented his education. All the while, Ethan was developing his career in an era of new and expanding digital marketing platforms. With a curious self-starter mindset leading him, he learned new ways to reach out to customers through cutting edge advertising techniques - impressing the boss he considered a mentor.

Within a year of his graduation he was promoted and shortly thereafter took on the director role for a Manhattan based direct marketing firm. More than two decades later, he has become a highly sought-after expert and thought leader in digital marketing. He has held positions in digital advertising and business development in dynamic companies. His resume boasts work with dozens of high profile clients and business partners, yet Ethan did not get there without sacrifice. “I was often the first one into the office and the last one out at night.”

Perhaps of everything he has learned so far in his career, resilience has been by far his biggest teacher. “In the headwinds I faced, I knew I had to be fearless,” Ethan said.  It is a trait he is proud of modeling for his now young adult daughter. However, he says without Mercy there might not have been as clear a plan for him toward future success. He is quick to acknowledge confidence alone could not have kicked his career path into high gear, but a Mercy degree solidified it.