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Eagle Voice: Dan McKee, Student Entrepreneur

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Sabrina Miresse, Staff Reporter

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Student entrepreneur, Dan McKee is a UW-L senior graduating this May. Aside from studying marketing, McKee has made a name for himself through being passionate about real-world marketing by running his own business.

McKee is the owner and founder of DPM Promotions, an advertising agency based out of La Crosse, WI. He started this business his freshman year of college and has been running it since. “Hiring and managing people to do sales, accounting, finance and handle legal issues” are just some of the duties of McKee’s daily work. This has “taught [him] responsibility on a real scale because [he] had to figure it all out” on his own. “It involves a lot of meetings,” he elaborated on the duties of calling clients, making sure their needs are met, and that the staff is trained properly on social media to promote businesses.

“It’s my full time job, but I don’t like calling it that because I really enjoy it.” McKee has over ten clients right now, and although he hopes the business will still be around within the next five years, he hopes to “not get a [corporate] job for a while.” Entrepreneurship is what McKee prides himself in, advertising for people such as Gatorade and Nike. However, he explained that he wants to travel and experience things other than his field of work.

“Whatever field you’re in, make sure it’s truly your passion. you work for a lot of your life, and you don’t want to be miserable,” McKee hopes to inspire students through his work, “if you find that you do want to explore entrepreneurship, you need to always be learning things. If you’re just getting by in class that’s not enough. You need to always be exploring your field.”

On campus, McKee started a social media marketing class, “it actually starts this summer,” McKee had simply thought, “how are we not teaching digital marketing?” and brought this concern up to the University. McKee went onto discuss his hopes to show students how to be successful, explaining that people need to stop wanting and start actively doing what they want.

There were many obstacles in the way when McKee began his business. He specifically received a lot of, “why should we trust you?” questions from his potential clients. It has taken time to build a reputation and credibility. McKee says it’s all a matter of asking, “what can I do for my client? and not what can they do for me?”

McKee believes that “Textbook knowledge is fine, but experience is everything.” He described how he became the Director of Marketing for Eat Street in Madison, because of his ambition to learn. “When someone hears that you just want to learn from them, they think ‘Oh, we need this person,’” that’s when gaining experience is attainable for you.

McKee explains the advice he has for his peers and students: aside from experience, “Learning to critically think,” is something all students should strive to obtain. The reason is, “If you don’t, you get stuck in the society that we’re in right now. You get stuck in thinking that you need to study your life away. Be excited about life and opportunities!”

“Society pressures us to think that we need to make a certain amount, or do a certain thing [to become successful]. You need to critically think about what you want, and then develop a path for yourself. Don’t think that it’s so hard too, because everyone is afraid of failing. But, if you don’t put yourself out there and try, then you’ll never do anything exceptional. Fear less.”

Find McKee’s business page at: http://trulythelaststop.com/DPMPROMOTIONS.COM/

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Eagle Voice: Dan McKee, Student Entrepreneur