Bruce Berger, Ph.D.

My first full-time job was as a salesman for Nickles Bakery. Making cold calls to homes and small grocery stores was a great real-life course in persuasion–and humility. When I completed my MA, I taught English and German for three years at a small community college in southwest Michigan. I then landed my first public relations job as a speechwriter for The Upjohn Company. That was the beginning of an exciting 21-year career, much of which involved international assignments ranging from a health poster campaign in remote Kenyan villages to a $400 million rebranding campaign in Europe. I then returned to teaching—public relations this time. Three of the most important lessons I’ve learned are: fear nothing, including mistakes; explore the rich diversity of our world at every opportunity; and most importantly, fully engage in whatever you do.

Here’s my career snapshot:

  • Salesman, Nickles Bakery (1 year)
  • English and German Instructor, Glen Oaks Community College (3 years)
  • Public Relations Manager, Upjohn International (9 years)
  • Director, Worldwide Human Health PR, Upjohn Company (5 years)
  • Corporate VP, Corporate Affairs, Whirlpool Corporation & President, Whirlpool Foundation (7 years)
  • Doctoral student and teacher, University of Kentucky (3 years)
  • Professor and Chair, Dept. of Adv and PR, University of Alabama (8 years)