Tim Blair

Like many who have written here, I didn’t anticipate becoming a corporate communications professional until I had already completed my undergraduate work.

As an undergraduate at Marquette University, I was convinced that coaching basketball was my future.  However, as collegiate idealism gave way to the realism of life I realized that the critical thinking, writing, and speaking skills I developed at Marquette would be a natural fit for a career in public relations. After earning a master’s degree in recreation science (read: sports management – yes, it took a long time to put those hoop dreams to bed), I began my career with a series of athletics-related internships before settling into a rewarding track as a corporate communicator.

Making the leap from sports to business was rather unnerving at the time – I scarcely understood business so my strong arts & sciences background had to carry me –  but ultimately corporate communications proved to be a challenging, rewarding and fulfilling profession. I continue to appreciate having the opportunity to learn about any number of industries and issues, while teaming up with senior management to help a business reach its goals.

Right now I’m at the mid-point in my career – a long way from that initial detour out of athletics into corporate America – and am looking forward to the challenges still to come:

  • 1991 – 1993 – The Internship Circuit:  Amateur Athletic Union, Milwaukee Brewers, Northwestern University athletic department.
  • 1993 – 1995 – The John Buck Company, Chicago.  Manager, Marketing & Communications.
  • 1995 – 1996 – Burson-Marsteller, Chicago.  Associate supporting the Andersen Consulting account.
  • 1996 – 2011 – IBM, Westchester County, NY.  I supported every IBM business unit at some point during my tenure, concluding as VP, Marketing & Communications for Systems & Technology Group.
  • 2012 – 2013 – Grant Thornton, Chicago. Head of Communications
  • 2013 – Present – Director of Corporate Communications at Navigant

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