Sebastian Cualoping’s short commute to DePaul’s MBA program in downtown Chicago was the first leg of a long adventure in global business. Cualoping (BUS ’77, MBA ’81), former CEO of Ampac International, a worldwide design and plastic packaging company, was a young professional fresh from earning his bachelor’s degree at DePaul when he entered the MBA program. His dream was to found his own international business.
“I decided to pursue my MBA at DePaul part time so I could work during the day,” he recalls. “DePaul being right in the Loop and offering most of its MBA classes at night gave me the opportunity to do that.”
Two courses, International Finance and Money & Banking, had a big impact on Cualoping. They were taught by James A. Hart, an economics professor for more than 40 years who also served two stints as dean of DePaul’s business college. Hart, who died in 2003, “recognized the importance of international business before ‘globalization’ became a household word,” according to the Chicago Tribune. Under his leadership, DePaul became one of the first business schools in the country to offer an MBA in international business in 1962, one year before Harvard University.
Cualoping remembers Hart as a supportive teacher whose lessons still resonate today: “His classes were outstanding. His method of teaching was empirical, and I was able to apply what I learned to my business.”
DePaul has a very strong network in Chicago. Pursuing an MBA is not just taking classes, but also building relationships and networking with your fellow students. – Sebastian Cualoping
Beyond the knowledge and skills he learned in the classroom, Cualoping, who serves on the business college’s advisory council, says being part of DePaul’s large alumni community has had a lasting impact on his career and life.
“DePaul has very strong networking in Chicago, especially in the business and finance sectors,” he says. “Pursuing an MBA is not just taking classes, but also building relationships and networking with your fellow students.”
By Robin Florzak
Read about DePaul MBA graduates from other decades:
- The 1950s: From GI to MBA
- The 1960s: Scholars of Change
- The 1970s: MBA-Powered Leaders
- The 1980s: Chicago-Educated, World Ready
- The 1990s: Cultivating People and Profits
- The 2000s: Leaders Who Pay It Forward
- The 2010s: The Career-Changing MBA
More memories from a 1980’s DePaul MBA graduate:
“On my way to night classes, I would stop at the McDonalds on State Street between Adams and Jackson. One night,(civil rights leader) Jessie Jackson, in the midst of his unsuccessful presidential run, stopped in for a burger and, seeing my books and note pads, came by my table and chatted for a while. I just don’t think you get experiences like that outside a school that is not in the heart of the Chicago Loop.
Happy 70th anniversary, DePaul University MBA Program. Thank you so much for all you did for me, and here’s wishing you many, many more great years.”
— Bob Matia (MBA ’88)
President, Bob Matia Agency