Alex Boothe ’16 has been a major influence on campus.

Alex Boothe ’16 has been a major influence on campus.

Alex Boothe ’16, president of the marketing club, had one goal at the recent activities fair held in the lower level of the Barone Campus Center: to be the loudest and most enthusiastic club at the event.

“We want more freshmen to join the club,” Boothe said. “The earlier they join, the stronger our club is and the more cool things we can do!”

Boothe, a now-familiar face at the Dolan School of Business, has established himself as a leader, mentor and resource for younger business students through the Marketing Club and as a long-time mentor to the School’s signature competition, “StagUp” Business Plan Competition, recently renamed Fairfield StartUp.

Looking back, choosing to attend Fairfield was an easy decision for Boothe. “When I was doing the college tour circuit, I really liked Fairfield,” he said. “The location was great, the size was just right, and the Dolan School had excellent recommendations and rankings.

Boothe didn’t waste any time getting involved. When he was only a freshman, he signed up for Fairfield StartUp, the University-wide competition where students spend the academic year developing a business plan for a product or service in an attempt to win monetary prizes to develop and launch their business. It sounded like a fun challenge to Boothe.

Shark Tank is my favorite show so I thought, ‘why not try this?’” Boothe said.

Along with a team member from the School of Engineering, he developed a reversible heating and cooling hat, powered by an external micro-battery pack, for children with cancer — an idea that particularly resonated for him, as he is a cancer survivor, too. “When you’re in treatment, your body temperature can really fluctuate,” said Boothe. “These hats are personal heating and cooling systems that can keep you warm or cool — whatever you want.”

The idea resonated with the judges as well and Boothe won in the social enterprise track and received funds to formally launch his product. Like many entrepreneurial endeavors, though, it never made it to market. “Ultimately it was harder than I thought, but I learned more from being out there and doing it, as well as kind of failing, than if I just wrote about it on a piece of paper,” Boothe said. “If anything, I think my ideas are even better now.”

Dr. Donald Gibson, dean of the Dolan School of Business, said, “Alex is a terrific exemplar for the wisdom of trying out new things. He entered our business plan competition with a wacky idea for a hat for cancer patients, and managed to win! I was impressed by his courage. We can all learn from his enthusiasm and positive attitude, no matter what he takes on.”

Professor John Neal, the faculty advisor of the Marketing Club, said, “Alex has demonstrated terrific leadership. He’s highly motivated and one of our very best presidents of a very large and thriving club. Under his leadership and along with the officers of the club, it has grown to over 250 members. I can’t speak highly enough about him.”

Boothe has also taken part in internships and also found a way to share what he learned with the Dolan School community. Boothe was an intern at SmartFish, a branding and creative agency, led by CEO Christian McMahan, who is also a Dolan School Advisory Board member.

The internship turned into a part-time position as a videographer. “Working at SmartFish has been great,” said Boothe. “And I’m excited to try my hand at creating some cool advertising footage.”

Professor Neal said, “Alex invited Christian McMahan to campus as a guest speaker of the Marketing Club, giving other students the opportunity to learn from an expert. And now those students are reaching out with their resumes for an internship, too. Alex works with people extremely well and just naturally inspires and motivates others.”

With his final semester at Fairfield just beginning, Boothe’s experiences have come together to form a solid portfolio, though Boothe said it wasn’t initially intentional. “I was basically throwing darts at what I thought seemed cool,” he said on the courses he took and the creative projects he’s tackled. “I just did them for fun, but if I can take it somewhere professionally, that would be awesome. We’re in our senior year at Fairfield now — it’s our last hurrah — so we’re all getting to the point where we should take our knowledge and apply it somewhere.”

Even though he’s on the cusp of graduating, he maintains that his top priority is to ensure that younger students are ready to take the reins for the Marketing Club. “We’ve won the ‘Best Club’ award two out of the last four years and we’re hoping to win again this year,” he said. “Everyone in it has been part of that success, I can’t take all the credit. But it’s great knowing that being the face of the club has been influential to underclassmen. My biggest goal is to make the club self-sustaining and inspire people to get involved if they’re even a little bit curious about marketing.”