Southeast Missouri State University

Ryan Murphy


Ryan Murphy may have graduated from Southeast Missouri State University in the spring of 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, but his ties to the campus community still are strong.

His first job, post-graduation, was introduced to him by Dr. Jack Sterrett, who served as the chair of the Department of Management and Marketing while Ryan attended the Donald L. Harrison College of Business.  The job was in domestic transportation and placed Ryan in the Chicago market where he connected with his current organization.

As the managing director of Vanguard Global Logistics UK, Ryan still counts on his former professor.

In September of 2005, he was asked to put together a business and financial review for the leading UK Consolidator, Box Consolidators.  He contacted Dr. Sterrett once he had a rough draft and asked him to review it. 

“I needed to put together a business plan and it had been five years since I took Dr. Sterrett’s entrepreneur course,” Ryan said.  Dr. Sterrett looked over Ryan’s plans, and gave it the thumbs up.

Once the chairman of the parent company, OTS Logistics, approved the purchase of Box Consolidators, Ryan sent an invitation to Dr. Sterrett to come to England as a consultant on a faculty internship. Dr. Sterrett arrived in December.  He met with the management, reviewed the existing Vanguard operation and observed the Box Consolidators organization. During the week Ryan and Dr. Sterrett traveled to both the London and Manchester offices meeting with the acquisition committee members.

As a result, they put together an action plan, completed a SWOTᾰstrengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threatsᾰanalysis and received recommendations on departments, staff, advertising and branding.

Ryan said the plan they put together is working well, and the company has invited Dr. Sterrett back to follow up and make additional recommendations.

Of course, it hasn’t been all work for Ryan since he left Southeast. Having a job in international transportation has given him an opportunity to visit a number of countries and experience their respective cultures. 

“It is hard to choose a favorite," Ryan said.  "I enjoyed our several trips to the West Coast of Ireland and the Highlands in Scotland.  And Egypt and Israel were both interesting countries to visit as well.  Living in London has provided my wife and me with great vacation travel opportunities.”

All these opportunities started back at Southeast. 

“I completed two valuable marketing internships,” Ryan said.  “One was with Marion Pepsi and the other with Anderson Broadcasting.”

While interning at Pepsi, Ryan did everything including merchandising, driving a route truck and managing a sales territory.  With Anderson Broadcasting – KWKZ 106.1 FM - he sold radio advertising, wrote and often times produced his own spots.

Ryan even started his own hour-long show called Health Watch, which aired every Wednesday.  Guests from the medical community took calls and questions from listeners.  The show was sponsored by businesses associated with the medical field.

“This was a good internship, I was treated well,” Ryan said.

Ryan was also active in Theta Xi Fraternity. 

“As an active member, I took on projects or jobs in the form of heading up a committee or a chair position,” Ryan said.  From the fraternity, Ryan said he learned time management, organizational and communication skills, and the grade requirements provided motivation to meet the required GPA and complete the appropriate number of credit hours each semester.

“I would not have made it through accounting or financial management without the help of the fraternity treasurer at the time,” Ryan said.  “The active members were supportive as a part of a study group or team projects.  It was common to get assistance from members who were more accomplished in their respective majors.”

Ryan wants current Southeast students to get involved as well.  Whether it’s in social and academic fraternities or sororities, joining clubs associated with areas of study or participating in internships, he has seen the value of being involved and knowing one’s professors firsthand.