When Spenser Ouellette was 18 years old, he set out just for an Associate’s degree.
“But somehow along the way, I kept pushing myself to learn more and gain more experience to set myself up better for success,” said Spenser, who ended up earning a Master’s
in Business Administration from Thomas. “Even though I no longer take college courses, I’m still learning new things every day and attend conferences around the country yearly to help keep up with changing markets and new technology in the hospitality industry.”
Now Spenser owns three companies: Burger Boy, North Country Investments, LLC, and Pizza Degree. Pizza Degree is his newest investment, which he founded in the fall of 2014.
From Van Buren, Maine, Spenser began working at age 13 and always had two or three jobs while in high school and college. He worked as a cook in a quick-service restaurant starting when he was 16 years old.
Spenser’s parents did not go to college, and they were very proud when both of their children graduated. Spenser said it was a special accomplishment to complete an MBA by taking night classes while working as an auditor for the State of Maine.
Spenser said Thomas prepared him for his career by making him a well-rounded business person.
“The courses I took at Thomas prepared me for the many different hats I wear operating my businesses,” he said. “And going to a small college allowed me to have that one-to-one interaction with my professors and peers to learn about their experiences with both successes and failures.”
Spenser seems to have been destined for a business career.
“I always knew I wanted to own a business; Thomas just helped me find that motivation and desire to continue working towards my goals,” he said. “Classes and projects were tailored to what I wanted to do. This gave me the chance to fine tune my business plans.”
Spenser said the advice his professors provided was incredibly valuable.
“My plan when I retire is to help teach college courses so I can help business students learn through my successes and failures – so they can make the right choices – and hopefully help them reach their own business and career goals.”
*This was originally published in the Fall 2017 Thomas Magazine.