Chris Sinclair MBA ’06 caught the entrepreneurial bug at an early age when he began selling chocolate to classmates in elementary school. In high school, he organized miscellaneous events where he could promote his chocolate. Eventually, he founded a small event marketing company, hiring friends to hand out samples. His casual sales and entrepreneurial experimentation laid the foundation for what would eventually become his own company, the Anthem Group. Here he shares his thoughts about how his education helped lead him to his dream job.
Mendoza College of Business: Why did you choose Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business for your graduate degree?
Chris Sinclair: Aside from the fact that I had Notre Dame sheets in my crib and a lifelong desire to be a part of the Notre Dame family, the practical value of the education, focus on ethics and well roundedness of both the Mendoza school and the University as a whole led me to ND. We all know it is a special place but I also knew it would prepare me for the next stages of my career better than anywhere else.
MCOB: How have you utilized your graduate degree in your career?
CS: Running my own ventures creates the need to utilize the degree differently. There is no upcoming promotion or next position in the organization. I’m fortunate to have strengthened my weaker areas by focusing on the right coursework, improved my global understanding of business beyond my industries and enhanced my network by meeting scores of very genuine, engaged and helpful alumni. I have, and hopefully will continue to, do a lot of exciting ventures with other alumni.
MCOB: What is the Anthem Group?
CS: The Anthem Group is a collection of internationally recognized entities in the live entertainment, event production, hospitality and experiential marketing industries. The Anthem Group is the parent organization of all Anthem-related properties. Among the marquee companies are, Anthem Production, Anthem Strategy, Anthem Innovation and Anthem International Music Festival.
Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, Anthem started as Anthem Entertainment, a specialized events firm, that soon grew to encompass business-to-business as well as public-facing programs. Today, The Anthem Group has expanded exponentially from its humble beginnings as a boutique Boston-based events agency to a multi-industry enterprise. This breadth of unique experience has propelled Anthem into activity in over 70 markets across five continents.
MCOB: How do you stay connected to ND as an alum?
CS: I actively support my local club both individually and by leveraging my company resources, worked with the local ND business council, currently sit on the alumni board. More importantly, I always – literally always – take time to at least meet with, mentor and work with both incoming and current undergraduate and graduate students. Some of my best interns and young hires have been from Notre Dame as well.
MCOB: Is there a professor who had a significant impact on your time at ND?
CS: Literally all of them. I also met professors and staff outside of Mendoza that were engaged in cross discipline work that was so interesting (engineering and business, etc). However, I want to specifically acknowledge Joe Holt. I had the good fortune to have three classes with Joe, all of which were among my all-time favorite courses. He helped shape my way of leadership and problem solving.
MCOB: What is your favorite memory from your time in your graduate business program?
CS: There are far too many to call out any singular memory. I did my best to be engaged and meet as may people on campus as possible. That led to a wonderful and complete Notre Dame experience. The overall experience of being a student on campus, and having the ability to work with so many like minded people will forever be unforgettable.