In 2007, a BYU-Idaho student wanted to learn internet marketing.
There was one class available to him—a course that offered one credit, lasted one month, and focused on how to use Google ads.
The student, Stuart Draper, didn’t let a lack of coursework deter him from his goal. He bought books, attended seminars, and learned the skills he needed by way of independent study—and he did that while continuing to pursue and complete a bachelor’s degree in traditional marketing.
After graduation, Stu put his education to work by helping his brother-in-law achieve record-breaking profits at a new dental practice in Oregon. Stu then used that experience to help other dentists, then he helped lawyers, then corporations, and before long, Stu’s new company—Get Found First—gained status as both a Google Partner and a BingAds Accredited Professional Company. And because experienced internet marketers were scarce, Stu hired and trained his own staff. Many BYU students got their start in business from Stu’s internship program. Get Found First quickly became the most sought-after SEO and Internet Marketing agency in the region.
Having watched Stu prove his marketing abilities, Professor Kent Lundin asked him to come back to campus to teach. At first, Stu — now an adjunct professor of internet marketing — was surprised to find his alma mater was still teaching a lot of the same material that had been taught while he was a student. The fast-paced internet marketing space had changed a lot during that period of time.
He called other colleges to see which texts and study materials they were using but soon found himself quite dumbfounded. Compared to other universities (in all areas of the USA), BYU was actually a pioneer and a leader. Even today, many colleges do not offer internet marketing at all! As Stu spoke with Kent Lundin about the situation, the idea that later blossomed into Stukent first took hold. Internet marketing textbooks consisted primarily of links to blog posts. The books were poorly written, and the material tended to address those who were already working as internet marketers. Stu saw that none of the available curricula really spoke to the needs of students OR to the needs of professors.
With his newly-found awareness, a successful background in helping companies succeed online, considerable experience helping interns learn the business, and his trademark “git ‘er done” approach, Stu first convinced Jeff Larson to be his co-author, then a select group of investors, to join him in developing an academic platform whereby college professors everywhere would have access to a reasonably-priced, highly-effective, web-based internet marketing course. The goal was to design a program that both students and teachers would love … a turn-key approach that would make sense, produce stellar results, and be able to grow along with the needs of the professor and the department. After all, if you’re going to keep up with the ever-changing needs and best practices of internet marketing, you must be flexible.
The Story Continues as the Company Expands…
Since inception in 2013, Stukent has grown in products by the dozens, students by the hundreds of thousands, instructors by the thousands, and employees by the dozens. Stu is known for saying, “What Under Armour was to Nike and Adidas, Stukent is to Pearson and McGraw-Hill.”
Just like Under Armour no longer just sells a spandex t-shirt, Stukent no longer just sells a digital marketing textbook and simulation. Our simulation platform, Mimic, and our eTextbook reader, Edify, allow Stukent to continously add and update courseware that instructors use for a wide variety of business subjects.