Michael Wearne ‘20, a communications major with a minor in business marketing, was active on and off the basketball court in College. Not only was he a part of the 2017-18 team that made it to the NCAA tournament, but while at Saint Rose Wearne was president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and a part of the College’s Black Student Union. A transfer student and international student from Australia, Wearne understood that the college experience is what you make it. Today, he is an entrepreneur and CEO of his talent management agency Fuzballer Group in Melbourne, Australia.
We recently caught up with Wearne to ask about his Saint Rose experience and future plans. Here is what he had to say:
What did you like best about your program?
Each and every professor and class pushed me to succeed at another level than I expected of myself. The program was very inclusive and never felt repetitive. It allowed me to grow as a person while developing the necessary skills for my professional career.
What is your favorite memory of Saint Rose?
Going to the NCAA tournament in my sophomore year — that is a memory I will never forget. All the early mornings, late nights, and midday workouts, day in and day out, paid off in the end with that successful season. We were an extremely close unit on the court and this is the main reason why our team connected so well on the court.
What have you learned through the pandemic?
That you have to be prepared physically, mentally, and financially for anything. I learned how to bring in sources of income without physically working, and learned how to be versatile to any scenario.
Which was the best class you took at Saint Rose, and why?
Sales management, in my opinion, was the best class because it forced me to create sales pitches and present them to the class, strategize a business plan, and be put in a real-life situation where you have to go to another business with an idea and convince them why they should collaborate with your organization or agree with your business model. This may not have been a communications class, but it involved many bits and pieces I had learned throughout my communications degree.
What led you to Melbourne, Australia?
I was originally born here in Australia and moved over to the States for college, initially at eastern Washington, and then after two years, I moved on to Saint Rose. My family, friends, and best opportunities for myself all sit right here in Melbourne. The foundation for my company had to be built in Australia, and it has allowed me to push back into the United States market.
How do you apply the skills and knowledge you gained as a communications major to your current career?
I have to prepare social media kits, pitch emails, and pitch phone/Zoom calls. I have to use Adobe Premiere Pro a lot, which is a huge tool for my work. I am in constant communication with new businesses, new athletes, agents, and clubs and I have to be able to articulate my words in person and via email in a professional and concise manner.
What did Saint Rose teach you?
It taught me to be resilient and to always stay the course with my progression as a person. Saint Rose allowed me to grow by putting a lot of tasks on my plate at once and forcing me to find a way to get everything done at a high standard and not let anyone down at the same time. As we grow up and take on more and more responsibilities we tend to find ourselves stressing over things that we really shouldn’t be.
Who was your favorite professor, and why?
Mark Michalisin was someone who stood by me not only as a professor, but as a friend and family member away from home. He taught me valuable life lessons and led me in the right direction for my career, boosting me to where I am now. Without his help, guidance, and friendship, I wouldn’t have taken as many leaps and bounds as I have now.
Advice for incoming students:
Do as much as you can. If you come in and only do the bare minimum to get by and pass your classes, you won’t gain anywhere near as much experience as you would if you had applied yourself and tried to fill up your schedule with different clubs, groups, and activities. Try things you otherwise may not have tried. Make the most of all the opportunities around you because, once college is over, that’s it. It’s the real world and you have to be ready to go as soon as you graduate.
Look for more stories about our Class of 2021 and 2020 graduates in the upcoming Saint Rose magazine.
By Caroline Murray