College of Business Alumnus Journeys to New York City and Beyond

When deciding where to head to college after high school graduation, many students look for places close to home. This wasn’t the case for College of Business alumnus Carlvin Dorvilier, living at that time in North Carolina. To decide where he wanted to go to college, Dorvilier put all the states in a hat and pulled one out: Michigan. Then he went to Google and typed in “Michigan,” “advertising,” and “cross country.” Ferris State University was the top result.

2013 Advertising & Integrated Marketing Communication alumnus and College of Business Distinguished Honoree, Carlvin Dorvilier, now lives in New York City (NYC) and works as an account manager for Tumblr, the leading global content platform for the highly coveted millennials. His journey reflects his willingness to take risks; as he said in a 2013 profile at graduation, “To be limited has been one of my greatest fears.”

Dorvilier received a number honors and awards during his student years at Ferris: He was a 2012 American Association of Advertising Agencies MAIP finalist, received the Ferris Cross Country Dean’s Academic Award, placed fourth in the 2012 Men’s Health Urbanathlon in Chicago, a member of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference All-Academic Team, Student Government board member, Ferris track and field athlete, and a resident advisor.

And yet, Dorvilier’s first job opportunity in NYC fell through. He had already purchased a one-way ticket, though, and in his mind there was no going back. For the first few months, Dorvilier lived in one of the seediest areas of Brooklyn, sending out conventional job-applicant emails.

Getting no response to several dozen emails, Dorvilier had a realization: He knew his career would be more fruitful if he looked to match his advertising and marketing skills with his passion for health and fitness.

This flipped a switch in Dorvilier’s mind and realized he was going about this the wrong way. It was now clear to him that his career would be more meaningful if he sought to match his skills with his passion for health and fitness, which he had expressed at graduation this way:

“I do not jog. I run. I run to test my body’s limits and seek to break those limits. With every location, my run becomes more intriguing, not difficult. Running is… a chance to be extraordinary–to have a connection with people around the world who are willing to go through the same pain to improve their own lives.”

The October after graduation, Dorvilier landed two positions: as a weekend Nike sales associate; and at Rodale, Inc., as a full-time publisher’s assistant for Runner’s World and Bicycling magazines. He supported the leadership teams of both publications executing marketing and sales efforts including creating print insertion orders, mailing distributions, on-site event activation support, billing, and client management.

By working with both Rodale and Nike, and his sustained passion for running, Dorvilier both found and created unique experiences. He participated in the Runner’s World/Belvita 200-mile Hood to Coast Relay and was featured on the well-known blog, Humans of New York

After 11 months at Rodale, Dorvilier expressed an interest to transition into a role within event activation, but his manager had other ideas. His manager complimented him for having a unique skill of dissecting difficult tasks, being great with numbers, and having strong interpersonal skills. With that mix of skills, Dorvilier was promoted to Corporate Digital Sales Planner. In this role he created strategic digital media proposals consisting of display, mobile, and video components for all of Rodale’s digital brands’ properties; he also functioned as the Runner’s World digital expert.

It was a great fit for Dorvilier, and his work earned him recognition within the company (Digital Sales Planner of the Year, Runner’s World Best Collaboration Award, and a industry-wide Thought Leadership interview with Thalamus) and outside the company (speaker at Harvard Business School HBX ConneXt). He continued his education through the Harvard Business School’s HBX CORe (Credential of Readiness) program. He continued his pursuit of health and fitness as a participant in Men’s Health magazine’s 21-day Metashred Workout. And he continued to give to others as a 4A’s Multicultural Advertising Internship Program Mentor.

All of those pieces came together as preparation for Dorvilier’s current position as an account manager at Tumblr. At Tumblr, which encourages employees to provide clients the best service possible, Dorvilier manages post-sales efforts. There aren’t limits to opportunities for employees at Tumblr/Yahoo. Employees are encouraged to create their own opportunities, building on each other’s ideas. Dorvilier is surrounded by successful entrepreneurs and Ivy League graduates who are consistently challenging the status quo.

“When you surround yourself with inspiring individuals, it forces you to do things you’re not ready to do in order to be successful,” said Dorvilier. “They are pushing me beyond my limits.”

The Tumblr company’s culture, which supports individuals’ drive and encourages them to achieve more, led to Dorvilier’s participation at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games as a Field of Play Track and Field Volunteer. Dorvilier was able to interact with athletes like Usain Bolt and Allyson Felix, assisting their preparation for events. He was invited to share his thoughts on the opening and closing of the Olympic Games as a special guest on BBC in live interviews.

And working at Tumblr has plenty of perks. Employees have free food, unlimited snacks, monthly massages, manicures, and haircuts, and a beautiful rooftop where they can soak in the sun or host client parties. These extras, on top of being surrounded by inspiring people, make Tumblr an amazing place for Dorvilier to work.

Dorvilier remains proud to call himself a Ferris alumnus. He notes that a number of classes, especially those that challenged him to demonstrate value or provoke emotion for a brand, have tied directly into his professional work. His classwork prepared him to execute events like the Runner’s World participation at the Disney Marathon in 2014, and then to report on the event so the marketing director could plan improvements.

But “creating personal relations is what prepared me for the real world,” said Dorvilier. He refers to his involvement with The AdGroup and competing in the National Student Advertising Competition as key to identifying his strengths early on. He recalls collaborating with fellow students Katie Milbourne, Erika Derylo, and Allison Klug for successful responses to challenging assignments.

Dorvilier advises current Ferris students to live a full life. “If you don’t allow yourself to go all the way through your emotions,” he says, “you will never recognize your full potential. Have no regrets and do something that scares you every single day. If you want something, make it happen. Period.” Follow Dorvilier’s journey here.