Faculty Spotlight: Sonny Smith
Program: Business / Management /
Sonny Smith's experience in the private sector is impressive. He spent more than 31 years with Bell Labs/Lucent Technologies, AT&T and Western Electric in a variety of positions, ranging from manufacturing to product development to senior product manager.
He also spent three years as president and CEO of Learning Media Consultants, Inc., his own company, which provided customized training for corporations.
Now he's drawing on this extensive real-world background while teaching Business classes at College of DuPage.
"I wanted to do something with my MBA in marketing, so I applied for a teaching position at COD," explained Smith, who started as an adjunct faculty member in the 1980s. "Timing was everything, as I was hired two weeks before class started. I really enjoyed teaching part-time and would always tell people that I'm doing it not because of the money, but because I love teaching."
Eventually that part-time job turned into a full-time teaching career.
"I enjoy sharing my experiences with my students," he said. "I apply the practical knowledge with the academic theories. The students enjoy seeing how it applies and how it can impact their situation. I'm inspired by the students, especially the adult learners. They are there to learn and to seek knowledge."
Smith also likes how Tom Peters, a well-known writer on business practices, shares his knowledge.
"I've read several Tom Peters' books, and his practical application impacts me, such as 'It all boils down to people,' " Smith said. "It's how you interact with people and treat them."
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