Chris Jones '96, '08
BA Literature and Communications
MBA Managerial Marketing (Lubin School of Business)
Chris Jones ’96 has a confession to make. When he first arrived at Pace, he was “hell bent” on pursuing a career in television news or sportscasting. He wanted to become an on-air talent.
When he enrolled in his public relations class, however, his professor, Donald Ryan, made this Literature and Communications major realize that he was as passionate about curating content as he was about being the focus of it.
It was 1992, and, although Jones didn’t know it then, the trajectory for a successful career was set in motion. He enrolled in several more of Ryan’s classes, served as an editor for Pace’s student newspaper, and became “hooked” on the new direction.
Today, Jones is vice president of communications for FanDuel Group, the leading mobile sports gambling company in the industry. Over the course of his twenty-plus year career, he has moved from a corporate publicist, to an investor relations and mergers and acquisitions communications executive, to chief marketing officer of the largest independent advertising technology company in the world.
“The patchwork quilt of marketing approaches in today’s fragmented media world requires a level of experience and empathy that ensure your tone and associations are understood to be innovative, but also inclusive and responsible to the world we live in,” he said.
A Yonkers and Bronx-bred New Yorker, the professionalism Jones embodies was shaped by tests very early on in his career.
In 1998, he was a junior corporate communications manager when his company was thrust into the largest criminal accounting restatement in modern US business history. Jones was guided through the enormous task of an SEC investigation and subsequent steps to restore the company to fully audited financials, a two-year process that was both a personal and professional learning experience.
It was during this difficult time that he returned to Pace, enrolling in the MBA program in the Lubin School of Business with a focus on managerial marketing.
“I wanted a practical MBA, not a theoretical one,” Jones said. “I was working already and needed that real-world acumen, and Pace was the choice.” As far as enrolling anywhere else–well, all bets were off.
He knew he could rely on his alma mater to create the opportunities that would allow him to go further.
In the increasingly complex and challenging climate of today’s workplace, Jones advises students to not skip the steps necessary for success, but instead, to be patient, receive advice from trusted sources, and embrace hard work.
“While an Ivy education is wonderful, I identify with that [go-getter] Pace grind,” Jones said. “It still empowers me today.”