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Doug Shabelman '92

Doug Shabelman is president of Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing, an entertainment marketing agency that specializes in celebrity and influencer partnerships. Based in Chicago and New York, Burns has offices around the world.  Shabelman heads its advertising division and is liaison to its brand and agency partners. He considers helping his team grow into the best people in the industry to be his greatest achievement. We asked Shabelman to reflect on what his Syracuse experience meant to him.

Why did you choose to attend Syracuse University?

After spending two years at the University of Illinois, I made the decision that communications management, and the programs offered at Newhouse, interested me most.

How has your Newhouse degree informed your work at Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing? What is your favorite part of the job?

At Newhouse, I worked with experienced professionals—many at the top of their fields—who had transitioned to teaching. This led to a stronger understanding of how writing and shaping your message matters in every aspect of business. I gain the most satisfaction from fully informing my clients of the rationale for my strategic consultation and working WITH them, rather than simply presenting an idea and letting them figure it out on their own.

How did you decide to start hiring interns from SU? Why is it important to you to give back in this way?

I knew what an impact being an intern had on me, so it was a natural fit to reach out to SU.  As the best of the best in communications, Syracuse students would be who we would want. Our internships offer students a wide variety of opportunities with different clientele in all fields and subjects. This is something every SU student can gain valuable knowledge from at Burns.

What inspires you to give to the Newhouse Dean’s Fund every year?

I started giving to the Dean’s Fund due to my true belief in Newhouse’s former dean, David Rubin. He had such a passion and enthusiasm that I wanted to assure future deans had the ability to help shape the school somewhat to their vision. 

When you look back on your life, what has your SU experience meant to you? Is there a memory from your time on campus that stands out as particularly transformative?

My SU experience was incredibly formative in that it helped me advance in my career. It afforded me the opportunity to work with the brightest teachers and students from across the globe. Collaborating with others who had the same interest in being leaders in the communications field was something I will always cherish. Being around like-minded Newhouse students for those years really was transformative in shaping my career—and my company as well!

Oh yeah, going to see Bob Costas speak, eating at the Varsity and Cosmo’s, and going to the Dome weren’t bad either!