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DBU: We Got Jobs!

DBU Massage Therapy: Enhanced Program – Enhanced Massage Therapists


Duluth Business University’s massage program is back and better than ever!

Our graduates are important to us, part of the fabric which makes up Duluth Business University.  In a field which is growing and becoming more competitive, we felt DBU needed to be training highly qualified massage therapists.  With that belief in the growing number of opportunities for massage therapist in the region, we enhanced our massage therapy program and deliver a new Medical Massage program.   On June 15th, we had our first graduates from the program!

These graduates did a number of practicums, both on campus and in the field.  As the population ages and has a greater focus on staying fit, massage therapists with better understanding of their craft and have hands on practice will be in greater demand.  One of the more recent events was for runners at the Duluth Running Company.  Here students worked on runners before and after their runs.  Some of the comments by the runners included:

One six mile runner said of their massage “Feels a lot better. Usually I have pain after a run, today after the massage there is NO PAIN!”

“My thighs usually tighten up at about 2 miles. Today they didn’t, it was an awesome run!”

“Normally my calves tighten up, today they didn’t!”

Later in the week, the students attended the Minnesota School Business Administrators Convention, which was held at the Inn on Lake Superior, where they provided massages to the convention participants.  The students work was appreciated by attendees from all over the state of Minnesota.

With the training received and the practicums experienced, DBU massage therapy and medical massage students’ skills and abilities have been well honed.  The most recent graduating class was placed at 100%; and were all placed before they graduated.

Kris Bates, Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant at Healing Hands Holistic Health commented; “with the ever increasing desire for holistic health, mainly driven by the retiring “baby boomers” which, as many economists project will be continuing major increase over the next three decades, it is abundantly clear that there is vast opportunity available due to an ever growing need for massage therapy practitioners nationwide.” Here at DBU our massage therapy practitioners will be at the forefront of this growth with education in the application of holistic, non-invasive approaches in order to both assist and ease the client’s discomfort, thereby aiding in the process of their recovery from incident and injury.

Congratulations to these new graduates and to Ms. Harting for crafting a program which is starting out so successfully!

If you are interested in additional information regarding the Medical Massage program, or any other program at Duluth Business University, please contact us at 218-722-4000

*Special thanks to Kris Bates LPTA from Healing Hands Holistic Health for helping with this blog.

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Just Show Up!


*** Update!!  On the heels of last months Alumni Blog, Elise made her way to the front page of the July 19th Duluth News Tribune.  The story was on St Louis County Homelessness.  The link is above.

Human services is truly a catch all phrase.  Human services can encompass working with chemical dependency, abuse, education; and like DBU alumna Elise Strader does – homelessness.

“There is a need for people in this field.  There are many jobs to be done and roles to be filled;” says Strader, a 2010 graduate of the Human Services program.  While it seems that politicians like to spend money on tangible things like buildings and roads, they do not spend a lot on the people who run the facilities or help the people who make use of them.

A housing specialist at the Salvation Army in Duluth, Elise said that her job only accounts for a percentage of her work day.  She is involved in committees which are doing their best to grow public awareness for many causes.  “I am not a political person, but I think I need to become more involved,” she added.  There are many causes that DBU Human Services students need to get involved with.  “Just show up to a meeting” Elise continued, “there are so many causes, crisis and concerns that need people to help.”  Elise created a homeless database as an intern and as an employee, “It is my baby,” she added.  In addition to the database, she is involved in Duluth’s 10-year program to end homelessness, working on the Homeless Bill of Rights, incentivizing landlords and creating a living facility which has a mental health component.

Elise gives credit to her supervisor at her internship with the 211 program at the United Way for getting her started in the field.  “Rory had me do many things, but one he was firm about; going to meetings.  He sent me to as many meetings as he could.”  Seeing the needs of the Duluth community from so many angles helped form her view on what was important, and what she felt was pressing. “Being exposed to so many services and opinions helped me land my job.  It is something I would recommend to any student.”  Elise made it clear that the human service field needs as many individuals they can get. “Agencies see your passion and work ethic first hand.  If you show engagement and follow through, you are valuable.  Your Human Services training will allow you to grow into the position.” As with many fields, being willing to internalize a company’s motivations, and help them achieve their goals is a good way to get hired.

Looking back on her time at DBU she mentioned the facilitation class as one that has made an impact on her career.  “Being able to get a group moving towards a goal is intimidating.  It is imperative that you are able to verbalize and explain your opinion.”  She added that the class had a number of discussion boards which taught her a great deal about how to express herself in a manner that other professional would understand and respect.  “You can go through the motions while you are in school or you can go push yourself; and the best part is that you get to choose which.”  She added, “I know how to formulate an idea and then present it to a group, something I would not have been able to do without school.  It is surprising how important that is as a professional.”

She has a few suggestions for current students looking to get into the Human Services field:

  1. Pick a population you want to help
  2. Become involved in the field – go to meetings, attend rallies, fairs and advocate
  3. Match your life’s experiences with your passions; volunteer in that field regardless of the job or task assigned

Listening to Elsie talk about the relationships she has built with her clientele and her community, it is easy to see why she chose Human Services as her profession.  Being able to impact herself and others by being ‘socially active’ is a thing she cherishes.  People come and go from her client circle.  “I will always be a resource for my clients.  They come and they go, but they know I will be here for them.”  When she sees one of her clients succeed she will always know “I was a part of that.”

Elise cement


Team Awesome

Jax&DaveIIAs the door opens the door chime croaks…  A unique introduction to a unique business – Big Frog Custom T-Shirts. David Erickson and Jackson Gatlin, a pair of DBU Graphic Design alumni are key components to this new franchise in Duluth, where imagination, creativity, and customer service prevail.
Surrounded by bamboo, computers, blank t-shirts, one very large printer, and a lot of imagination, David and Jackson provide individualized and quick design services.  David went to Duluth Business University because he wanted a job where he could be creative and use his imagination.  He said,”…and here I am designing every day for every customer.” While David was telling his story, a return customer came through the door with a friend.  After the door chime finished croaking, the customer was overheard saying “All you need to do is come in with an idea, they will get it done for you.”  With that, the customer had a question and David, utilizing the training he received while at DBU, started explaining color theory and why some colors show up better on natural colors shirts and others on dark colors.  Jackson added, “…at DBU we learned web and print.  This job has allowed me to be creative in a total different way – clothing.”

The designs which David and Jackson put on shirts and other paraphernalia come from many sources.  “People come in with an idea, perhaps it was something they saw on TV, in a store, or on line and we help them put it on a shirt!”  He added that the social media site, Pintrest, was a significant generator of ideas for their clientele.  “One of the benefits of working with a team which encourages creativity is that we help people, but we also get to work on our own thing as well and can create my own ideas which then inspire potential customers.  When customers see what we can do they can get imaginative as well.” said David.

When Big Frog owner, Pat Casey, was asked about David and Jackson, he laughed and said “Our customers love working with the guys.  You can see that a light goes on behind their eyes – their creativity is infectious; David and Jackson teach us something new every day.”  As the Assistant Manager at Big Frog, David has been able to use his education and work history in his new endeavor.  With his background in printing and project management, his ability to work with customers and his understanding of the the daily business numbers are instrumental in the growth of Big Frog.

Jackson had been working as a designer at the Duluth News Tribune.  He notes that while the job at the paper was fun, ”I missed working directly with customers. It was different when my clients were sales people.”  He added that being able to see the excitement in a specific customer’s eyes when their idea is being used is cool.  ”My initial customer contact often starts with, ‘I wish…’ Big Frog allows me to do something to make that wish come true!”
The Big Frog slogan is “Where fun is always celebrated.”  DBU graduates David Erickson and Jackson Gatlin have bought into the Big Frog culture.  They do their best to make sure that their customers are feeling creative, having fun and are satisfied.  Having free reign to be creative, helping customers see their own thoughts and visions actually created in front of them, and then seeing their reaction to it when it is done is the motivation for Jackson and David.   The Graphic Design program and the support they received at DBU allowed them to learn the programs, creative mind set, and upbeat attitude which has been at the forefront of their success at Big Frog.

You can take your creative ideas to David and Jackson at the Big Frog storefront in the Burning Tree Plaza in Duluth, or at They can also be reached at 218-491-6400.

Jackson&DaveTeam Awesome