Alumnus Combines Passion for Art with a Business Education

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How Northwood University's Emphasis on Creativity Nurtured a Future Business.
Joseph Soto, BBA 2002, MBA 2004

Joseph Soto, BBA 2002, MBA 2004

April 25, 2013

CEDAR HILL, Texas – In business school, students are typically taught how to write a business plan, create a balance sheet, and evaluate target markets. Another important skill for future business leaders to cultivate is creativity. The combination of these valuable qualities provides students with the tools they need to see their unique idea or vision brought to life.

Northwood University strives to ensure this balance between business smarts and creativity by providing classes such as Creativity, Introduction to Music, and various English Courses. The Texas campus has also provided organizations to further develop these skills outside the classroom, including the Northwood Players (theater), the Photography Club, Voices of Northwood (choir), and other opportunities that provide an outlet for musical, comedic, and theatrical expression.

Joseph Soto, a graduate of Northwood’s BBA and DeVos MBA program, was a student who was particularly appreciative of this creative nurturing. After being recruited to Northwood Texas to play for the men’s soccer team, Joseph found himself sidetracked once the soccer season slowed down in the spring semester. After being caught drawing and doodling in class by his professor, he was encouraged to find an outlet for his creative side. He went on to design sets for Sanity Inn, a student variety show, and contributed articles to the “Crusader,” a student magazine, amongst other activities.

With the encouragement of his professors, fellow students, and passion for the “Northwood Idea,” sparked by the University’s publication of “When We Are Free,” Joseph continued his education with Northwood at the DeVos Graduate School of Management in Michigan. Joseph’s future wife, a Northwood Texas alumna, joined him at DeVos in Michigan and they returned to Texas to further develop their careers. He went on to work as a project manager and marketing consultant for several years. When his former company downsized and he was laid off, Joseph decided to go against his nature and take the entrepreneurial path to start his own business: Trinity Coaster Co. and his artistic branch, Pulp Soup.

As a hobby, Joseph enjoyed painting. He eventually became curious as to how the canvases he painted on were made, and decided to make his own painting platform. After several tests for the perfect formula, he developed a mix that created a canvas with a unique texture that added depth and character to a paintings backdrop. Made completely from shredded paper, the material is eco-friendly and sustainable, a quality that is attractive and sought after in today’s society.

“Timing is everything,” shared Joseph. “I was working on this endeavor for a while on the side, purely for the joy of it. However, pieces of the puzzle started to fall together and I knew it was the right time to take my project to the next level. My advice to any entrepreneur would be to take your time and really plan for growth.”

With high hopes of one day having an art gallery full of his work, Joseph also aspires to provide fellow artists with a unique and eco-friendly platform for creation. This is a great example of how a business education can help bring passion and dreams to reality.