UIndy alumni move on to great things once they graduate, and Chad Peterman ‘14 (MBA) is no exception to this rule. The University of Indianapolis was Peterman’s choice for many reasons, but one that stuck out to him was that his brother was already a Greyhound. Family is important to Peterman, which is shown by his dedication to his family business, and he wanted a school that would feel like home.
“My plan was to join my family business,” Peterman said. “And since my brother was already at UIndy, I was like, ‘Okay, that sounds like the place for me, too.’” Since graduating with his Master’s in Business Administration, Peterman has become CEO of his family’s business, Peterman Brothers. The ubiquitous Indianapolis HVAC company can be seen all around the Circle City, and Peterman works on leading the vision and continuing to grow the organization.
“I took what I learned from the UIndy classrooms and applied it immediately,” Peterman said. “I was able to look at problems differently because of what I learned.” Peterman noted that his MBA training gave him a well-rounded perspective on the world, saying that the lessons of business can be applied to any setting, and that a business degree opens doors to many different opportunities.
Peterman would tell students interested in studying business that being open to learning and being resilient are key. “If you started a business and it failed and you had to close it down, rather than viewing that as a negative, there’s a lot of learning that can be done.” We all make mistakes, but those mistakes often lead to something better, or at least a way for us to know what would work better the next time.
When managing a team, Peterman’s approach is to focus on his employees. “If you grow your people, you can grow your business.” Leadership is one of the most important aspects of learning business, and to Peterman, it’s all about balance. “You have to pay attention, but you also don’t want to micromanage. Remember that there’s a reason you chose these people for your team, and know that you can rely on them.”
Peterman was on campus recently to share more of his background and advice with UIndy’s business students. Eric Harvey, Assistant Professor of Practice, said, “Peterman shared many relevant tips about growing a successful business. He recommended a book that helped his team understand how to hire the right employees. He also shared some very personal ways he manages his mental and physical health.”
Kevin McNelis, MBA student and employee at F. A. Wilhelm said, “I liked Peterman’s comments on surrounding yourself with experts in certain fields and trusting your employees to do their job to allow the company to grow.”