Lantern file photo
On the west side of University Hall, right off the Oval, the Boss Doggs hot dog stand has been a staple for years for students craving warm, made-to-order grub.
But for Ohio State alumnus and former Boss Doggs employee Mike Rudd, working there didn’t just teach him how to grill bratwurst – it paved the way for a successful sales career.
“It taught me to work only jobs you love and never settle for anything else,” Rudd said. “I’ve been in sales since I’ve graduated from college, and (working at Boss Doggs) taught me everything I needed to know.”
Working at Boss Doggs was such a valuable experience for Rudd that he decided to write a book about it. “Hot Dogs, A Little Marketing, and A Lot of Fun” was published Sept. 17 and chronicles Rudd’s journey into sales.
“The main theme of the book is that I believe every one of us has a hot dog stand inside of us,” Rudd said. “It’s literal for me but a metaphor for everyone else. Everyone has a stand and once you find it, passion and motivation come out of yourself and you’ll do things you never thought you’d be able to achieve.”
Rudd worked at Boss Doggs, which is ran by University Residences and Dining Services and open permitting weather conditions, for three years, from the fall of his second year until the spring of his fourth year, including summers. He graduated from the Fisher College of Business in June 2005 with degrees in marketing and logistics.
Rudd said working at the stand was not always glamorous but definitely worthwhile because of the work experience he gained.
“Other than pushing that cart through 12 inches of snow on a Tuesday in February, it was never discouraging,” Rudd said. “It was a blast, actually. It was the best work experience I’d ever had and it paved the way for everything in the rest of my life.”
After graduating from OSU, Rudd ventured into the world of radio marketing, working at CD102.5 and QFM96, before moving on to 97.1 The Fan, where he is a sports marketing specialist.
Randy Malloy, who worked with Rudd at CD102.5, where Malloy is the general manager, said of Rudd, “He’s a really smart guy and he’s someone who doesn’t just wait for things to happen.”
He added, “I think it’s a smart book and very lighthearted.”
Rudd still maintains, however, that working at Boss Doggs was his most valuable work experience because it taught him how to be a more optimistic person.
“This is my success story I want to share about taking the path of positivity and passion,” Rudd said. “I know we see things every day that try to drag us down, but if you are kind no matter what and if you work your butt off, the more you give the more you receive. I’ve found life’s a lot more fun that way.”
Rudd said he has always been an “upbeat and fun person,” and he hopes to instill that positivity in others.
“Over the years I’ve realized you can wake up one of two ways: you can declare it’s a great day and see so many things going on in the world, or you can wake up and dwell on past failures and think about all the problems in the world,” Rudd said. “I guess I just chose the path of positivity.”
But writing the book isn’t the only way Rudd tries to motivate others.
He has also been a mentor and a motivational speaker to others in the media sales sector.
“My next step is to break into the young adult phase,” Rudd said. “That age group is at such a standstill at times at where to go in life.”
One way Rudd has been reaching that goal is to combine his love of sports with his talent as a motivational speaker.
Rob Nussbaum, the athletic director at Our Lady of Peace, an elementary school in Columbus, said Rudd has been a volunteer coach in the school’s athletic program and said he is a “great role model” for the students.
“His style and passion for the game prepares (the kids) to bring their very best,” Nussbaum said. “He shows them that their off-the-court activities and behavior is just as important, if not more so, than how they conduct themselves on the court.”
In addition to the book showcasing Rudd’s positivity, it also shows his sense of humor – the book’s front cover includes a picture of Rudd posing in a hot dog costume he bought on the Internet.
“I just wanted to show I am funny and passionate,” Rudd said about the cover. “I wanted to make something that stood out in people’s minds.”